Friday, April 23, 2010

The adventure of the ladder

Living in another country and trying to figure out how to get things done can be confusing or frustrating at times. One of my rules of thumb for living in Costa Rica is:

The things you think will be easy are hard and the things that you think will be hard are easy.

Here's an example from this week. Our house is varnished wood. The varnish looks pretty when new but requires a lot of maintenance. Every 3 years it gets so black and moldy we want to get it redone. Finding someone to sand it down and revarnish it wasn't hard this time and the part that is done looks great.
Here is the hard part. Our contractor, who just finished building a huge fancy restaurant downtown, doesn't own a ladder. (He just builds scaffolding when he has to get up high but we don't have lumber just laying around.) Our little wooden ladder that a friend built for us isn't long enough to reach the back of our house which is up on pillars because the lot slopes. Good ladders are very expensive here—perhaps double what a similar ladder would be in the States. So after various calls I located a friend with a long ladder who is willing to lend it to us. Whoops, the contractor only has a motorcycle and the friend's house is pretty far away. He suggested that we go and get it. We don't have a car.

Here comes the easy part. I call one of our favorite taxi drivers, Fabio, who drives us there and gets up on the baking hot roof to tie it on.
He spends lots of extra time on the hot roof because he insists on not cutting our long and inexpensive  rope because it would be a shame to waste it. Then drives us home and charges us what he would charge if he just took us to our friend's house.

Birding note: on the way there we saw a Black-breasted Wood Quail fly across the road. They prefer to walk or run, so it was surprising to see one airborne. Fabio backed up try to see it or the rest of the covey but no luck. Sorry, but I don't have a photo of it.

1 comment:

TECHknitter said...

glad you got it all sorted out!