First of all, somebody spilled the beans (and in this country, the only thing more critical than beans is rice), and basically everyone at the school now knows that Angela and I are together. It’s not like that’s a problem, and we weren’t keeping it secret, but we just had a hunch that it’d be easier on both of us if we kept it under the radar until after the marriage. But one by one, our students and coworkers are getting wise. Usually, I can just silence my students by speaking a rapid-fire flurry of English (the ones that’ll try to give you crap for things like having a girlfriend usually aren’t so hot at English, so that often suffices to shut them up). But recently, I was assaulted by my fifth graders with a chant of “Ryan Loves Angela!! Wooo!!,” and the same thing happened with my eighth graders today! It’s strange, but I get really red when that happens, apparently, according to reports from my fifth graders. It’s like I’m one of them again. I suppose it’s a compliment to a girl if she makes you feel young…I’m just not sure that feeling like a fifth grader isn’t a bit too young.
Secondly, I’ve been thinking of some mottos for Costa Rica. Two of them, which you might not understand if you’ve not been here:
Costa Rica: More Rice and Beans Than You Can Swing a Machete At!
Costa Rica: Living and Dying By The Hyundai Elantra
Also, yesterday I went to a little convenience store that’s usually known simply as “Los Chinos,” since its owners are Chinese. I wanted to get some baking powder, since I was wanting to make a loaf of beer bread. I looked at the rack of spices and baking supplies, but I couldn’t find “polvo de hornear,” the Spanish translation for baking powder. Anyhow, I asked the guy at the counter, and he showed me a little plastic bag (all the spices in this store come in little plastic bags) that said “Royal.” He, as well as a lady looking at the spices, told me that it was the same thing as baking powder, just under a different name. So I paid for it and left. Walking home, however, I realized that I was kinda hardcore, since I was walking down a dark street in Central America carrying a little plastic bag full of white powder identified only as “Royal.”
Finally, in a similar vein as my earlier ass-cutting story, I have another tale to tell you involving a piece of tail. The other night as I was reading in bed, I kept hearing a rustling in the kitchen. I went in and saw a lizard on the wall. Not too big, mind you; it was only about the size of a pencil from head to tail. Still, he was making a minature racket, and since it was about bedtime, I wasn´t too big on the idea of the little fucker running over my face or anything. No matter how many bugs he caught.
So, I opened the door to my back porch, and tried to shoo him out with a fly-swatter. He ran back and forth across the wall in the kitchen, and kept running over the door frame, but he didn’t actually go outside. So, I got closer to him, which must have scared him, because he ran closer to the window. I thought he was going to leave through the window, but then he lost his grip and fell in my fucking toaster!
Now, if life were an SAT test, the correct answer to this problem…
Rice and Beans : Costa Ricans :: __________ : Ryan Sitzman
…would be “Toast”
I love toast and I try to eat it whenever possible. Needless to say, I was distressed to have a frightened creature stuck in my (brand new!) toaster. So, I unplugged it, took it out to the back porch, and began to shake the toaster vigorously. Apparently those suction cups or magic or whatever lizards use to (sometimes) stick on walls works very well inside of toasters, because he wasn’t getting out. In fact, he even went deeper into the inner workings of the toaster.
So, I decided to do what any rational person would do: I got a screwdriver and dismantled the toaster. After about five minutes of concerted effort, I managed to get the toaster into various pieces, one of which the lizard was clinging to. I flicked him off into the gravel, and he stayed in place for a moment. Then he tried running up the outside wall and made his way toward the window, trying to go BACK INSIDE the house! I panicked and grabbed the first thing I could find, which happened to be a mop towel, and started trying to hit the lizard back into the rocks.
It worked. He fell into the rocks, but in two pieces: tail and non-tail. Non-tail seemed as pissed off and confused as a lizard can seem, and tail just kind of bled and flopped back and forth on its own volition. Non-tail sulked away from the house, and I sort of felt bad for the little guy. I didn’t want to hurt him, but let’s face it: you don’t just go jumping or falling into a toaster. A man’s toaster is sacred ground, off limits.
Plus, they say their tails grow back anyhow.
So, those are a few updates about some stuff that’s been going on here. Hope things are good for you out there!