The Wanderer’s Return

thisamericangirl.com

Before we go any further…..these are calves…agreed? Small, appealing manageable creatures….

My return has not been a resounding success.

It was not a good idea to leave Spain with mother on Sunday, travel all day, settle her in, cook a meal, pack and leave at 2.00 am on Monday for the airport.

London Heathrow Terminal 4 was not a good idea either.
Very few service staff in the forecourse and an insistence that the clients use ‘print it yourself’ check in slips.
By the time I had fathomed where to slide in my passport and which way up and had discovered that to swipe a bank card you need to move it in and out of a slot I was in an ill humour…the situation not improved by the multiplicity of staff within the tape bound snake toward the actual check in who seemed to want to see the already swiped passport, and ask damnfool questions about where exactly I was resident.

Once past security the shopping area was fine if you’re a fool who likes to be parted from your money but otherwise distinctly useless….and again overstaffed with ladies in mauve who were quite capable of telling you where to find expensive rubbish and not so hot on telling you where to find the decidedly scarce destination indicators.

It had not been a good idea not to bring sandwiches.
The Caviar House and Prunier stand was just setting up for the day, their staff wearing those absurb black hats that these days denote catering staff whose management has ideas above the quality of their product.
Dining Street resembled a cross between a dilapidated Wimpy and something left over from the Olympics publicity team.
And as for Costa and the poncily named Apostrophe…forget it. One look at the stuff being loaded onto the shelves and the hungriest would renounce eating something that looked as though it had been flung together by primary school children inadequately trained in finger painting.

Not to speak of the prices.
You could easily slim if you had to live in the post security area of Terminal 4.

The flight was fine…if you like being in the middle seat with no way to turn on your reading light when every last idiot in a window seat has pulled down their window blind in order to watch crap on the laughingly called entertainment system.
No other seat with a working reading light available.

Breaking my glasses and losing the important lens was not too hot either.
I had to spend four hours on the connecting flight staring at the map that shows how slowly the plane is approaching the destination and then crowning disaster, picked up the wrong case at the baggage claim.

It was the same colour, it had the same purple through baggage tag….but it was not mine.
A working pair of glasses might have avoided that…

The airline were on the ‘phone as I hit the front door.

I returned, and discovered how easy it would be to blow up the airport.

The airline office is behind the check in desks. Without a question, without control, I toddled in to hand in the bag and to retrieve my own.
Yes, there are security cameras, but there is nothing whatsoever to stop you from dropping into the loo, depositing a bomb in the waste bin and toddling on your merry way again.
Oddly enough, the other party had not claimed the missing case….mine had been discovered forlornly on the caroussel….so goodness only knows what that was about.

I returned home. I had supper. I went to bed.
As I switched on the light there was a noise as if of a herd of elephants bellowing.
Underneath my window.

What the blazes is that?

Ah.

That reply, so small in itself but so pregnant with meaning.

You remember I told you I’d bought some calves?

Yes, I did remember the project being mentioned.

Well, that’s them.

After a night of bellowing and banging about below, morning brought enlightenment.
cattle 005

Five seven month old Brahma crosses, weighing some 200 kilos apiece, testicles still very much attached and missing their mothers.

So far one has escaped via the stream, chased the new neighbour’s horse, charged through his corral upsetting the fire over which he was cooking his mid day soup and returned via the drive taking with him a stand of ornamental gingers.

The new neighbour, far from complaining, helped in the recapture.
It brightened up his day apparently as he is currently living in a horsebox having been thrown out by his wife for losing the contents of his lorry while boozing instead of coming straight home from the feria…and lunch at ours was better than lunch at his.

The Men are busy strengthening the pen….and the sheep are adjusting to the new normality.
cattle 004

I’m not sure that I am though perhaps it is as well that I have returned as apparently the neighbour has opened negotiations with a view to moving into our currently unused pig pen as providing better shelter in the rainy season…..

Left Hand and Right Hand

tropical beach
Now…you’re in the tropics.
It’s warm and you want to take the family to the beach so you pack a picnic, including a cold box for the beer and soft drinks.

You find a wonderful site under the palms, the swimming is safe inshore and you settle down to enjoy yourselves; loungers, sunglasses, a glass of something cold….the only blot on the landscape being the two chaps who’ve set themselves up a bit too close for comfort, smoking and throwing the cigarette butts about.

The police arrive…..you know smoking is illegal in most public places in Costa Rica so you hope that they will tell them to stop.
No…..they don’t.

They have come to tell you you can’t take beer to the beach.

You give up.

Next day you take the family to the fair and bull ring at Zapote, a suburb of San Jose.
In the arena, drunks career about waving their shirts while bewildered bulls do what comes naturally…chase the nuisances.

The Red Cross treat over one hundred idiots injured by goring or trampling….their task complicated by the the idiots’ state of inebriation.
Outside the ring the police arrest fifteen people for smoking in a public place.

Shops are open, people are going to work…but government offices lie silent, awaiting the return of their normal occupants to participate in the ceremony of taking down the creche after January 6th.

One group of people are impatient for the return to governmental work to come about.

Fuel tanker companies have been waiting for more than five months for the Environment Ministry to renew the licences for their vehicles. They have undergone inspection, have brought their fleets up to scratch…..but no licence renewals have been forthcoming and the expiry date is January 31st 2013.

They are seeking to discuss the situation with the appropriate officials…who will not be available until the creche has been dismantled.

No licence renewal, no petrol stations supplied. No transport, private or public.

They have decided that if no early discussions are possible then they will have to take action.
Not blocking the roads to inconvenience the public…but blocking off the Environment Ministry.

It will be interesting to see if the government try to deploy their unpopular riot police again when faced with tough lorry drivers as opposed to health workers……

The only question is:

Should they block the idle sloths out?
Or should they block the idle sloths in?