(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.)
Thursday, August 30
I love my AirPods.
Apple’s wireless ear buds changed the way I listen to music and podcasts, probably quadrupling my consumption and providing endless diversion, whether I’m plodding along the streets of Athens with my aging great Pyrenees or bouncing along the beaches of Uvita en route to he Whale’s Tail.
But in some previous life, I apparently pissed off Neptune, and he sent one of his minions to this mortal realm to exact his vengeance upon me: the clothes washer.
I was getting ready to go down to the kitchen/bar area last night to write and read, gathering up the assorted paraphernalia required for that: iPhone, laptop, flashlight, water bottle and AirPods. The water was off again most of the afternoon, so I also stripped the bed and and gathered up my dirty clothes to do laundry now that it had been restored.
I’ve already had one unfortunate encounter that started this way. Back in Ohio, I managed to wash my iPhone, and despite thinking I’d delivered a death blow, a bag of rice, prayers to iPhone Jesus and several days of rest resuscitated it, though it’s a tad punch-drunk.
This time I’m not as hopeful. I’m not sure how the AirPods ended up in the washing machine with my laundry, but my best guess is I set them on the bed and when I gathered up the sheets I didn’t notice the white AirPod case sitting there. I found them when I went to move the laundry to the dryer.
I unleashed a bilingual stream of expletives (the only sense, sadly, in which I am bilingual). I cursed the washing machine. I slapped myself upside the head. And I hurled abuse at Neptune, that watery Roman bastard who was the agent of my demise.
OK. I’m being dramatic. But I loved those AirPods. You don’t realize what a pain in the ass it is being tethered to your phone while listening to music until you aren’t fighting with that stupid wire.
So I did the only thing I reasonable person would do in this situation. I got out a bag of rice. Googled around for other AirPod resurrection stories (there are several, but there also are heartbreaking tales of death by drowning), and I beseeched AirPod Jesus (and the Buddha and Allah and every other god I could think to invoke) to grant me one more miracle.
After a few days in the rice, I’ll see if my prayers are answered. If not, I was pessimistic enough to assume something might happen to my beloved AirPods and packed a backup pair of wired Apple ear buds just in case.
As I write this morning, I’m nursing more blisters, this time on the bottoms of both feet. I went on a rambling walk yesterday, stopping at the grocery store, the farmer’s market, the beach and a little breakfast place that turned out to be ho-hum but had wireless. Lots of dirt roads. Lots of rocky, uneven surfaces. About 6 miles worth. But no regrets. Those blisters will heal.
I did see lots of cool wildlife, including:
- The largest iguana I’ve ever seen, sunning itself on the gravel parking area here at PurVita. After admiring him from a distance, I went up to the kitchen to cut up papaya and had a thought: Maybe Mr. Iguana would like a chunk of papaya. So I took a piece and walked toward him, intending to toss it off to the side to see if he’d show any interest. He freaked, thrashing off loudly through the fruit trees, thudding against the side of the building in an attempt to climb it and ricocheting back across the lot through the pineapple plants to safety. I’m really hoping I didn’t run him off for good. He was a gorgeous, Rolling-Rock-bottle green. In researching him, I’m pretty certain he was a green iguana, and apparently he wasn’t full grown. They get up to 6 feet and as they get older that brilliant green dulls, a process that already was under way.
- When I exited the Treehouse in the morning, I noticed some sort of chewed up, or perhaps digested, berries scattered on the deck right outside the door. I looked up and saw a bat bedded down for the day. He was about 10 feet above me and hunkered, so I couldn’t see him well enough for an ID, but I’m guessing he was a long-nosed bat or maybe Pallas’ nectar bat. Leaning toward the former.
- And the usual suspects. The yellow flycatchers have grown accustomed to me, completely unfazed when I walk by whistling at them. I love watching their acrobatics as they grab insects mid-flight. Howler monkeys mourned last night’s sunset and celebrated this morning’s sunrise. An agouti scampered across the driveway. And I spent time watching my favorite gecko hunt bugs on the sliding screen door. At night I often hear him chirping as I drift off to sleep.
Yesterday marked my two-week anniversary here (Hace dos semanas que yo llego in Costa Rica). It’s been fantastic. I’m learning tons of new things and feeling very productive for someone who spends his days reading books in a hammock. Last night, after two previous evenings of deluge, there was no rain so I hiked up to the shack for evening vespers. It was a subdued sunset but beautiful nonetheless. And it was cool to see the Whale’s Tail at high tide from this vantage after having walked it the other day at low tide. As the bats took flight, I wondered if one of them was my new roommate.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti …