Getting to know the neighbours..

It’s not often that one’s first neighbourly encounter involves an invite to join a full family outing to the local supermarket..

But it was a kind and welcome one, not least because the nearest proper one is about 20 minutes walk, and car-less as I currently am, the prospect of lugging a week’s worth of groceries plus mop back in 28 degrees did not fill me with joy.

The first stage of neighbourly bonding occurred in the fruit & veg section (far more exotic than your average Tesco), prodding mangos. $1 for a kilo! The second in the meat section, where we had a lively discussion about the merits of various cuts. Most meat is grass fed here; and happy cows frolicking in the sunshine make far tastier dinners..

But I digress. Jenny and Eladio, and their two delightful kids, Elgar and Camilla, live in the house on the other side of the pool, opposite me. Eladio sports a fine tattoo and manages a construction company. He is also a spectacular cook and a generous provider of rum and coke, as I discovered on my first Sunday, when they invited me over for lunch. The kids have recently adopted a couple of abandoned baby parrots, which sit on your finger and hang on for dear life with their little beaks.. Very sweet. They will add even more colour, life (and squawking) to our little oasis.

For a small space, there is quite a concentration of Elgars.  Eladio’s brother, Elgar (big version) lives in the other corner of the quadrangle with wife and 2 kids. He speaks English, or rather words, to/at me. ‘Swimming!’ Si. ‘Running!’. Si. ‘Nice day!’. Yep.  I think we need to expand our repertoire somewhat.  His wife Magela spends a lot of time floating on a plastic lilo in the pool.

Finally, next door, the daughter of the local recycling impresario, Illeana, and her small, hairy dog, Fiona. Must be hot with all that hair. Thanks to her impresario status we now have a fully comprehensive recycling set up for all household waste.

No pics of the neighbours yet. This ‘getting to know’ stuff takes time.Costa Rican families are friendly, but tight knit and conservative.

Along with my contract, I had also to sign a ‘Codiga de Convivencia’ (Code of Communal Living). This stipulates, among other things, ‘no immoral behaviour, nakedness, drugs, religious cults, or unseemly behaviour etc.’ And the bit that really distresses me: ‘no Mariachi bands after 10pm’.

However, signs of tattoos, rum and loud music (Queen and Bob Marley even!) suggest that my neighbours have potential..


3 responses to this post.

  1. Costa Kings Road v. Costa Coffee…. my neighbour – bill – has tattoos and is a bin man for kensington and chelsea; 3x barking and shitting mutts on our cul de sac; a pigeon racer plus assorted flying rats; a deficeit of mariachi bands…and no royal wedding party due to health and safety….lilo and pool still some way off but we do a nice line in open topped BMWs…oh yes and thank goodness no one wants to go to Waitrose with me to inspect the tofu…..x


  2. M – tofu trips are very personal ones. I am glad you have that time to yourself. Have you ever got up close enough to see what the tattoos look like?


  3. Posted by Nick on April 27, 2011 at 5:04 am

    That absence of naked relgious cults is going to wear after a bit, surely?


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