A few days ago we were taking groceries out of the back of our neighbour's SUV and left the hatchback open but didn't notice. You guessed it, the battery became dead as a doornail. Jorge, our favorite taxi driver, was called and came to the rescue but he couldn't get the battery to take a charge from his taxi. Nevertheless, struggling with the inadequate tools we had to offer, he managed to pull the battery from the SUV and take it away to a shop somewhere in Atenas. Overnight, the shop managed to recharge the battery and Jorge brought the charged battery back first thing the next morning. He also brought proper tools for quickly reinstalling the battery. Over protestations from Jorge, Lance gave him 20,000 colones, about $40. This included dealing with not only the battery problem but also ferrying me around to buy more groceries, etc.
When called upon, we are well cared for by Jorge. If you plan to spend any amount of time in Costa Rica, it is important to establish friendships with the Ticos and not to squirrel yourself away in some gated community where all expectations are like those in your homeland.
With the battery charged, I was able to drive into Atenas, take out USD from the ATM to pay our rent at Banco de Costa Rica. Then I walked to the Correos (post office) and mailed a card to my mother, walked up to the vet's place and bought a bag of kibble for the dog "D.o.g.", went to the shop where you can pay bills or add colones to a cell phone and added one mil each to Sharon & Gordon's cells (we're looking after their house and D.o.g). One mil is about $2 and covers about three months of basic cell phone service in Costa Rica.
While doing these errands in Atenas, I encountered and had to say hi and hugs to various taxi drivers other than Jorge who have been missing me since we have our neighbour's SUV for the time being. One (Rodrigo) even quizzed me on my Spanish as he is often wont to do ("what color is your house?"). Then to the Coope to buy some groceries and finally home. I even made oatmeal cookies today. Needed two swims after all that. Oh and I also did a wash so we have clean bedding again.
Walked down to our house to check on it and water my orchids. Hotdogs for dinner tonight, not much work. Thursday is Meriam's day to clean here so we try to keep out of her way and just go down to our house. She arrives around 0700 and works until about 1:00 pm or so with unbelievable effort.
It's exhausting living down here.