Walking home one afternoon during our fourth month together, it dawned on me that I had grown comfortable in our relationship; that our day to day life had become a cozy coexistence. The initial dreamy infatuation common in every relationship had faded and I found myself altogether content in our life together. She seemed okay with my lifestyle, smiling at my slow adaptation and evolution. And I was certainly fine with her.
With great frequency still, I discover something wonderful about her or see in her some new and brilliant light and appreciate her all the more. Little idiosyncrasies and quirks about her that intrigued me or brought a smile to my face early on, though, go largely unnoticed. There are some, however, that can’t or won’t escape my notice.
For example, many times in the mornings as I am getting ready for the day, I will turn on the shower, putting my foot underneath the spray every few moments testing the temperature while my mind wanders to her. Then I snap back to reality and remember that there isn’t hot water. That cold water is always on tap. “Oh, Costa Rica, you and your silly developing country,” I say to her in my mind.*
When I leave my house, coffee cup in hand, to walk to the beach to relax and watch the waves roll in, I still chuckle inside at the high-wall broken-glass security systems I see; a common sight in this country with whom I have developed this
sweet monkey love affair.
Her chickens and roosters that wander into the streets never cease to amuse me nor do her lizards that chirp in my apartment, hiding behind the dresser as they scurry out of view.
I was talking with a neighbor of mine recently and he was telling me he had an ant problem. I asked, “Doesn’t everyone in Costa Rica have an ant problem?” We laughed. Not heartily because it wasn’t that funny. But so entirely true.
There are so many little details, adjustments, quirks to life here that you begin to accept over time; details that become part of everyday life. And then fun little surprises. Like yesterday. I ate fresh carambola for the first time, courtesy of the landlord; her yard is rich with fruit plants and trees.
Lately, I’ve been feasting on bananas as well which she has been kind enough to share with the tenants.
It’s not uncomfortable, living here. In fact, it’s entirely pleasant. Relaxed. Soothing. I’ve said before that I’m all about living minimally while still being comfortable. And that, I am doing. Rather well, I do believe. 🙂
A friend of mine in the US remarked to me that I was one step away from camping. I guess, when you get down to it, perhaps that isn’t a far off assessment. But I have what I need. I have a roof over my head. Running (and clean) water. A comfortable bed to sleep on. I have a hotplate on which I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A sink to wash my dishes. A mini-fridge to store my food. A bathroom and shower. And internet and cable (though I don’t have a tv) which allows me to stay in touch with all of my loved ones. I have a bicycle for transportation and when I go anywhere significant I use public transportation (which never involves chicken busses) or taxis.
Minimal, but comfortable.
She has quirks, Costa Rica. But I do love her so. So thank you, Costa Rica, for being you. Happy four and one-half month anniversary! (People celebrate that. It’s a thing.)
*Wait, no hot water in Costa Rica?! No, there’s hot water. Just not in every home on every street. Often times (as in my last residence) hot water in the shower is dispensed via the “Widow Maker,” a makeshift hot water heater (replete with dangling, capped off electrical wires) installed directly on top of the shower head. I could install one here, I suppose, however, I would likely electrocute myself making my imaginary wife an imaginary widow.