Under the heading of 1001 Reasons to Move to Costa Rica, reasons 99-801 should involve completely embarrassing yourself. I’m really good at it. Luckily, I packed my sense of humor.
I love Eduardo. He works at our little specialty store. Eduardo is the gentleman whom I kissed in my joy about the arrival of grapefruit juice. Last night we made a quick run to town for a few items. I’ve learned to always grab one or two tins of cat food. One really doesn’t want to be around Nut-Meg when she’s low on food. She senses it. I declare, Meg can see that there is only a single tin in the home. So I squirrel away cans of cat food in secret places as I used to squirrel away a joint in my college days. Why, look, Meg/Kathy . . . here’s an unexpected little surprise.
When we return from an overnight stay in San Jose (having left plenty of food and water for Meg), Rusty jokes that we should keep a tin of fish in the car, crack open said tin, crack open the door to the home, and rapidly slide it in to her before slamming the door. Picture feeding lions . . . or some Hannibal Lecter moment.
Meg will only eat paté. Of course it isn’t really French paté, it’s merely a semi-solid hunk of fish. And she only likes fish. She’s not a poultry eater, and beef is entirely unacceptable. And the cat food that comes with gravy? The type for which most cats would purr? She’ll lick the gravy (it’s called salsa here, simply meaning sauce), and leave every single loose morsel of food in the bowl, thus wasting almost an entire can of food. Why do we indulge her? Because she’s 17 years old! So stop with the looks and the attitude. The cat gets what she wants.
Last night the Super Iguana Verde had many choices of cat food: salmon, chicken, beef, tuna . . . but every single can offered its product in salsa. You could shake the can and just feel the proportion of gravy to meat. So I went to have a little chat with Eduardo. The conversation (all in Spanish) began with my cat is strange. Why? he asked. And so I went through the entire saga. I’m not sure what Eduardo found more strange: my cat, my indulgence of the cat, or my Spanish. But the point was made, and Eduardo will see to it that Nut-Meg gets her paté.
I walked out of the store beaming at how competent I’ve become in Spanish. That’s when Rusty (the man who professes to know very few Spanish verbs) said, You just said that your cat drinks only fish. Time for another Spanish lesson.
Today my Spanish teacher, Sarah, and I discussed this little interplay with Eduardo. Then we discussed our dog, who has ticks. She’s ticky. Twelve years and the dog has never even seen a photo of a flea, much less a tick. Now she’s ticky. You’d be stunned, too. I swear that she whispered to me, What the heck are those things on my leg?
I write paragraphs in Spanish. Not just phrases. Not just sentences. I write pages and pages in Spanish and they almost always involve Jill, Nut-Meg, Rusty, Cynthia, Lubos, Tonio, or Javier. But so many stories involve Jill that Sarah must realize by now that I am completely bonkers. Reason 292: so that your Spanish teacher can entertain her dinner guests with tales of her craziest student.
Anyway, after an hour conversing in Spanish about my ticky dog and fish-drinking cat, I was fully prepared to visit our veterinarian and explain, in Spanish, that Jill needs an appointment now! I got a far as the words seed ticks. Jill has a 10:00 a.m. appointment tomorrow and I was assured that she’d live through the night. Home I came to my housekeeper. Janet cleaned the ceiling fans while I wrote 590 Spanish sentences about Jill’s ticky leg . . . why Jill was in the air conditioning . . . why Janet was going to have to clean around Jill . . . and why I was repeatedly telling Jill to keep still in front of the fan.
Today’s Spanish lesson was about commands: do this, say this, take this (boy, is Rusty going to love my new and improved command of commands!). So time to interrupt Janet and read my sentences to her. She looked completely puzzled. Janet took my pencil and made a few corrections. Off I ran to Google Translate. Turns out I’d written: we don’t need to order ducks, rabbits like Rusty. But the one that really boggled her was my command: Janet, remain with Jill in the bedroom because your leg is damaged. Janet asked: I’m not to clean your home today?
Reason 601 . . . entertaining your housekeeper. Lo que hay.