Monday, January 31, 2011

Word spreads...

   We live in a town small enough to have no local newspaper or radio station. The way you know what's going on is to talk to people and a whole lot of information sharing goes on. (Most of it is just gossip and one had best be very careful about what one says, because what goes around comes around.) Occasionally there is an actual newsworthy event. This past Friday, Prince Akishino, the second son of Emperor Akihito, and his wife Princess Kiko arrived in our little town by helicopter. It made an interesting case study in how we find out what's going on.
   My first hint that something was up was that 4 policemen were stationed on the road in front of the fanciest hotel in the area. I make a habit of not taking photos of heavily armed men, so I have no photo of them, but they were evenly spaced along the main road. This made us think someone very important was staying there. (When the president of Costa Rica came here several years ago, he was only attended by a few policemen and wandered freely in the crowd.) Next stop was the mini-super where someone said it was the Prince of China. China being a Communist country, that seemed a little unlikely. Getting news purely by word of mouth doesn't guarantee accuracy.
   The next day I was downtown and saw a huge entourage of motorcycle police and cars blocking the main street. I saw a group of Asian people going into my friend Angel's Fauna Glass gift shop. There was a lot of horn honking by people wanting to get down the main street and again talk of the "Prince of China". The prince was accompanied by a fire truck. Seeing a fire truck here is odd since the nearest fire station is an hour and a half drive away; they only come up here to douse the embers of really big fires. Still, it added a certain official festiveness to the scene. Or maybe the prince has a morbid fear of fire?
Next stop was the Chunches book store, where Deb agreed with me that the prince was probably someone from Japan. Or maybe Korea. She told me she had heard a helicopter and had taken her son over to the plaza to check it out. I think they were more interested in seeing the helicopter than seeing important personages.
  At home I searched the internet and found out who it was. Later that afternoon I saw an escort of police motorcycles, many honking cars, and the fire truck blaring its siren as they all went down the main road. That's how I knew the prince and princess only stayed with us one night. Talking to another friend the next day, I learned that her husband, a guard at the hotel, spoke with the Japanese ambassador to Costa Rica and he passed along the news that due to jet lag, the prince awoke and bathed at 4 a.m. and breakfasted at 5. Almost everyone I talk to commented that it would be a drag to be a prince and not have any privacy or be able to go anyplace alone.
  I can't wait to invade the prince's privacy further by talking to Angel and finding out what happened in his shop.


TECHknitter said...

I love the idea of a fire truck entourage. And the prince of China is pretty nifty, too.

Carolina said...

If it had been the prince of China, I guess red would have been the best color for the entourage. I found out the prince is an ornithologist and came here because of that. He only had 3 hours or so to go bird watching in the reserve. I hope he saw a quetzal.