Holy Week!

Yeah, well, it’s been a while.  Life is busy and, as the Chinese curse says, I “live in interesting times.”

Next week is Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is a big deal here.  Most folks go off to the beaches, where it is incredibly hot.  It’s more about family time and an excuse to party. One of the reasons that Costa Ricans are usually ranked the happiest in the world is that they don’t sweat the details and they enjoy the numerous, if sometimes strange, holidays.

Yours truly, however, will be at home. It’s where I am most comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pissing people off with my gringoness. I’m always busy and I have a beautiful view from my office, where I spend a lot of my time.

I have been exploring other places and cultures to explore. If I decide to move on, it probably won’t be for another 16 months, by which time my situation will be optimal.  The idea of moving to a more cosmopolitan and welcoming culture is extremely appealing. The thought of physically moving is daunting, however, so I could just continue here and enjoy my pleasant if solitary life.

I have decided to visit the US, as in Florida, in order to see some doctors for non-urgent matters.  If I try to see them here through the public system, I will have to wait a very long time; and the cost of paying cash to private doctors is more than a ticket to the US.  And, I get to spend time with loving family. So, I’ll be heading north at the end of April.  I tried to make it to California, where my friends live, but the cost is prohibitive.  Please know that I wish I could see you all.

I have unwittingly become an expert at making one’s home “smart.”  I bought some Arlo and WeMo products which can be controlled, when working properly, from a cell phone.  This means that, while arriving home after dark, I can turn on lights and fans.  I can also put things on timers when I’m away. The problem I’ve had is when I get a power outage, even a brief one, the app doesn’t automatically reboot as it should.  This has forced me to learn about splitting one’s wifi signal and renaming both parts in order to ensure that the smart plugs are all on the same wifi address.  Feel free to query me should you even decide to avail yourself of this technology.

Speaking of technology, I have finally stopped holding on to my naïve notion that we have to allow for occasional problems which require time to troubleshoot and repair. This has caused me much frustration, as not a day goes by when I don’t have to deal with some issue.  I now know that the time required for maintaining and repairing technological tools may well equal the amount of time that they function correctly. It’s the same hard lesson I learned when working for the school district:  I used to think that what mattered most was how I performed my job duties, and that, when necessary, I would have to deal with coworkers and their problems.  By the time I left that world, I had become painfully aware that dealing with people and their feelings takes precedence by far over the job tasks themselves.  

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy working on my own?

I am thrilled that Game of Thrones is back after a two-year hiatus. Although I watch less and less television, I remain committed to a few of my favorite shows. I also got caught up on all the Oscar-nominated films. I even watched Mary Poppins Returns, which, while enjoyable, is a really odd amalgamation of a traditional American movie musical, with the muscular choreography of Hamilton (same actor), an over-the-top acid-trip of a pre-3D Disney animated film, and a deeply emotional and realistic (and jarringly out of place) performance by Ben Wishaw. (I must confess that the cameo by an original cast member did make me smile.) A suggestion:  Watch this only when high.

Well, wish me luck.  I’m off to the TV room for my evening’s entertainment. 

Happy Holy Week.  Paint an egg for me.