The Clock is Ticking

Another week in Costa Rica brought heavy rain (it is the season) and more little adventures.

The search for a house intensifies as I enter the final 30 days of my lease.  I have narrowed it down to two houses in Grecia, one huge house with inexplicably tiny bedrooms but a second floor view unlike any I’ve seen, and one single story house with a beautiful yard and more appropriately sized rooms. I worry about QiJian getting weaker and being unable to climb stairs, so I’m leaning toward the second.  Tomorrow, however, I’m going to check out a place in Santa Ana, which is closer to where I am now.  I suddenly realized that, as isolated as I’ve been here, I actually do have a small network of folks, friends and professionals, whom I’ll have to replace if I move to Grecia.

Speaking of professionals, since my arrival, I’d gone to a doctor once so I could have one on record.  Since I don’t yet have insurance, and can’t until I get my visa, I am a cash client.  Luckily, since I’ve gone to California every few months, I’ve seen doctors and dentists there.  Unfortunately, when my US doctor wants to refer me to a specialist, it takes a while for approval and to schedule an appointment; then, there are the tests that the specialist does which require a week for results.  So you see my problem with a seven-day trip to the US.

I’ve been having some problems which couldn’t wait, so I saw my doc here and got referrals.  He ordered a stress test; by “ordered” I mean wrote on a piece of paper that I needed one.  I called a clinic in Sabana, where it’s several thousand colones cheaper than in Escazu, and made an appointment.  Upon the advice of my doctor brother, when I got there, I asked to add an additional test, an echocardiogram, which would indicate any heart valve problem.  There was no need to call a doctor– they just did both.  (The results were good.)  Their equipment was state-of-the-art (Costa Rica is a medical tourist destination), and I paid a total of $245 for everything.

QiJian has been doing well and showing no symptoms of his disease.  The past two days, he’s been a little weird, but he has frequently had short episodes of being low-energy and not eating.  I’m hoping he’ll perk up tomorrow.  He did a nice long walk this evening, the first in many days due to the rain, and he was fine.

Finally, since I’m trying to get my deposit back from the house I rented but never moved into, I went to a lawyer referred by my immigration lawyer.  Although he was  a sweet young man, he had neither qualities which any lawyer needs:  knowing the law and being good at details.  In the letter he’d drafted, he told the landlords that, per Costa Rican law and the lease, they needed to give my me deposit back within 72 hours of receiving the letter.  When I asked him if this really was a law, since I hadn’t I heard of it, he said that it actually isn’t.  He just thought he’d add it in.  No, I’m not kidding.  My lawyer.  Pray for me.

If you ever come visit me here, I’ll take you for Thai Fusion Ice Cream. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen, since they make it in front of you by pouring certain mysterious liquids onto a flat freezing surface and chop and scrape and roll it.  Truly odd but wonderful.

Pura Vida
Don Nick