Archive for the ‘health’ Category


I’d seen this odd looking fruit in the grocery store a few times and was intrigued. It looked like a cross between a pineapple and an entire branch of bananas. Ileana said she’d tried it once and it wasn’t good, but eventually, we asked the produce guy and he said it was good. The ones on display that evening looked nice and ripe, and the grocer confirmed it.

Pitahaya fruit

Pitahaya fruit

We took it home and cut it in half. Inside was translucent with a bunch of little seeds, like black sesame seeds but more crunchy and less oily.

Pitahaya inside

Pitahaya inside

We scooped it out with a spoon and ate it. It was really good, sweet like a berry or a kiwi, but with much less acidity.

Then, today, Boing Boing had an article about something really similar:

Their review wasn’t so great, said the flavor was bland, but you know how difficult it is to get really good fruit. You have be in the right season at the right time.

We have just arrived in cantaloupe season here now. Finally!


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This sounds like a place I could live:


Grow crops, enjoy life, get ready for winter. Buy a raccoon carcass from a truck driver (feeds a family of four for $12).

I like the part about no protests at city hall, because everyone knows city hall won’t do anything, unlike in other cities, where city hall will not only listen to protesters, they will also thwart people who want to do interesting things, like build a two-story beehive.

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Last weekend I went to the party at Diego’s, after the dentist, like I said. The dentist wasn’t too bad, but I had to cut it short after she drilled on three teeth without anesthetic. We were going to go for five, but I was getting stressed out. Maybe next time I’ll ask about novacaine or lidocaine, whatever they use here. Ily says most people don’t get anesthetic for minor drilling, only gringos seem to need this. It’s too expensive for Ticos, she says. I’m going back Saturday, and for many foreseeable Saturdays, until my teeth are sufficiently perfect.

But then, I’m wondering, why is it so easy to go to the pharmacy and get a shot of muscle relaxant when your back hurts? You don’t need a prescription, just an honest face and a few Colones, and it’s really cheap, and really works.

Anyway, I guess the benefit is that I could eat afterwards without fear of biting myself, so that made Diego’s chanchada barbeque more fun. I had a couple of Costa Rican beers (Bavaria Gold, the best in my opinion) ate some beef and salchichon, and sang and played Rock Band, for the first time.

I played drums on Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill (does anyone remember when BK played at PG High?) and then I sang Carry on My Wayward Son, by Kansas, to everyone’s enduring surprise, since I’m pretty quiet at work, and also pretty old (even somewhat stodgy, perhaps).

I just got email encouraging us to wear shorts, t-shirts and sandals to work tomorrow (just don’t overdo it, whatever that means). I’m going to look ridiculous wearing my coat with that outfit when I ride the bus in the morning. Maybe I’ll skip the shorts. Or the whole thing altogether, in keeping with my usually stodgy attire and demeanor.

Over in San José, they are going to build a new stadium in a section of the big Sabana park where there is just an empty grass field right now. The Chinese government is funding it. For awhile, it looked like it might not happen, since someone raised a doubt about its Constitutionality, saying the park was meant to be enjoyed as open space in the city, something there is mighty little of around here. The Constitutional Court, Sala IV, said it was fine to go ahead.

Now, Chinese workers are coming from China to actually build it. Not every Tico worker is happy about this. It seems kind of ironic to me, a gringo working at an offshore American company. But then I’m one of the people who thought they should just keep using the Ricardo Saprissa stadium they have in Tibas. Maybe someone thinks moving the stadium from the sketchy, crime-ridden neighborhood of Tibas to the more safe La Sabana area will make the soccer games more civilized.  I’m guessing it will make La Sabana less so.

I took some pictures with my phone on my way home from work yesterday.


Downtown Heredia elementary school

Downtown Heredia elementary school


I took a few photos with my phone on the way home this evening. It was rush hour and the sunlight was coming in straight sideways from the west. Even though there were a lot of people around, and Ily always tells me to be careful with my valuables since I attract attention as a gringo, I felt okay about taking these pictures. My phone is not really valuable except as a phone, and it takes bad pictures. I took these photos in the middle of the city at rush hour, and no one even noticed. Maybe I’ll try it again.

I like the one of the billboard best. The tattered shred of image left at the top, with the advertisement for billboard’s availability underneath.

It speaks for itself. That is the wonderful thing about images.

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I’m soaking now in warmish rain, down by the coast in Puntarenas.
We are at a big ClubMed-style place with wrist-bands and everything included (except internet), with Ilys mom and step dad. My punctuation is weird due to the Spanish keyboard. I’m paying $4 an hour for this connection, in town it is $1.

Food is great and cheap everywhere. Plants with exotic fruit grow everywhere, more lush than Hawaii. Coffee Trees too. It rains everyday, wherever we are.
The beach has a nice churning coffee-colored surf. Someone died in it the day we arrived. The guy who died saved a baby.

Heredia, where I live with Ily, is a beautiful small city, 3 hours by bus from this beach (1 hr by car). There is a cafe near the university that is really nice, and a bunch of other nice places as well. Also near the college I saw a line of leaf-cutter ants, called Sompopas. I need to look closer to see how they carry the leaves. Ileana tells me at this moment that they are sweet and delicious, but not many people eat them.

Since arriving, Ive been adjusting slowly, quelling my feeling of disorientation by eating and sleeping quite a bit more than usual. Today I went to the gym in this complex (my first time in any gym) and I feel much better. I’m going to start going to the Palacio de los Deportes in Heredia on a regular basis. I’m going urban!

This started as an email to Arthur that I recycled into my blog, I don’t know if that is cheating or just efficiency.  Repurposing, that is the word I was trying to think of from my corporate days.

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