Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Price to fix my phone/internet line-???????
The rain is here and the once peaceful skies have transformed into a stormy battlefield. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but even the shape of the clouds look menacing: dragons and daggers pierced by fierce bolts of lightning. It casts a shade of gray on everything below; it’s easy to want to hunker down and stay inside.
Along with the bad weather come a number of unpredictable issues. I have no phone or internet and the prospects of getting it fixed anytime soon looks unlikely. The phone company (which is also the internet and electric company in most areas of Costa Rica) claims their line is good. I foresee many trips to the internet café and the phone company’s office in the future.
I’m used to having high speed internet and enjoy the ease of searching, streaming, and downloading. It keeps me connected to my family, friends, and ties me to the rest of the world. High speed internet also charges up my nervous system in an artificial, virtual way. I can tell that I’m often happier when I am off-line. Although my mind is racing on the computer, my body remains stiff and immobile. My internet might be DSL, but my exercise level is dial-up. It’s easy to fall into this trap, living more of a virtual world than an actual one.
Now that I’m not distracted by the internet, I’ve been looking outside my window more. I count the monkeys and realize there are many more babies than a few weeks ago. Some are so small they have yet to learn how to climb the branches, clinging to their moms while watching their siblings hang upside down. It appears that the rainy season is the time of year many animals give birth.
We decide to take a drive out of our flooding development and pass a field where many baby horses stand alongside their moms. They’re brand new, their spindly legs barely able to bear the weight of their body. Baby calves are not far away, their large black eyes out of proportion with their smaller heads. They’re sniffing the fresh air and staring at us with amusement.
My husband and I take this moment to pull over and watch as the animals eat the overgrown grass. Suddenly, one of the horses gallops away from the others and runs across the field. He stops a quarter of a mile away and stands against the misting wind. He doesn’t seem to mind the rain, the mud, or the couple parked along the road watching him. His life is about occasional bursts of speed, eating grass under his feet, and finding a nice companion to enjoy a romantic interlude. He runs because he loves to run, and something inside urged him to move from the pack at that moment. We all have something inside us that we love to do. If we look to nature we may decide to keep it simple. Perhaps humans have started to evolve beyond the point of bettering our lives and more towards complicating them.
We come back home and check the phone. Nothing. I turn on the faucet to wash my hands and find we don’t have water either. It’s an interesting thing to come back to one’s home to find you have lost more utilities than you had before setting out. It’s also ironic that there is enough water around me to float a Carnival Cruise ship, but none to take a shower.
I make a cup of coffee with the remaining water I have in the refrigerator and set my chair out on the terrace. A baby monkey wraps her tail around a branch for balance. She’s testing out her first independent steps under the watchful eyes of her mother.
I’m always learning something new here; whether it be having more patience when losing utilities or taking more time to notice the baby animals on an ordinary drive through the countryside. There is a good reason the Costa Ricans use the phrase Pura Vida as not only a greeting, but also to mean relax and go with the flow. Many things may be unpredictable here, but staying present and observing the small surprises that fill the day is the perfect way to staying happy even in the most challenging circumstances. It turns out the rainy season is pretty amazing, even without a phone line and running water.
I finish my cup of coffee while watching the baby monkey swing back and forth; her joyful play makes me want to go zip-lining. If I can’t have my speedy internet, I can at least fly through the canopy attached to a steel cable. I love the feeling of dashing through the air, the occasional burst of speed that makes life worth living. And like the galloping horse, I’ll be sure to point my face into the misty wind.