Of All The Things I’ve Yearned For In My Life

Being a permanent resident of a foreign country was never one of them. Neither was marrying an aging Libertarian with a job. Or falling in love with chickens. Or, come to think of it, enjoying a blow-up baby pool full of fish. Or getting such satisfaction out of community theatre. Because, doncha know, I’m too well trained and experienced to be doing any community theatre.

Oddly, in my racially tense (at least waaaaaay back then) high school, I promised I’d “run away and get married” [because, you know, weddings were big in KY] and “adopt black babies” [because that shocked everyone except my mother]. I promptly forgot both promises, then kept them. Go figure. At any rate, my clairvoyance ended there.

Cedula libre condición So here I am: permanent. Residente permanente libre condición: permanent resident free of conditions. Actually, there is one condition: we have to be in country at least one day a year. I’m pretty sure we can manage that!

Wow. Even though I never yearned for this, having it is excellent.

You know, it occurs to me that my life is the perfect example of how life happens while we are busy making plans. I’ve decided I’m giving up on plans. Starting tomorrow.

Here’s the really odd thing: I’ve never been permanent anything except married and a mom. And, ok, 5′ tall. Couple my impermanence with the fact that my favorite thing is moving, well, let’s see how long this lasts. (Hear that? God is laughing.)

Although, in spite of my recent bout of homesickness and wondering if I want to stay here or go back to the U.S. and join a militia, at this moment, I am amazingly happy where I am planted. Despite the fact I can’t get everything I want when I want it, despite the fact I miss my family, my mom and my girlfriends, despite the fact that the cost of living here is not exactly cheap, despite all the other things I could whine about (and you know there are plenty), we have a really good life here. Peaceful. Tranquilo. The boys are happy here. Hal is happy. OK, Hal is ecstatic. I am content. That’s saying something. I’m enjoying some of this magical pura vida. In spite of myself.

Part of my current joy is that I’m directing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change for the Little Theatre Group. Four characters in a series of songs/vignettes about love and relationships. Very little dialogue, all singing with a couple of skits thrown in, funny and touching. In the tradition of true community theatre:

  • Three of the four actors have never been in a musical before.
  • I don’t have a stage manager.
  • Nor do I have a piano player… tough on a musical, lemme tell ya. (Fortunately, the publisher offers taped music for rehearsals and for the show.)

So, if I have to, I’ll use the taped music. Takes some of the mystery out of live theatre, but the show is so funny, the actors are so charming and hysterical, it will be a hit if I have to stand backstage and hum the accompaniment into a microphone. Speaking of which, I wonder if Bobby McFerrin is available. Anybody know him?

So here we are. At least for today. Permanent. Sin condiciónes. Ah, that feels good.

*Oh, yeah. I don’t know if you noticed, but that’s not really my picture on the cedula. That’s Sophia Loren, the most beautiful woman on the planet. If you saw the actual picture on my cedula, you’d bet I’d be thrown out of Costa Rica before I could figure out where I think the grass is going to be greener…

9 comments to Of All The Things I’ve Yearned For In My Life

  • robin


  • Paul M.

    Hey Sal,
    ILYYP,NC! is a funny, funny show, and it’ll be running while I’m there. Will be nice to see it again.
    As to your new permanente cedula, why don’t you try changing your name to Lola-Jean Abrigida and see if you can get away with it. It’s either that or brown paper sacks. (Well, they worked for me!)
    Hey, don’t kid us. If those girls in the backyard at Casa Gallina can stand it, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

  • Congrats on your permanent residency. You’re two steps ahead of me, I hope to get mine this year. So glad you decided to make CR your home,,, now come visit me someday! -t
    You fooled me with that photo on the i.d.

  • That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week!

  • Sophia Loren may be a stunning woman Sally but there’s no way she has your stunning personality…
    Besitos …

  • Wondering if facial creams made in Italy would help us?
    Congrats. on the cedula. We have an application in since Dec. ’08…I think we disappeared into the hueco negro. How long did yours take? Any suggestions? (we used the migracion in Puntarenas) We used paperwork from our atty. but he didn’t actually file for us. Now with all the changes, who knows what we may need to do.

  • Awww, Scott, you are now the smartest man I know. Thank you.
    Hey, Deb, we worked with http://costaricaresidencyservices.com/contact_us. They were very good, kept us in touch with what was happening and always answer the phone. Took about six months once we signed on with them. We were already rentistas. You might call Coleman and see if he can help! If you’ve already filed and have the paper that says you are in process, it shouldn’t be any different. But I don’t know that for sure. Good luck!

  • RTS

    Ive lived in CR for two years as of last month. Married a CR native in North Dallas and relocated to CR due to HP recalling her from Dallas. I think the country, outside of the San Jose area, is beautiful. Anyone telling me or blogging about Tico’s being NICE makes me want to vomit. Tico’s are “nice,”when they think they can get over on you or maby be able to expoit you in some manner. The men here are biggest sexist pigs that I have ever come across and Ive traveled extensively throughout the world including living in Mexico…and Im a dude. The amount of crap my beautiful wife hs to deal with on a daily basis would not be tolerated in the US. Tico’s strive to be mediocre..in the way thet dress,their food etc. etc. Food sucks..They hate salt , pepper,spicy food. They are lazy..now they will show up to an office at 9am and stay until midnight but get nothing acomplished during tha time. I say this from experience which is shared by my CR born wife. I tried to bring my son here to finish his senior year in high school only to send him back two monhs later because the education system here is terrible. Having to see the school director hauled away by the cops for sexually assualting his female students..cancelling classes every other day because the teachers didnt show up for work…and I live in a gated community in Heredia. Planning my return trip in July and will never set foot in this country again.

  • RTS

    Why I hate Costa Rica
    1. Costa Rican favor – pay me and I might do something for you..In the US we call this an employee not a friend or family member.
    2. Stop holding my 10k colones bill up to the light when I shop at Hiper..Yeh like I came all his way to CR to get over on Hiper for 10k colones.
    3. For God’s sake season your food and sell real flower and food items.
    4. Get the hell off the highway when you have an accident..It’s not like the guy that hit you is going to pay you for the damage anyway. I know this from experience.
    5. Why do they not sell wine on two obscure days of Easter week but on EASTER DAY..anything goes.
    6. Just fire all the traffic cops..they dont do anything but check out attractive women as they drive by.
    7. For God’s sake can I get some crest white strips or vitamins. If I wanted a kilo of weed that would not be a problem..and no I do not partake in such.

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