Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Erin Go Bragh-Less! The day after...

Top o' the mornin' to all you leprechauns out there still dancing a jig, or perhaps hiding under a shamrock recovering from too much exuberant jig dancing and green beer drinking. All that food coloring can't be too good for you, the rest of it aside... Who would have guessed that we could find a really good corned beef dinner complete with bagpipes and enthusiastic wearin' o' the green right here in the rainforest? Okay, not so rainy forest, but it was steamy all the same and green was the dominant color of the day tho the Irish Knit everything was conspicuously absent. Yes, Outback Jacks on the not so beautiful beach of Brasilito, one beach over from us, home of the infamous "Bye Bye de Bush" party, was the scene of some serious celebrating of all things Irish! I am not sure the Ticos knew what to make of it all on a Tuesday night, as they seemed to be watching with great curiosity as the distinctly non-Latino music and green haired revelers spilled out into the tropical night. Perhaps with time they, too, will become Irish by injection or simply adopt the enthusiasm for one day like the rest of Americans do.

For my kids it was perhaps the most enthusiastic wearin' o' the green I have ever witnessed as it meant a reprieve from their school uniforms. Isaiah even wore a green furry wig we brought back from Jordan's Bat Mitzvah! Christiana laid her Aunt Erin's age old lament to rest, perhaps, by wearin' Micah's shamrock boxers, yes, over a pair of spandex shorts after her father raised his eyebrows. Every year me Mum would hang the Erin Go Bragh paper shamrock in the cottage window to mark the 17th of March and she, in all her infinite young wisdom, would say with great embarassment, "Why don't you put Mark Go Underwear?" in response to yet one more excuse for said brother Mark to tease her endlessly as brothers are wont to do. So Christiana did the Go Underwear part for her Aunt anyway...

Meanwhile, back at Outback Jack's, where the sands were jumping... We invited our Irish neighbor Eileen to join us and discovered her talent for singing and bravery! They had a German sounding Karaoke singer who alternately entertained us when the poor bagpiper stopped blowing and marching around for a much deserved water break, kilts, sporran, and knee socks not exactly being tropical wear. Eileen got her New York Chutzpah and her Irish up and decided after listening to the singer butcher "Killing Me Softly" that we needed a song from the Motherland. She convinced the brazen imposter to relinquish her grip on the mike and sang "Tu-ra-lu-ra-lu-ra" acapella, there being a sad omission of Irish ballads on the karaoke selection! We all sang along while Eileen rocked Outback Jacks and their wasn't a dry smilin' Irish eye in the house! And she didn't even need the "mas fuerte" of turtle egg eating to do it! I am sure even the crabs stopped their incessant scuttling around the beach to hear the unfamiliar melody of her clear Irish lilt as it met their tiny ears on the warm breeze!

Back to the bagpiper, chilling in the corner. Turns out to add to his potential for heatstroke, that he hails from Alaska! I forgot to ask if he departed for greener shores because of their governer... He has been living in Panama for several months now and in his travels he somehow abandoned his bagpipes in Peru! So the owners of Outback Jacks actually flew to Lima to retrieve them so he could play and sweat for us all! Talk about an international affair and an admirable dedication to the saint known as Patrick. Surely they deserve some sort of honorary mention by the Ancient Order of Hibernians when they put their mugs down! And all so they could sell green beer and corned beef, which by the way, I have no idea where they got! Perhaps the corned beef capital of the world, Peru?

And speaking of cojones, the ocean water is finally clearing and warming up. Perhaps St. Patrick has done his thing here too as the sea snakes seem to have headed for other waters. So I strapped some on and started to whip my typing arms into shape with ocean swimming! One day in the school pool where my teeth got whiter convinced me that I don't need the monotony and chemicals it affords. So I am swallowing my apprehensions and swimming along the shores of Playa Conchal, snakes and sharks be damned! (See photo) Easy to say from this distance... I started on Monday and was about 2/3 of the way down the sunny shoreline, just about to start patting myself on the back in between strokes for my bravery, even tho I only stayed in water deep enough to pull my hand through without hitting bottom, like you used to do when learning to swim, "Look Mom, I'm swimming!" while your hands groped for the next sandy perch. When what did I spot just ahead? Why, a group of folks all gathered near the water's edge, pointing into the water. Damn. So I got out and they managed to convey to me in Farsi and a little Spanish and sign language and ultimately by drawing with a stick in the sand (!) that they were looking at a snake in the water. We went through the whole range of communication once more to determine that it was not yellow and black, like the deadly sea snake, but brown and white and mostly because the lovely serpent then consented to be washed in with the next wave I saw that it was, indeed, one of the beautiful brown spotted eels that are sometimes in the shallows.

So I assured them it was "muis simpatico", deferring to my "expertise" in our common language, and tried to be a poster child for cojones and encourage them not to beat it to death with their sticks by diving in just past its wiggling form and praying it would stay close to the bottom, swimming along my merry way thinking what a good example I was setting but also unable to get my wandering mind off sea snakes and how even tho their venom will kill you in a few mere minutes, they have such tiny mouths they could probably only bite you on an ear lobe or in the webs between your fingers, then putting that exact part of my body into the water blindly ahead of me... Thinking too of how Micah and I were walking the sea snake-laden beach just last Friday, no more than three days prior, when we risked our very lives with a stick and a t-shirt to toss one back into the water in an attempt to "rescue" it and to see how they look in their watery home. Because even if it is against your better judgment to perform such a "humanitarian" gesture, if your teenage son gets it in his head to move a highly poisonous snake you are bound to stop protesting eventually and help out at some point if he persists in proceeding. And sure enough, before the snake managed to get itself back to the warmth of the sand where apparently they were intentionally heading to escape the cold water, we observed that they do, indeed, swim on the surface and are very visible if you are looking from above, like from the safety of the sandy shore as opposed to at eye level. I tried to swim with my fingers locked a bit more tightly together and perhaps I exited the water soon after that thought, just shy of my intended destination, where I looked back and saw the Farsi speakers still pointing en masse and waving their sticks at the poor spotted eel.

I walked the rest of the beach sneezing all the way as even this salt water seems to have that affect on my damned sinuses. There have been 2 huge belted kingfishers plying the waters for food there lately and I watched them do their thing in between sneezes, not exactly able to sneak up on them and probably scaring them and their intended dinners to death with my explosions. I kept hearing things in the tree-lined shore and thought someone was following me. The snake god? Would he thank me or consign me to some horrible fate? Had I done more good than harm or vice versa? Finally I was hit on the head with an empty fluttering seed pod and realized the sound was coming from the trees themselves, as their hanging seed pods were popping open and releasing their seeds to the waiting warmth of the ground below. Another "aha" moment brought to you by Mother Nature. Time to get my littlest leprechaun off to school...

1 comment:

  1. hey family!

    its jordan here and i am missing u so very much! i cannot wait to see y'all in June or August or whenever i am supposed to (not really sure haha)! everything is good here and we are having sweet weather! finally its spring! well.....i am offically a "follower" of ur blog and i will keep postin ya stuff!

    Love u and miss u a TON!