Rolling with the punches in Costa Rica

My MacBook Air goes down….

In Costa Rica, like most developing countries, things happen at a slower pace.  Many countries have a phrase to convey the easy-going attitude of the locals, such as “Hakuna Matata” in Tanzania or “No problem” in Jamaica.  Costa Rica has its own phrase, “Pura Vida” which literally translates to Pure Life.  It is usually a term used to convey a positive sentiment such as “Have a good day” or “Today is a great day”.  I usually hear Ticos use the term at the end of a conversation, but it can be used at the start also.

Over the last few weeks, our “Pura Vida” attitude has been put to the test.  Earlier this month, my beloved MacBook Air died. It completely shut down during routine use.  I could not get it to even blink when I turned on the power button one gazillion times.  I will be the first to admit that I have inappropriate feelings for that computer.  I think I actually do love it.  After chatting with Apple support and trying a few unsuccessful clicks of the keyboard, the Apple guy told me I had to take it in to the nearest Apple store.  Our nearest Apple distributor, iCon, is a 5 hour bus ride away in San Jose.  We actually made the trip to San Jose on the way back from our vacation in Dominical, but when we got to the iCon store, the MacBook Air functioned perfectly.  So I brought it back home with me only to have it die again the next day!  Note to self…..

Fortunately, our landlady, Ana Victoria, lives in San Jose part of the time.  So she was able to take the computer in to the iCon store.  While I was waiting for it to be repaired, I used my iPhone for email and social media endeavors (i.e., tweeting with my friends).  I blogged from Chris’s MacBook Pro or his iPAD, which I hated until he got the BlogPad Pro app.

I am reunited with my MacBook Air…

After two weeks, the MacBook Air was ready for pick up.  Ana Victoria had a trip back up to Monteverde a few days after it was fixed and she was able to bring it up.  Had it not been for her,  I would have needed to make two 10 hour-round trip bus rides to San Jose.  And by that I mean that I would have actually sent Chris to get my MacBook Air.

If my MacBook Air had died while we were still living in San Antonio, the process would have been totally different.  I would have taken a 5-minute drive to the Shops at la Cantera, where I would have dropped it off at the Apple Store.  I probably would have snuck in some Orange Cup yogurt and done some browsing at Williams-Sonoma while I was there.  I would have had the order expedited and I bet I would have had my MacBook Air back within 48 hours. And I bet I would have been agonizing about my computer that whole time.

The Internet goes down….

Our patience was also put to the test last week when the Internet went down.  I went running up to the Monteverde Biological Reserve like I do every Monday and came across a phone pole that had fallen.  It was blocking the main road so there were men working on it even though it was about 6:30 am.  I did not think much of it until I got home from my run and Chris said the Internet wasn’t working.  Our Wi-Fi comes in through the phone line.  Yikes!  Two weeks earlier the situation would not have been a big deal, but he had a work deadline he had to meet and needed Internet to access the documents he needed to review.

Had this happened back during our old life, one of us would have called the phone company and demanded they fix the problem immediately.  And I certainly cannot remember a time since 1995 that the Internet was down for more than a few minutes in any city I have lived in the USA.  After all, we cannot function without Internet….. Here, Chris went down to Choco-Cafe, a coffee shop in Santa Elena that had not been affected by the felled phone pole, and worked from there.  The Internet was still down the next day so Chris went down to the coffee shop again. Hakuna Matata.  No problem.  Pura Vida!

It is totally worth it…

This week marks a joyous occasion for me because I got my MacBook Air back this weekend and our Internet is fully functional.  So expect some great blogging this week. By the way, my landlady owns Sky Adventures, so please visit them if you are ever in the Monteverde area.  They have the fastest zip line here!

I personally would not trade my life right now for the comforts of living in a large city in an industrialized nation.  I love my small town life in the highlands of Costa Rica.  Even though it takes 3 weeks to get a computer fixed and 2 days to fix the telephone lines.  I would not change it for the world.

Pura Vida!

About Noemi Gamel

Noemi Gamel is a physician who prefers writing diverse children's fantasy stories instead of medical charts. She is a geeky nomad, too.
This entry was posted in Becoming an Expat, Living in Costa Rica, Living in Monteverde/Santa Elena and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rolling with the punches in Costa Rica

  1. Pingback: Lessons Learned From Moving to Another Country | Pura Vida Familia

  2. Pingback: Reflections on Easing the Transition to Becoming An Expat | Pura Vida Familia

  3. Pingback: What Does the Expat Need to Do to Ease the Transition? | Pura Vida Familia

  4. Pingback: What Does Pura Vida Mean? | Pura Vida Familia

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