The above photo is of the sign on the City Hall building (municipalidad). I was recovering from surgery and did not participate in the 5-day long weekend (Friday-Tuesday) celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Canton (County) Atenaswith the Pueblo (town) of Atenas the same age. Central Park was full of tents with food, crafts and venders plus a stage to present music groups several times each day with even the American retiree’s oldies band “Flashback” performing one afternoon. And for awhile there was a sign with pictures of the plans for a remodeled Central Park. I didn’t get a pix.
On the final day a government program made the birthday official and on this auspicious birthday they presented their plans for a Remodeled Central Park that I have already presented in an earlier post where I referred you to the official Facebook presentationwith 18 drawings and photos. They say it will be done this year, the anniversary year, but it is August and no work has started yet. Of course it rains every day now, so if they wait until dry season, it will be started in December! 🙂 And thus may be completed in 2019. Maybe! It is being done by government officials remember! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂
Your have heard me brag about the tranquility and great weather of my little farming town of Atenas – and the “muy amable” or very kind people here. But one thing that many hyper and efficient Americans don’t always realize when they move to such an easy-going society, is that to be that way means everything andeverybody moves slower here! No rush! ¡Pura vida! To not adapt to this slower way means you will not be happy here. Always frustrated at the inefficiencies!
My example of this today is my efforts since Monday to pay my surgeon for the work he did. (No pressure from him.) I made arrangements in advance with my Credit Union in Nashville to move the needed money from Savings to Checking so I could easily pay with my debit card. Hospital payment was quick and easy as I had planned, but the doc requested to be paid separately. Okay.
The doctor comes in my room with his little portable credit card machine, saying he doesn’t like to wait for the hospital to reimburse him if I pay through them (the most efficient way), saying they sometimes take a full month to forward the money to him. Okay. He tries repeatedly and his machine doesn’t work or at least he blames it on the machine and not my card which had just worked for the hospital. He leaves and returns in a little while with a bigger machine he plugged into the wall (still dependent on hospital WiFi). And it did not work. He then says we will take care of it when I see him at his office later this week (Wednesday). It still did not work there. He then gives me his account number at Banco Nacional and asks that I just transfer the money to his account from my account – but that account (my SS check auto-deposit) is just for housing costs, so I still have to get the money from Nashville.
Thus Wednesday afternoon I go to the bank with my CU debit card and ask them to get the needed money from it and put into my local account so I can transfer it to the doctor’s account. Sure! The teller aims to please, and tries repeatedly (7 times – service is important!) and he continues to get “denied” or “acceso denegado.” I call Nashville and they raise the cash advance limit (I thought they had already done) and say everything else is cleared – it should work! It did not! I told the patient teller (not the long line of people behind me) that I would return tomorrow and try again. Lo siento señor, mañana es un día festivo, no estamos abiertos. And I reply, Hasta el viernes. Tomorrow is a holiday and we are closed. See you Friday. 🙂
Well, Thursday was Virgen de los Angeles day, (patron saint of Costa Rica) with only Christmas and Easter being bigger for Catholics here, when thousands make the pilgrimage to Cartago Cathedral to touch the black stone Maria. So nada yesterday! (Click above link to learn about the holiday.)
This morning I call the Credit Union again and make sure the card is good for a large amount of cash on this day and I’m assured it is. I go to the bank with teller lines going outside onto the sidewalk and street, more than an hour wait for a teller, so I tell the guard I need the “special services desk” and go wait nearly an hour for it, but those persons are more accustomed to “different” transactions like mine and I figured they could handle it better, maybe quicker, and once I finally got to a desk, it worked very smoothly, though taking another 25 minutes to do it! Remember – everything is slower here! Why rush? But she did go ahead and let me pay my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) with her and not have to go wait for a regular teller to do that.
Sooooo . . . an hour and a half at the bank, another chapter read in my latest book (which is so, so), my doctor bill is paid AND my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) bill paid! I breathed a sigh of relief and headed home for a more relaxed weekend! Pura Vida!
And, if you are wondering, the reason I didn’t use CAJA for the surgery, is that I would still be waiting to see a surgeon and I chose not to have patience for that! Choices and Patience! Retired in Costa Rica! 🙂 ¡Pura Vida!
My friend Jason Quesada now works in Jaco and is only in Atenas on weekends. Well, he was back this weekend and showed up at my house this afternoon with a friend and a birthday cake. We had a great time visiting and I enjoyed meeting a new local friend, Christopher, who is about as far along with his English as I am with my Spanish. Language learning! Wow!
It has been a nice week. Friday I had my teeth cleaned by a local Spanish-only dentist and Monday I go to a Spanish-speaking dermatologist. Then next Saturday I’m checking out a new exotic lodge called Xandri. Never a dull moment! ¡Pura Vida!
That is how we say it in Costa Rica español, Tengo 78 años hoy,translated “I have 78 years today” on July 4, 2018. No particular celebration today, I will wait until the big 80! 🙂 Then a big party!
This morning I bought a pecan pie (possibly my favorite dessert) at my favorite bakery, Crema y Nada, and vanilla ice cream at my favorite supermercado. That will serve as my birthday cake after eating my favorite hamburger to go from Donde Bocha this afternoon. Then I will post this with photos of both treats.
And yes, it has been a great birthday! Thanks for the kind messages of feliz cumpleaños! (happy birthday!) from people here and in the states! It was a wonderful, relaxed day! I have a friend visiting this weekend and otherwise I keep slowly building the new website as I find time. So much information to add!