The Placa Palace, or How to Get Your New License Plates in Costa Rica

We got our new license plates. To most people they are  almost indistinguishable from our old license plates, but notice, please, a small Costa Rican flag in the upper right corner, and a nearly invisible map of the country in the lower right corner. There is also a vertical line on the left. That’s it.Continue reading “The Placa Palace, or How to Get Your New License Plates in Costa Rica”

Water, Water Everywhere

The rain started with a pit, pit, pat on our metal roof,  the sound relief. It had been stifling hot for weeks on end, and like the old ladies here, I took to carrying a cloth to wipe my neck and arms as the humidity climbed to high-five the temperature already in the 90s. WeContinue reading “Water, Water Everywhere”

Farewell to a Writer, with a capital W

I met Ross Eldridge through my online writing critique group, The Internet Writing Workshop (IWW). As a mark of his writing ability, I felt I knew him personally even though we had never met. His prolific works were always filled with life, wit, charm, and British intellect at its very best. I loved his longContinue reading “Farewell to a Writer, with a capital W”

L is for Leaving A to Z Challenge, or How I was Unable to Continue

Just a note to visitors from the A to Z blogging challenge, I have to drop out due to a family emergency. I have enjoyed this month’s challenge and will definitely  look at doing it next year. Please feel free to stay on my subscription list, I will be posting after this crisis has passed,Continue reading “L is for Leaving A to Z Challenge, or How I was Unable to Continue”

K is for Kilo

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Okay, I’ve run aground; K is a difficult letter in the Spanish alphabet. There are all sorts of K words, but they are mostly translations of things like Kant, Karachi, Kurdish, etc. So today  I thought I would discuss Kilo. Most Americans know it as a unit of weight; one weContinue reading “K is for Kilo”

J is for Hij’ue Puta!

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) ¡Hij’ue puta! (pronounced Way-Poota) Okay, if you are sensitive close your ears; this one’s a swear word. It’s also the one most used in Costa Rica. Literally it is translated as “shit whore,” but it is used the way we use son of a bitch or the F word to express shockContinue reading “J is for Hij’ue Puta!”

I is for Importar un Rábano

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Or, le importa un rábano. Literally this means “it has the importance, or worth, of a radish.” I have also heard no importarle un pito. For a translation of that just think of Rhett Butler’s comments to Scarlett O’Hara when she begged him to come back. I am pretty fond ofContinue reading “I is for Importar un Rábano”

H is for Hacerse Bolas

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted)   Hacerse bolas is to become confused, which is easy to do if you don’t speak Spanish very well. Like me. But for a long time I didn’t have to learn the language. The area where we live, the Atlantic coast, was first populated by indigenous natives and then by WestContinue reading “H is for Hacerse Bolas”

G is for Guachimán

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Guachimán is another name for a watchman. Some dress in formal uniforms, have a police baton, and a gun like the guy on the left. They guard neighborhoods and individual businesses. Tourists are often alarmed to see these men with automatic assault weapons at the grocery store or ferretería (hardware store),Continue reading “G is for Guachimán”