With all the selling of trout we're doing these days, Kevin decided to buy larger scales. He ordered two (one for us and one to give to Martin as a gift). The package was sent from the U.S. and we received a notification on Thursday (hand-delivered by our postman). We discovered that we had to drive to San Jose to the central post office to pick the scales up. We thought this was a little unusual since we've ordered other items from the States before and only had to drive as far as San Marcos to pick them up. Not this time.
So, we ventured out early on Friday morning and drove to San Jose. We found the central post office without too much trouble, parked the car and walked to where we thought we'd be picking up the package. Apparently, our package had to be picked up at the customs office. The kind gentleman pointed to the gate where we had to go.
At the gate, another man asked us for our residency card number and for us to sign in. He then told us to walk through the gated area, down the sidewalk and through the door on the left, a few blocks down. We did as instructed. The woman at the door asked if we were there to pick up a package and we said we were. With a quick scan of the room, we noticed there were three distinct sections with signs that read "posición #1", "posición #2", and "posición #3". The woman guided us to the area that was clearly "posición #1" and told us to have a seat and wait our turn.
We waited, hoping the three sections were designated for separate reasons. As is the custom, we sat in a row of chairs, and as the next person went up to the counter to be served, each of us got up and moved over one spot. This process brought back memories to when we first arrived to Costa Rica four years ago and it seemed like every appointment we had went something like this. We had forgotten the process still holds fast.
After being seen by the man at "posición #1", he told us to wait for Kevin's name to be called in the ""posición #2" area. So we sat and waited. We were called up and different man checked Kevin's invoice, opened the package to check the items were indeed as stated on the invoice, and calculated the duty to be paid. Once he had calculated the fee, we had to then go pay it at the bank teller down the hall. Once paid, we brought the receipt back to the man (thank goodness we didn't have to wait all over again... we were allowed to go straight up to the counter). He checked that all was in order and told us to go wait in the "posición #3" area for our parcel.
As we were waiting to be called up to pick up the package, I couldn't help notice that there was a young lady who walked from "posición #2" area to "posición #3" delivering each parcel -- one by one. I can only assume this convoluted process is a means to create employment. And maybe it reduces the possibility of corruption? No one person is responsible for an entire transaction, making it impossible to buck the system. It's possible.
After a good chuckle, we were reminded that living in Costa Rica still has its lovely little quirks in the balance of everyday life: these scales will surely be useful in the end.
Yesterday, as I was reading outside, I heard a squeak. I saw a baby hummingbird on the ground. As I approached, he tried to fly. He flew only a few feet away, but managed to get up onto the herb garden wall. He looked a little stunned... it seemed like his wing might have been hurt or maybe he had fallen out of the nest and was still wobbly. He then flew up to one of the aloe vera branches. He was holding on for dear life, chirping and squealing, opening his little mouth as if waiting for his mother to feed him. It was heartbreaking. I didn't know what to do. I showed Kevin and he gave him some water, then set him down under a bush, allowing him to rest and catch his breath (grasping a branch takes a lot of energy). We wanted the little hummingbird to have a chance to call out to his mother and maybe all would end well. He was quite weak, but one never knows. Sadly, an hour later, Kevin went to check on him and he had lost the battle. It never stops being sad. We always feel the loss.
Receive our blog
in your email inbox!
Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!