Changes, Changes, Changes

Well, remember how I’ve been looking for a house in Grecia because I need to move by the end of this month? Well, it appears I ain’t goin nowhere.
It started with a conversation I had with the owner of the place next to mine, which is identical. He wanted me to rent it for $400 less than I pay now.  I decided to try to negotiate with my landlady, whose lease says that the rent goes up $100 each year.  (I learned some months back that this is illegal in Costa Rica for a lease in dollars.  I didn’t challenge her because I knew I was moving.)

So I contacted her and asked if she would meet my neighbor’s price.  I mentioned that, if I moved, this place would be empty for at lease one month and probably more; three months is the norm.  Also, if an agent found someone to rent this place, she’d have to pay the agent.  So, I posited, it would actually save her money to reduce my rent.  And she did. And I’m relieved, since I love the place and wasn’t particularly relishing the prospect of moving.  Oh, and the bonus is that I don’t need to buy a car if I stay here. (I rent one when I need it.)

So here I stay in Escazu, city of witches.

In the meantime, an exciting opportunity has presented itself to me:  A couple of friends, who are experienced travel agents, have just gotten government approval to start their own agency, which will target mostly the international LGBT community.  They want a US representative to handle English language communications and to market the agency to travel agents in the US.  They also will need tour operators for groups that they send to the States.  We are in negotiations, but I’ve already spent hours cleaning up their English-language website.  (That’s why I’m a bit late with my weekly blog.) It’s the same platform as my blog (WordPress), so it’s not too much of a learning curve.

For any numerology fans, this is my power year (the eighth in a nine-year cycle), so I’ve been determined to make the most of it while I can.  So, reduced rent, improving Spanish (speaking great, comprehension less so), and a potentially exciting new career. (For those who have known me for less than 40 years, I worked in the travel business at Air France in the 70s.)  Let’s hope that it all works out.

We had a hurricane here last week.  Lots of wind, torrential rain and power outages, but no major damage to my place.  I have a gotera (leak) which I can’t fix, so I just expect water in the laundry room.  Some folks in the area had flooded homes, but the Central Valley did OK.  Guanacaste, in the north, and the beach areas had serious problems.  The only good news is that ticos (locals) are used this weather, particularly now in the rainy season.  Every morning is beautiful with blue skies and heat.  Then, within an hour of 2:00 pm, the clouds roll in and the heavens open up.  My poor doggie doesn’t know what to make of thunder that sounds like glass exploding; he sidles up next to me until it stops.

That’s it for now.  I hope my California loved ones are safe from the fires.  Until next time.

Pura Vida!