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Penny's Peace of Paradise

A gringa and her family's adventures living in Costa Rica.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nice to Meat You!

Produce at a market
I try to keep the whining at bay, but the cost of a car less than twenty years old here is PROHIBITIVE, so most folk drive vehicles that were state of the art when The Cosby Show was #1. You'd think, by replacing every single part, wire, and bolt, the now-broke car owner should have earned a fresh start with their "new" car, or at least, a fulfilling second marriage. This is never the case though! The guy who owned the car before us boasted how he had replaced EVERYTHING on this car, so it should be "smooth sailing" for us...not!

While sitting in my non-starting "sailboat," outside our little market the other morning, I witnessed an unusual site. A delivery truck pulled up and the driver came around, opened the back, and hopped in. He disappeared in the dark of the back of the truck, then appeared again donning a hooded sweatshirt, zipped up to his chin, holding an entire half of a cow on his back, by it's foot above his head. He jumped down and marched the carcass into the store, which is also a carniceria. He came back out and grabbed another, then returned and removed his sweatshirt, hung it in the back, swept out the, meat bits(?) and gave a perfunctory wipe of his hands on his pants and drove away. We have bought our meat here often and the quality has been very good, so... I guess what you don't know won't hurt you!

Last night, I joined my friends at a restaurant/bar in Sarchi to hear some friends play some rock and roll. More gringos showed up, than I had ever seen in one place since I have moved here. Everyone was in great spirits and, along with a number of ticos, we enjoyed a montage of Eagles, Dead, Beatles and Lynard Skynard tunes. A long time Grecia local was their with the most recent issue of the Mountain Howler. It's a great local magazine in English to inform and advise gringos in the area about their "home."

www.mountainhowler.com

The owners of the restaurant are an American woman and her tico husband. What was so refreshing to see, was the owner moving around efficiently waiting on numerous tables, that would generally require at least 3-4 locals to do the same job, and possibly, not as well. For some reason, many of the waiters/waitresses here have a hard time seeing the big picture and working efficiently. Taking the initiative to streamline and save time and steps, just doesn't come naturally to many Costa Ricans. So ultimately, the lower wage is balanced by the fact that you have to pay three, or more, to do the work of one competent wait person. Now I am a restaurant alumni, and wouldn't work in a restaurant again, EVER, but the fact that I was enthralled watching a great wait person work, just shows how long it has been since I have seen it.
Waitress Delivering Meals

The great weekly local feria(farmer's market) is this morning, so the kids and I will set off soon in a taxi, to get our produce. Pictures of this fabulous bounty, coming soon! Feliz fin de semana!

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