Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias

Okay, so the translation isn’t great: There is no such thing as Thanksgiving in Costa Rica.

However, to show the influence of America’s capitalist culture, Black Friday (viernes negro) is huge — so much so that some stores even celebrate Black November.  So we have shopping without the family and turkey. It’s not the same.  Such is life in the City of Witches.

My latest news is good:  Qijian, aka SuperDog, was so ill last Friday that my vet told me that he probably wouldn’t survive the weekend.  After months of showing no symptoms, QJ overnight became a sick dog.  After an hour-long ultrasound, which showed all of his organs affected, the vet prescribed prednisone and an opioid to ease the pain.  Within 12 hours, all of his symptoms went away, and he has been fine. Although not up to walking very much, he is eating, pooping, peeing and following me upstairs and down. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine. So it appears that I’m going to have more time with my sweet boy.

As for the visa, the last report was that on August 15th, I was told that I needed to make my final payment within 10 days and that was the last thing I had to do. I, of course, paid the fee and waited to hear.  When I questioned my lawyer, she said that I might have to wait up to 90 days. She said that even though my visa application had been approved, it hadn’t been granted. (Let me know if you understand that.) So today ended the 90-day waiting period, and we have an appointment with Immigration on the 29th of this month.  If all goes well, it will take another three weeks for processing, picture, etc.; however, since all government offices close for a minimum of two weeks, I probably won’t have my card until mid-January.  If you are unaware, Costa Ricans rank consistently as the happiest people in the world.  I can only surmise that they don’t stress about efficiency or productivity.

I’m working as the US representative for my friends’ Costa Rican travel agency, and that’s going well.  As it’s a new agency (the partners have worked for others for 20 years), there are some growing pains. CR has very different attitudes about time, so I’m trying to tighten up operations without pissing people off; don’t want to be more of a gringo malcreado (ill-mannered American) than I need to be. This, by the way, is why I haven’t been posting as much; I’ve also stopped receiving replies, so I’m hoping my blog hasn’t lost its luster.  I do plan to start traveling in the new year, so there’ll be more interesting commentary on my experiences.

I hope all of you have had a lovely Thanksgiving and survive any shopping expeditions you may undertake.  I had an egg tortilla and chips, while QiJian chowed down on steamed chicken and rice. Oh, the glamour.

The church at the top is a few blocks from my house, as is the witches’ ice cream parlor below. I love the mix.

Pura Vida!