Snapshot: A Typical Day in Escazú

Friday, May 18th, 2012

I woke up out of a dead sleep – the kind that leaves you feeling drunk. I had the most intense dream(s). We were at the movies with my mom, my childhood friend and her fiance, and their group of friends. It was bizarre to say the least.

I did my morning chores, made brunch (the lazy woman’s term for breakfast too late into the day), then turned on Mad Men. About halfway into the show I hear the neighborhood kids making a fuss outside. They often play in our yard and cross our river, we practice English and Spanish together, it’s cute, but this time something was was different. I look over the balcony to find, to my surprise, a miniature pincher running around inside our fence.

Let me explain where I live: I live in the upper flat of a two story house, built like a fortress, with a fenced backyard. Downstairs is Nicki, an English woman who is our contact’s assistant (very convenient for us). She’s very nice, awesome really, and we usually keep our respective doors open so the cats can hang out.  Nicki is gone for the weekend so I’m in charge of the cats.

Mouse was going NUTS over the dog in the yard. Nicki always leaves the bedroom door slightly open so they can go in and out as they please and given we have a new kitten I was a little on edge.

I went outside, the dog seemed harmless and just curious. Actually, he was scared and shaking frantically until he smelled the cats through the open door. I explained, poorly, to the kids that there were “dos gatos” inside. The little girl was so excited she repeated the phrase in a whisper to no one in particular. I’m always going to remember her when I think of Costa Rica.

I grabbed the dog once, thinking I would put him over the fence, or through it, but I quickly realized that he was too fat to be forced through the fence and the fence was too tall. Plan B. I opened the front door, Mouse ran out, I opened the back door and tried again to grab the wriggly guy. Much chasing later I picked him up and took him out the front. Crisis averted – I thought.

With Mouse outside, and he never roams far from the house, the dog decided to chase Mouse around the neighbor’s house then up a tree. Other neighborhood dogs were involved at this point. Poor Mouse, up in the tree screaming, just stared at me like it was my fault and I needed to fix it. The little girl was so worried about him. She talked to him, now knowing his name, and tried to rescue him from the tree. It was hopeless of course, but she was so genuine.

In true Mouse fashion, he saw an opening and bolted. I tried to express that the kids cannot play in this yard, the house is currently empty and the landlord would not approve (we already let neighbors take mangoes from our yard, something I know she did not like when she lived here). As we made our way through the unkempt yard, the little girl looked so anxious and said Mouse’s name. She was worried about him.

Mouse was fine, aside from being incredibly pissed off, and I tried to express that he was ok. Mouse could have kicked that dog’s butt anyway. Over the next hour the dog ran back and forth through the fence, somehow squeezing through, and the kids finally got the hint that they should take “Golfy” home.

Poor Mouse hasn’t left the kitchen table since.

Just a typical day in Escazú.

– Jes


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