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November 27th, 2009
As many of my readers know, there are two cell phone systems here. One is called TDMA, also known ss “the old system” and equally accurate, “The system that actually works!”.
The second is GSM and truly is lousy, but requires a more expensive phone that is more sexy, and everyone knows, women go for a guy with a sexy phone even if it does not work. The GSM system was installed by Alcatel a French company, apparently after they paid a few bribes to various government and ICE officials. As a matter of fact, January marks the month for the trial of still another ex-president of Costa Rica who alledgedly accepted the chorizo (bribe). Costa Rica seems to routinely send ex-presidents to jail, the last one just a few weeks ago!
So what is happening? If this topic interests you, read on!CAFTA, Cell Phones, Costa Rica, Free Trade Agreement, ICE | Comments (10)
November 26th, 2009
I really miss Thanksgiving!
There are two or three US holidays that are not celebrated here… well more if you add all those goofy ones like President’s day where nobody does anything special. Of them all, Thanksgiving is the worst for me maybe followed by the 4th of July. No fireworks.
First, everyone is working on a Thursday… everyone meaning everyone in my family who would normally be invited to celebrate, so we celebrate it on the following Saturday.
Turkey is easy to buy, but ludicrously expensive. I cannot buy sage here, required for traditional sage and onion dressing. I also cannot find rutabagas! I know rutabaga is not for everyone, but it is an integral part of my family tradition. One nice person brought me **ONE** from the USA a couple of days ago. I am hiding it. We have maybe 8 people coming Saturday and one is not enough to split 8 ways.
I miss the Thanksgiving day TV stuff too. Football, parades, you know, all the things we do.
It may be the only day when I really miss living in the USA.
Worse, today is the day my wife is having surgery. Just another Thursday. That was at 7 AM this morning, supposedly no biggie, maybe 45 minutes, but no one has called to let me know she is OK. It is 10:30 AM I am worried and after posting this, I am heading out to the hospital to find out what is going on.
To all my readers… I have much to be thankful for, and I wish all you you the very happiest of Thanksgivings!
I especially wish a happy Thanksgiving to anyone serving in the armed forces who cannot be with their families. You are very special people, too many times not appreciated, but by me, you are very appreciated.
Be well and be safe.Filed under Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Holidays, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica | Comments (13)
November 25th, 2009
I am really torqued!
Recently, my wife and I flew back to the US and we used American Airlines (AA) for our flight to Dallas. It turned out kinda ugly. It seems AA, or at least their international flight attendants, have an issue if you do not speak English! Rather than re-write it all, here is the email I sent to AA:
I am VERY upset about American Airlines treatment of Latinos, in this case my wife who is Costa Rican.
While flying to Dallas, a flight attendant named “Sherrill” (or similar) was VERY rude. There were three of us in the row. Sherrill asked first the man in the window seat what he wished to drink. After that, she asked my wife in the center seat and I replied, “she would like apple juice”. The flight attendant then states very loudly: “Sir, I am talking to the woman not to YOU!” So I replied “that is fine, but my wife does not speak English so you must speak to her in Spanish”. Sherril then said: “I do NOT have to speak Spanish, I am an American and I live in Texas!”
This remark was heard by a large number of Latinos seated nearby and was VERY insulting both to them AND the 3 other folks who later told me how bad they felt.
If you do not want Latinos to fly American, SAY SO! I always thought international flights required bi-lingual attendants and were the plum jobs. This rude person insulted MANY people, not just my wife. If at all possible we will NEVER fly AA again and this story will appear on my two blogs (http://blog.therealcostarica.com/ and http://www.hisfault.com/) as well as in Facebook.
You should be ashamed and while I am 99% sure NOTHING will happen to this employee, no apology, NOTHING, I WILL do what I can to spread this story so other Latinos know how AA stands on flying Latin minorities.
That should be clear enough!
As I found out later, AA policy is that only ONE person need speak Spanish on a flight to/from Costa Rica. ONE person for what… 120 people or more? In this case, that person was the head flight attendant in first class (John) and as we all know. the first class attendants never associate themselves with the hoi polloi or in Spanish, la chusma.
To the many Ticos and other Latinos who I know read my blog, I would urge you to let your spending show AA that this kind of rude treatment is not acceptable. Delta, Spirit, Jet Blue, Taca, Lacsa and others all have service to the US.
I am pretty sure I will get the “canned BS” from AA if I get a reply at all. That flight attendants union is pretty strong so she will certainly be permitted to continue venting her disrespect for Latinos…
If I do get a reply, you’ll see it here.Filed under Costa Rica, Rants, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (18)