Archive for September, 2008

Books – Real and Virtual

I’ve become a fan of e-books. I found a nice online library where I got Rudy Rucker‘s  latest novel, Postsingular, a breezy, comical adventure with some cool ideas.
It is available at http://manybooks.net along with lots of other interesting looking volumes.

This weekend we went to a used bookstore in Alajuela, Goodlight Books, where I got a history of Costa Rica up to the 1990’s. I got a decent trade-in price for a bunch of my old books as well.


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Rainy Season

Had a pretty good lunch over at Paseo de las Flores mall. The great thing about Costa Rican mall food courts is they always have a couple of places that serve ‘cocina tipica’ that is, typical Costa Rican food. This includes such staples as white rice and black beans, boiled vegetables, and plantains; as well as national dishes like gallo pinto (white rice with black beans), picadillo (boiled vegetables cut up in little cubes) and beef, pork or chicken. Mostly the meat is boiled for long time with vegetables, very tender, with gravy. Vegetables include chayote, squash, carrots, corn, broccoli and green beans. They also have several kinds of salad: green, beet, cabbage, and potato.

It started to rain as I was coming back from the mall. One should always have an umbrella handy when walking outdoors in Costa Rica.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, it was already raining hard. I decided to go to the Mercado, deviating just slightly from the direct route home. Lightning and thunder were flashing and booming pretty close as I waited at the bus stop. I caught the Cenada bus, going downtown.

I got off a little before the last stop at Parque Los Angeles, and the rain was hammering down relentlessly. I put up my umbrella and stepped out into the downpour. I stayed under an overhang for a little while, then sloshed across the street and down the sidewalk to the next overhang. Water was rising over the curb and still it came down in buckets.

Traffic jammed the street, buses and cars honked, thunder cracked, and  the bells of Los Angeles Cathedral started to ring. On the other corner, water rushed down the street like a river a couple of inches deep. Brave people sloshed on across. I wanted to keep my socks dry, so kept waiting for it to let up a bit.

I watched some women pick their way across from the bus stop, keeping their ankles dry in platform shoes. They even managed to get up on the curb without wading. So I ventured out, following their path in reverse. When I got to the corner it seemed the river coming down the hill was crossable. But it was meeting another river coming from up the street, flowing over the sidewalk in front of McDonalds. Fortunately, it wasn’t too deep up on the sidewalk. People with brooms and mops worked to keep the water out of McDonalds and the chicken place on the corner.

I went into the Mas x Menos supermarket (Mas por Menos, owned by Wal-Mart) and bought some candles, since our power was out at home, and a few other things. When I came out, the rain had stopped and the flood had disappeared down the hill. The power was on when I got back home.

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