It’s pretty abnormal just trying to get back to normal

Once again I have rediscovered a phenomenon that can’t just apply to me. That is that it is easier to adjust to a vacation or travel mode than it is to readjust to life as usual.

Way back in May my dear friend Ellen came to visit me. We had not seen one another in years, and since Ellen is a sun-and-sea lover, I made reservations at the remarkably charming hotel Alma del Pacifico.

How easy and quickly we changed into beach wear, walked through the grounds and smiled at the delightful murals done by the wife of the husband and wife team who designed and built the hotel. A walk along the beach and a game of Scrabble — it was as if we had been doing this sort of thing for years. Then I got sick, and it came to an end.

Hospital life is not difficult to adjust to mechanically: You do what you are told, and, if you are sick enough, you obey without question.

By the time I got back home, Ellen had left, having had, in my opinion, a vacation from Hell. After a four-day bed stay, I looked around my empty but clean apartment (it was obvious how Ellen had spent her time), trying to remember what my daily routine was, or if I even had one. I turned on the TV, which I had not looked at in nearly two weeks, and discovered that good old Tigo had CNN frozen framed once again. Oh, well, if it starts moving, the anchors will just be repeating the breaking news from last Thursday.

I turned on my computer to discover I had 6,092 messages. I searched for anything that looked personal and then turned it off. I couldn’t face news about the civil war in Syria (haven’t we learned yet that civil wars are the bloodiest wars of all and outsiders get involved at their own peril?). I am tired of hearing about the corruption in politics, the worsening health of the world at large, the demise of the environment, the rising crime, and even the feverish offers to make me smarter, richer, healthier, or better known on the Web.

I am happy to know that I am not a voice in the wilderness suggesting that maybe corporate agriculture and the changes in our food supply and how it is grown, and not just our really bad personal habits are also contributing to making us sicker and fatter.

Chopping onions and making soup helped to anchor me a bit, but I still feel like a stranger in a strange apartment with a way of life that just manages to escape me.

One thing I did see that gave me heart was the notice that reminded me that expat communities are still actively involved in having fun and doing good at the same time.

This month it is the British community. They are having their annual fund raising picnic this coming Sunday at the Zamora Estates in Santa Ana. It starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3. You need to get your tickets and reservations beforehand at Bagelman’s in Escazú, or you can call 8912-4518 or 8854-4069 to make other arrangements.

The good cause will be funds for the schools of Costa Rica.

I have attended before, and there is something for everybody, but my favorite part is visiting the British shop where all kinds of English goodies have been imported just for this occasion. If you see any Rose’s lime Juice, I will trade you with a jar of Jo’s chocolate sauce.

Meanwhile I am going to explore my apartment, find and use the delete button on my computer, read the latest adventures of my friend, Sandy who took a freighter to Europe and is still there.

Maybe if I go to the feria this Saturday, it will all come back to me.

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