October 4, 2014

I really can’t believe it’s already October.  My first 2 classes are over with as of yesterday (straight A’s, thank you) and the other 2 start tomorrow.  Then I’m off to Belize!

This has been a slow week and I got some sort of bug and did not feel well at all so I haven’t been posting anything.  But the last few days have been better.  Mostly have been running errands. And the weather here has been strange.  Mary and I walked to Guadelupe Thursday so she could pay taxes and it was just gloomy with little rain showers, which is odd in the morning.  In Costa Rica, taxes are due the end of September instead of April.  It’s also the end of the fiscal year for most businesses so the stores have all kinds of sales, which is awesome.  And I took the bus into San Jose on Friday to walk around downtown and got absolutely soaked.  The 9am bus never came so there was a huge group standing around by the time the 9:30 bus came and it was packed.  It rained all morning again and of course I had no umbrella.  I did get some pictures of the street art wall in front of one of the elementary schools though:




Let’s see…I have to say the high point of the week was when I managed to set up  a proxy IP address and hoodwink Google Chrome into thinking that I am currently located in London, so that I can watch the current season of Downton Abbey online and not have to wait for the US premiere in Jan 2015.  I was pretty proud of that, I must say.  It’s the little things.  And if you’re laughing at me, well, you’ve clearly never watched the show, because it is awesome.

Yesterday morning was beautiful and I went to the ferria, farmer’s market, with Thais and Carlitos. They have absolutely everything imaginable, and it’s crazy cheap: 4 mangos, a pineapple and half a dozen oranges for about $4.  The “orange guy” loves Thais and just beamed when he saw her and enthusiastically greeted us all.   I also tried some new dishes.  Mary made carne mechada yesterday, which translates as shredded beef.  It’s also called ropa viejo, (or old clothes) which I find hilarious, although it does kind of resemble a pot full of dirty laundry.  But it tastes delicious.  After the beef was simmered in the crockpot overnight and shredded, Mary added a hot (and I mean hot) pepper, onion, carrots, and tomatoes and it made this sort of stew/chili that she served over rice, with chayote. Chayote is a strange green vegetable/fruit that when boiled has the texture of a cooked pear and not much flavor but it tasted good with the stew.  Then I tried a recipe for patacones from my new Costa Rican cookbook.  Patacones are popular here: basically you take really green, unripe plantains, slice them, boil until they’re soft enough to smash with a glass, then fry them with salt and pepper.  I added some queso too and they were pretty good:


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