Monday, March 28, 2016

Blurring Lines

At last Semana Santa is behind us. It seemed to last as long as Christmas this year and I have no idea why. Time is always amazing that way, its fluid nature might seem to work in calendar blocks but it isn't anything close to confinable in real life. 

Out of the chosen quiet of my social life, every one in awhile a most pleasant flurry comes along to remind me that interacting with friends old and new is a very good thing for the soul, and the belly too. Like driving on the interstate after driving on Culebra, it doesn't take much to seem like very much. In the good way. 

But, as Maria sang, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

The other day I stopped at the new 775 bar. Shadrak had asked me to come by and this was the time. I had a lot of preconceptions that needed bursting and quite a few of them did get burst, in one way or another. AND I got to test drive a hookah!

First he showed me the 'smoke'. Not tobacco, but herbs, fruits and flowers.

This one is mint

Obviously, watermelon

Each patron gets their own tip. The whole thing is super sanitary.
I watched, it really is a clean thing.

As the pieces and parts came together (see the black cubes on the one burner?) I tried to figure out what was what. I didn't quite figure it all out but it was obvious that Shadrak knew exactly what he was doing. He told me that the weekend before he'd had some good business but that right now he only has the one hookah. More will be in this week if all goes well. 

Gaming, television and a VIP room
The VIP room has its own television, a couch and is big enough for eight. 250.00 an hour buys you and your pals one hookah session and one bottle of any alcohol with mixer you choose. After the first hour, it's up to the patron to buy more hookah fill and/or more liquor. Which, if you have eight people, isn't a terribly expensive way to spend some time. 

A by-itself hookah session NOT in the VIP room is 25.00 an hour, 15.00 for another fill up. 
More to come in a brighter setting
So, why the no windows thing? Two reasons Shadrak gave me made a lot of sense. One, it keeps the road dirt down. Two, it makes for a different clientele than the location might normally attract. And that is a good thing. 

Out came the hookah. It's beautiful!
The others will all look different, is what I gather. 
I really didn't expect to smoke when I came in but Shadrak was nice enough to offer and go through the numerous steps to set it up. Why would I say no to that?

Those two burning cubes go on top of the bowl filled, this time, with mint.

A demonstration

I can tell you this, it was good enough that I'd have one at home. The whole idea, Shadrak said, culturally, is to be with friends and relax. He knows he's taking a big chance in introducing something that, while not uncommon in many places in the world, is new here. But he also told me that he's had a number of tourist customers who are very used to this form of socializing and looking forward to the chance to enjoy what the 775 Bar has to offer. 

Good luck, Shadrak! Thanks for the taste. 

Things that happen on the way to the store...

Ok, back to wherever I was. Or onto.

I don't go out much and it seems like while I was in, a lot of people moved here and know each other well. Over a couple of days I met more people than I did in my whole trip across the country. Ok, not really but it felt like it. Especially since they all know each other well. I felt like a tourist, and that can be a good thing. 

Another view from the top

After a conversationally intriguing dinnertime (meeting new people can be fun, she re-learns!), with chicken shwarma and kefta on the delicious menu (my personal universe keeping with the Moroccan theme started with the hookah) and dropping off new folks to me Neal and Darlene, Clive and I stopped at the food truck happening. There were a lot of happy eaters and some happy chefs too. 

Richard's Bambu BBQ
The action had quieted down at Richard's, but he was still there with his parents. His mother is so adorable!

Yes, I asked her to sit on his lap, I just couldn't resist.

Check it out!
Next door is Carlos' Panini food truck and the visitor over for the week. People were finishing up their meals and the end of a long week for our restauranteurs, whether on movable or permanent ground, was coming to an end. No doubt the bars would be hopping for another few hours but I took my sated self to home.

Carlos still smiling!

I don't know how so many golf carts could fit in there but they did
Yesterday was Easter and while it isn't a celebration day for me it is always nice to see families and friends and remember days of old, a leg of lamb on the table...

This year it was a beautifully cooked pernil and chicken on the table. Along with some great sides. But truthfully, I never really got a photo of the food table because the music was too much fun. 

Lots of talent here!
Apparently I'd met a couple of these people but they let me off the hook
that is was on a crowded night...or day. Or, they are just kind. Kind is good.
It seemed like guitars just kept coming out and for every one of them there was a good player right behind. From beginning to end the music played. I know they must have eaten at some point, though. I think.

A highlight was meeting Molly's daughter. Because for many of us, our families are far away, we've heard a lot about each other's children and siblings, parents and favorite relatives. When one or more of them do show up it's like meeting a distant part of your own family; you've heard about them a lot but here they are!

In the midst of all of this gallivanting, I did notice a few things. One was the whrrrrrwrrrrrrwrrrrrrrrrr of the boat next to me that was leaving for home. Coming up I saw that a line was caught under their boat. One person seemed to appreciate the info, another did not. They got it clear eventually and no doubt will be happy to not see the houseboat there on their next time over. That's okay. One foot of separation is not enough for me either. 

It's always fun to see the training ships come in. At least I'm guessing this is one of the two or three who show up around this time of year. That's about as big and as pretty as a ship should be to show up around here.

Have a musically motivated Monday. Do something more than middling.


  1. Did you see the training ship with the navy blue hull and 4 sails, one side black, other side tan? Gorgeous! I think it came in to Tamarindo last Wednesday/Thursday. Put the students through the ringers paddling an inflatable against the wind from shore to ship.

    1. I missed them. But I love the idea of two color sides. We've talked about this as a great evasive tactic. Er...if an evasive tactic was something one might need, in theory and wild speculation not applicable to myself or anyone I know, of course.

    2. Of course, maybe in an earlier life, but now.....probably no, but sadly no. Me, too.

  2. Music and herbs and at it's best :)