And San Jose abounds in fibre glass reindeer and inflatable santas to add to the perils of the streets.
The lights have been switched on at the tree outside the Hopital de Ninos and the municipality has declared war on unauthorised street vendors.
It seems to have worried the municipality that the street vendors have encroached on the muni’s prerogative by hiring out sites to each other, the contract assured by a few heavies, as opposed to the muni’s system of licensing street sellers and sending the police to chase the others who just nip round the corner and come back when the police have given up.
My money is not on the muni.
Christmas music has taken over in the supermarkets….and the decorations are going up in the three valleys.
And very nice they are too though they cannot – could not – rival those of the area where I used to live in France; I reckon that it could have been seen from space over the Christmas period though unknown to the world and to GPS at all other times.
One item catches my eye each time I pass.
A Santa Claus, all white beard and whisker on the red oval background.
I know things about that santa which cannot be revealed to its proud owner.
Some time back I was visiting my mother before Christmas as part of those ‘let’s see if the house in France has been taken over by squatters’ trips.
She was sorting out her Christmas card and present list and held out to me in some annoyance the item which now adorns a door in the three valleys.
Hilda won it in a raffle for the blind and passed it on to me! What does she think I’m going to do with it!
Well if you don’t want it….
I certainly don’t!
Then it will come in handy for wrapping up this bottle of port I’m taking back.
And so it did.
The port emerged from the suitcase unscathed – as I had not passed through U.S.A. airports with their Fagin trained baggage handlers – and I laid the wrapper aside for disposal.
The next day the woman who mucks us out each week came for her regular session which has The Men heading for the hills and the dogs lying low under the balcony while mops are flourished and dusters deployed.
She saw the wrapper and asked if she could have it.
Of course she could.
After all, what was I going to do with a festive loo seat cover?
But I still feel vaguely guilty as I pass the house…..
Needless to say, The Neighbour (some of whose history is available on the page just under the header) has decided to contribute to the Christmas spirit.
He has let it be known that in his view we are responsible for the ruination of local solidarity – that is, his reign of terror – and that he expects every Costa Rican to do their duty and ostracise us until we move out.
And if any Costa Rican does not then he will take measures to encourage them: he will kill off their cattle, poison their dogs and take a machete to anyone he encounters when there are no witnesses.
Clearly a conviction politician.
We don’t know everyone on our road….though we know a lot of people after the mess made of the water distribution by the people behind The Neighbour….
We are not universally liked by those we do know….the ‘soy pobre’s (I’m poor) who think we should give them plantains rather than sell them.
As I’ve said to a number of them…they have plenty of land to plant their own plantains, to sow beans and maize….and if they can’t be bothered, that’s their problem.
I’m not a charity for the idle.
The Neighbour is, I think, at his last throw of the dice.
Thanks to new laws and the courts his power as a sort of witchdoctor is in sad decline….people have seen that he can be taken on.
So now he goes for the race card…..and he will have some success.
But I think I can live with being ostracised by idiots….I’ve had that all my life.