Almost Home…?

Last weekend, I traveled to Manuel Antonio, a famous beach town, with a travel agent friend of mine.  I stayed at a luxury hotel called SiComoNo, which means “Sure, why not.”  Its restaurant is called Claro que Seafoood, which is a play on Claro que si (I agree) and food.  The gift shop’s name is Regaleme, which means, in common vernacular “Tell me”, but literally “Give me a present.” Kudos for cleverness.

The property, which borders on the rain forest, is beautiful.  The rooms were spacious but a little funky. It’s hard to maintain wooden structures with such intense and constant humidity. The restaurant was excellent.  I went to the local Gay Pride Parade to take pictures for the travel agency. But the humidity was so intolerable that I spend most of the other days in my room with the AC on. The evenings, however, were lovely.

Costa Rica handled the pandemic quite well during the first year, but they did not manage the vaccination process well in 2021. Now, however, with the help of the US, there is much more vaccine, and pretty much all adults can access the vaccine. Between those already exposed to covid and those who’ve been vaccinated, the country seems pretty close to herd immunity.  Thank the gods that it’s a small country with a comprehensive health system.

While on my brief vacation, I tried to stay safe. Alas, it was not to be. I was in one restaurant/bar where I sat with a few vaccinated friends.  However, the group to my left kept expanding as more people arrived. They kept adding tables until they surrounded my small party. All were young, unvaccinated, drinking and singing and having a blast. It’s highly unlikely that I wasn’t exposed to the Delta variant, so it was a good test of my previous vaccination. A few days later, I got a brief, intense headache and some muscle ache, perhaps psychosomatic, and now I’m fine. I’m hoping that I was exposed and that, as promised, the vaccine prevented me from getting seriously ill.

I’m reading A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians, a really smart reimagining of the early Age of Enlightenment (American and French revolutions, abolitionism) in an alternative universe where magic is a common yet highly restricted ability, especially among non-aristocrats. And with Robespierre as a necromancer, what’s not to like?  I look forward to finishing it and reading the second part of the duology, which just came out.

For an hour a night, I’m watching another Mexican telenovela, this one called La Bella y Las Bestias (Beauty and the Beasts), the story of a policeman’s daughter (gorgeous, of course) who goes on a revenge spree against the powerful “beasts” who ordered the murder of her parents. It’s droll to watch as the series creators sell this as a female-empowerment show while doing close-ups on the tough heroine’s cleavage while she’s fighting bad guys.  And she dresses up as a call-girl (even more gorgeous) when she goes undercover into the lairs of her unwitting enemies. I try not to wonder too much where a wholesome policeman’s daughter shops for her red-carpet outfits and where she learned to fight crime and do martial arts in six-inch heels. 

I really am watching only to improve my Spanish comprehension; the Mexican Spanish is more understandable, and I have Spanish sub-titles turned on so I can see what I’m hearing. I’m on episode 21, so I suppose I can do another 21 before brain-rot sets in.

I believe I have negotiated a place to return in Palm Springs, which is no small feat, since the rents double in January for the three-to-four-month high season. Current target date is September 1st.   Stay tuned.

My GI issues are mostly resolved, but my cervical spine is a mess and causing me great discomfort. I go to an excellent physical therapist once a week, for $17 per session. Since my right arm in now affected, and I kind of need it, I’m hoping that my CA doctors can find a more long-term solution.

At one resort I visited, I saw my now favorite bathroom sign:

My favorite bathroom sign