Sunday, May 27, 2012

And Now, Some News From the South

1. Do you know the way to San Jose? Thank goodness for drivers with signs. Didn't have to worry about orange taxis or red taxis, I could never keep them straight. But I had to tip the little Tico guy who thought it would be fruitful if he yelled out the name of the hotel for me to find my ride. He didn't know that I had a set of lungs. He did know that I had a wad of cash. At almost double his size, I was more than perfectly capable of wheeling my own carry on. And crushing him into oblivion. But then I thought, he could end up being a beggar. He was happy, enthusiastic, and was trying to do something to earn his keep. I gave him a tip when he yelled out the hotel name. He seemed genuinely pleased, and knew well that no more cash was coming. But he wheeled the luggage regardless.
2. After a night at the beautiful La Rosa de America, we flew to Puerto Jimenez in the Osa Peninsula. It only took two tries. Lovely little Cessna revved up and started speeding down the runway. Then the pilot hit the brakes, thankfully before the end of the runway and the near by mountains. Apparently not enough power. So feeling like lemmings, we were herded off until another airplane could be inspected and readied, and fortunately, there just happened to be one there. We were off in almost no time.
No funciona.
3.Love is in the air. And the swimming pool. El Remanso does not use chemicals in the pool. The water comes form local surroundings and is tested until perfect. Unfortunately, most conventional and unconventional tests aren't looking for frog semen. Which a few randy couples were enthusiastically providing nightly. Under the guise of playng "Leap Frog." Or more precisely, "Jump Frog."
The result of an eco pool.
This would be your fer de lance.
4. A fer de lance a day keeps Tommy away. So sayeth Florida Tom. We had already seen a couple of these venomous snakes at El Remanso while accompanied by our guide, Gerardo. Taking a camera safari while I was trying not to kill my horse (why do they always give me the little horses?), Florida Tom spotted a fer de lance in his pathway on the return back to the meeting spot. The snake wouldn't budge.Not wanting to test the reflexes of the critter, or be the answer to the question "How poisonous is it?" Fla. Tom returned via the river bank, found the vehicle gone, and started walking back to the resort, figuring that the Land Rover had gone back and would return for us later, and would pick him up along the way. Eventually, a local took pity on him and dropped him off at the resort. The unfortunate thing was, our driver and vehicle had gone in the opposite direction as one of the resort workers was practicing her driving skills. When I finished my ride, they were waiting for me without Tom, so we became quite concerned. After 2 searches on the trails, we were approached by the pony express of the area - Rinaldo on a dirt bike - and told that Florida Tom was back at the resort. It was a double rum that calmed my heart down after that. Okay, I don't really need an excuse for a double rum, with a twist of lime. It was just the right thing to do.
5. Miami Airport. Again. Can I learn to hate you even more? You bet!
Waiting for the lemmings on the other side.
Poas volcano. Cliff of choice.
The Immigration line was okay, the nice man let me be American and even pointed out where the shortest line was, around the corner. I thought Florida Tom was right behind me, which he was at first. It was so hard to tell which line was shortest, so we separated. I ended up in the short line, he was in a line that was initially just a couple of lemmings longer than mine, but due to foreign lemming eye scans and paw prints, he pretty much stayed in one place while I was herded on, even ordered to jump in front of the wheelchair lemming by the Immigration Hawk, once I was deemed an acceptable lemming, and I followed the rest of the lemmings down to the baggage hall. Not to pick up luggage, as I had only carry on, but to hand my blue card to one of two more Immigration Hawks at the front of the very long lemming line ups. Then I had to follow the yellow dots, to where I didn't need to go. A friendly American Airlines rep directed me around the corner and up to level 2. I went to the first checkpoint, but that was reserved for baby lemmings and their handlers. I was sent to the next check point. Wrong section - it is divided into two sections - first class lemmings, and econo lemmings, so off to econo lemmings I skittered. Looking at the line ups for both, I saw no difference. The extra cost for first class apparently means nothing on a busy night. And why the long back up? Because every freaking lemming was being funneled through the total lemming scanner. You have to stand just so, lots of furry bellies jutting out. And if you don't stand just so, Security will make you stand just so. As opposed to just walking through the thing that dings. There is a first class lemming scanner, and an econo lemming scanner. Both are equally inefficient. In the long lines surrounding me, I guess I was a blessed lemming. I got to my boarding gate fifteen minutes before the posted boarding time. A lot of lemmings wanted to find a cliff, having missed their flights. When Security felt sorry for the bleating lemmings, if lemmings bleat, they would open up a walk through scanner for only 3 or 4 of the bleating lemmings. Then, even though there were about 150 lemmings still in each of the first class lemming and econo lemming line ups looking for a cliff, Security would re-funnel them through the total lemming scanners. I never saw Tom after the initial Immigration line up, I found out the next day that he hadn't jumped off the cliff. He only had to drive home from Miami, since, as Florida Tom, he lives in Florida.
Now, Costa Rica is off the Bucket List.


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Little More From the North.

Red Green Special. What is it?
So here I sit in the sardine tin that is Timmins airport. At least they have beer, seeing as I was in a "dry" community for 6 weeks, at least for us.
I am amazed at the people I have worked with, from the front staff to my nursing buddies. I always manage to wedge myself in so that I feel like one of the team, but in Attawapiskat, they were the shoe horn that helped me fit.
I have discovered a new task I dislike. Toenail clipping. If your problem is that you can't reach them, but your nails are normal, then I am okay. However, if they are an inch past their due date where even an axe would have a hard time getting through that material, then I am not your girl. Had bits of toenail flying through the air with the greatest of ease, and some of it landing in my rat's nest of hair. I had the willies going to bed that night.
Until I saw one of those big black spiders that bite scurry underneath my door, into my room. Then the willies had the company of the heebie jeebies, and for yet another night, sleep eluded me. I had found one of the aforementioned arachnids in the recliner chair with me. He is now sitting in the septic system with the oatmeal that I had been soaking in the fridge.
I am convinced only dogs like oatmeal.
 I really thought this time I was going to learn to love my oatmeal. Ate it twice. Sent some with the spider, and gave the remainder of the dry stuff to one of the nurses who likes to feed the dogs. They eat anything. The dogs, not the nurses. Well, maybe the nurses too, depending on what it is.
One of my greatest displeasures with this job is doing PAP tests. Why? Because most of the women I see have something funky going on down there. It's enough to make me a born again virgin.
And I got news for you ladies out there. If your hubby started out with 10 condoms at the beginning of the week and you only have 4 left, but you only "did it" twice, once with a blue one and once with a yellow one (we're not that boring up here), and you now have an STD, well, you just don't need a phD to figure that one out.
Why do kids like sticking peas up their noses? Just wondering.
 Returning home to Toronto from Attawapiskat was like going to Florida from Toronto, in the winter. All right, Toronto didn't really have a winter this year, but those of us old enough remember those days know what I am talking about. And here I returned to green, green, green, with crabapple trees resplendent with sweet blossoms, and fields bursting with sunny dandelions. Now dandelions might not make your day, but after leaving mud and snow and grey, they are certainly a welcome sight.
Break up.
For my one week home, I have a myriad things to do. The dentist, whom I saw yesterday. While I have been proclaimed healthy mouthwise, it was not until after my gums were poked and prodded and made to feel like raw liver. Apparently I passed the bleed test. You passed my self control test. Where I wanted to sock you in the eye each time you stabbed that pointy thing in my gums. Fortunately for you, I knew my hand to your eye coordination would be off while you were sitting behind me.
The hair dresser made everything better. At least until I see the GP tomorrow and will likely be told I need to lose weight. Again. Then, a course on Friday and Saturday that I have taken before and have to update.  And the eye doctor on Monday, all the better to see what's lurking in throats, ears and, ick, cervices (cervixes?), with.