Saturday, 17 September 2011

Marginal Fruits

I tasted a naranjilla yesterday for the first time.

It seems to fall into a category of truly marginal fruits (but then I'm not a pejibaye fan either which I also consider a bit marginal which is close to a sacrilegious statement to a Tico).  Pejibaye, jocote and tacacos (a local MUST in Olla de Carne) all seem to be vegetables living on the fringes of society and to that I must add naranjilla . . . which springs in very odd ways from a giant spiky thistle like weed.

And the only one I've tried was so tart I literally jumped after tasting too much in one gulp (maybe 1/4 a teaspoon :-).  Now perhaps it just means I haven't properly acclimatized to CR fruits but it seems to me the only reason people grow tacacos for example is that they DON'T grow IT.

IT GROWS and then someone had to make a recipe to put it in . . . because frankly nobody can argue how marginal a tacaco is.  And it doesn't matter WHAT you put in Olla de Carne.

Am I beginning to grasp it?

Please advise?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Driving Directions Tico Style

After awhile in a country with few signs and no road names  . . . . someone wanted to know where the veterinary hospital UNA was to be found.  We know the place well so we provided the usual directions:

Who Says We have no Signs
UNA is maybe 1/2 km east of the REtieve of Heredia which if you are not a car driver is useless information but is how I find it.

Another way to find it is about 3 km east of*** which if you are not an Amazon fan sorely dissapointed when he first found the building and learned of its true purpose is also useless information.

This location is somewhere between INBioparque and Alajuela and if you are not an INBIO fan or resident of Alajuela, this is also useless information.

This road (that it is on) connects to the road that becomes two ways going north in the evening rush hour between the psychotic Uruca/Hospital Mexico intersection where my life was once severely threatened by two buses out to crush me. If there were 6 lanes going north it would not help on a Friday evening. Do not try this on Fridays :-))

The above intersection (of the Una road and the Uruca interchange northern exit) incorporates a French car dealer - Renault or Pewjoe (as my dad used to call it) maybe . . . so if you are French and a fan of such cars it is possible you would be close to figuring out where UNA is?

Bus Route Says "Heredia by the Highway"
***The Amazon reference relates to the fact that in a country with no road names and pretty much no deliveries Amazon, though having a large building here does not do any deliveries here.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Moving Here?

A message board newby here asked the question: rent or buy when you first move here.  During the first week after arrival in Costa Rica we gained 4 lawyers and lost 3.

"You need a bank account." My brand new lawyer du jour tells me.
"OK, no problem I'll get one."
"You need one with Banco Nacional because that's where I bank."
"Why does that matter?"
"Well first you have only been in country for 3 days, so you can't open a bank
"That then is likely an issue?"
"Yes. But I know the people at BN I will walk you there. We will bypass some
"Are there other banks?"
"Yes. But not like BN . . . "
"I see, why is that?"
"Because you need to give me the check."
"The whole thing?"
"Do you know about escrow?"
"Yes, I used to work in the US. But we do not need it."
"I see. You know I have only known you for a day?"
Outside BN
"Yes, you need to trust me."
"Of course I do." Grinning from ear to ear and then some.
"It will be easier with BN as that is where I have my personal account."
"You will deposit my check in your personal account?"
"Yes, it will be easier."
"If I did this normally how long would it take."
"6 months to get started. But this is quite normal."
"I see."
"The good news is that as I am the attorney for the owner you are buying from,
as well as your attorney, it will be even easier."
"Yes it seems we have some luck with this transaction all around. I get to open
a bank account bypassing the rules, we get to share the same attorney on both
sides of the deal and I can do the whole thing without escrow."
"Yes. We can close tomorrow or maybe Monday."
"All I need to do is trust you?"
"Yes, absolutely."

Civic Duties
Now you know one reason you were advised to wait 6 months before buying anything . . . the second reason is that after some months or years of living here the above conversation between a buyer and his lawyer will seem entirely normal to you by then.