Don’t ask why…

It’s a common theme of living here in Costa Rica…a concept that you learn quickly but don’t fully understand.  “Don’t ask why”.  There’s just no reason.  There’s no reason why it’s taken me 11 months and counting to open a bank account for my business.  There’s no reason why one taxi charges me $8 to go half the distance that another charges me $7 for and takes me double the distance.  There’s no reason that the government screwed up and is trying to charge me $4,000 for their screw up.  There’s no reason why nothing happens by the police when you get robbed.  Yes, you have to file a police report to give the report to your insurance carrier but other than that, don’t expect any action, fingerprinting, or further work to be done. There’s no reason why you cannot have a personalized voicemail on your cell phone or why you can’t make a deposit into your account at your bank’s ATM or why there is only one brand of toothpaste in the entire country (and it’s not the one I like!)

Or the big one…the total inefficiency of the post office.  Don’t ask why I sent a package to Tamarindo – with an address – and it just sat in the Villa Real post office for weeks, never delivered and was eventually returned to Quepos.

post office in Costa Rica

So the saying should really be: Don’t ask why…Así es la vida. (Such is life)

In order to keep my sanity, I try to focus on the positive and the pretty things…like those wild pink bananas.  And my daily visits from endangered squirrel monkeys. And my yoga practice…which is a good reminder to just be present and not ask questions that you will never get an answer to.

Pura vida…Chrissy

Welcome to the Wild West

In Chapter 10 of the book, All In, the authors Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton are discussing the idea of accountability and write: “Imagine living in the western United States in the mid-1800s. Unless a lawman was standing near you as you shot someone, there was little chance you’d ever be brought to justice.”

Welcome to Costa Rica in 2014.

Since moving to Costa Rica almost 2 years ago, I have often felt like I live in the 1800’s and the Wild West. Especially when I was living in Guanacaste since it’s much like the Southwestern US with hot temperatures, dirt everywhere and cactus growing out of dry landscapes + all the crime and lawlessness (by both Ticos and Gringos).

For your amusement, here’s some of the posts I’ve found on Facebook that prove my point.  Enjoy!

But it’s not all bad here in the Wild West.  Here’s a final post of kindness to end this on a more positive note:

photo 11

Pura vida…Chrissy

The Cascade Shortage in Costa Rica

Cascade shortage in Costa Rica

I recently ran into a friend at Mini Price Store in Quepos (I also call it my “little Costco” as they carry many Kirkland products and a lot of other bulk size products).  While we were at the cash register, she asked me if I had heard about the “cascade shortage”.  Not having had a dishwasher (other than myself) since moving to Costa Rica, I didn’t even put two and two together that “Cascade” was referring to dishwashing detergent.

Cascade shortage in Costa Rica

Yep, that would be a rich person’s problem in Costa Rica.  A lack of dishwashing detergent.  From what she told me, people were actually hoarding bottles of it for fear they would run out before a new shipment would arrive in the country.  What would those million dollar homes up on the hill do without their Cascade?

Pura vida…Chrissy

The Cat in the Cardboard Box

Sadly, this isn’t really going to be one of those warm and fuzzy tales.

Recently my neighbor and I went out to dinner and as we approached the restaurant, we saw a few people hanging out outside and heard the sounds of a screaming cat inside a cardboard box.  The box was taped shut and there was the tiniest slit (almost unnoticeable) that I suppose the prior owners made so that air could get in.  On the top of the box was a piece of paper taped to it that said: Soy gato abandonado. (I am an abandoned cat)

Oh dios mio.  My friend and I were in a bit of shock but we hopped into action, first step being to get more air into the box by making the slit larger.  He then decided that it might be thirsty (it was a hot night and we had no idea how long the cat had been there) and so we opened the box and gave the cat a cup of water from the restaurant.

Two of the people standing next to the box were a dad and his young son.  The dad told us that they could care for the cat and would take it home. They also had a little dog that would like the cat.  The young boy picked up the box with a big smile on his face.Stray cat in Quepos Costa Rica

Another recent incident was with a neighbor’s dog who is kept on a very short leash outside of the house.  It had knocked over its water bowl and it was high noon (and probably 90 degrees) when I saw him sitting in the partial shade.  I caught the attention of my neighbor and asked him to please turn the bowl back over and give his dog some water.  It’s bad enough he’s forced to live on a 1 meter leash but to leave him in the heat with no water…so frustrating.  When I came back from the store, the water bowl had been turned over and the dog was happily drinking from the bowl.  He paused for a moment so I could take this picture.

Dog in Quepos Costa Rica

Costa Rica isn’t really well known for its positive treatment of animals so this incident isn’t surprising.  But let’s be honest, this kind of atrocious behavior happens everywhere.  In the US, dogs and cats get dropped off at animal shelters or just kicked out into the streets because they bark too much, got too big or they just decided the pet was too much work.

What’s truly frustrating is there’s like 4-5 vets in the tiny little downtown area of Quepos.  AND there’s even a rescue shelter.  How could these people just leave the cat, in a taped up cardboard box outside of a random restaurant?  Could they not have taken the little bit of extra energy to walk 2 blocks east and leave it at the vet’s office, preferably in the shade and first thing in the morning so it would be seen quickly?

I just finished reading Beg by Rory Freeman and it truly is horrible how animals are treated around the world.  My little Harmony, and his sister, were pound kitties and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I will NEVER buy an animal…how can you buy a living being, especially when there are so many strays and unwanted animals who will be killed?

It’s been a year and a few days since Harmony passed and I still miss him so very much.  If you want to read his adoption story and why adopting from a shelter is so very important, please click here and hop on over to my Wellness Notes blog. And if you want to see a photo of me from almost 20 years ago (with bangs!)…go there to check it out!

Pura vida…Chrissy