No Spanish, No Problemo!
The Night & Luna Saga Continues
First off, sorry for not sending an update sooner. I've been holed up working on my newest book, She: A Love Story In Verse. Which is set for publication on Jesa's birthday—July 6th.
I'm very excited about this book in particular. Which is why I've been so focused on putting on the final touches and ramping up my marketing efforts.
As many of you know by now, I've been living in Costa Rica!
Last month, I moved from the hills of Fraijanes to Alajuela. I went from a two-story, four-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment. I also decided I wouldn't rent a car for another month. I hadn't been driving as much as I thought I would.
But on the times I did venture out in public spaces, like to pick up groceries at the market, you should've seen me navigating around without speaking Spanish.
I took two years of Spanish in high school, over 20 years ago. And I don't remember most of what I was taught.
In fact, in my second year of Spanish class, I did terribly. Mainly, because my first year Spanish teacher was also one of my baseball coaches. And I was one of his star players, so I think he went easy on me.
I wish he hadn't, so I'd be able to speak a little bit more fluently in Costa Rica's national language.
But I've still managed to buy food and get everything I need while here.
All of the Airbnb hosts speak English. And when I took a ride from the car rental place back to my new temporary home, the Uber driver spoke English very well.
To my surprise, Uber is very big here!
My driver told me Uber set up shop in Costa Rica five years ago and remains more popular than the country’s official red-car taxis.
With Uber, I can get a ride anywhere I want. Order food from restaurants, including fast food places like American-staples: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. I can even shop for groceries in the Uber Eats app and have them dropped off at my doorstep.
But my time in Costa Rica is running out!
I've been here for nearly 3 months and only have 3 days left on my 90-day visa stamp. Come Monday, I'll need to leave the country.
When perpetual tourists want to live in Costa Rica long term, they will jump countries when their visa expires. Panama is the favorite choice for country jumping.
But, according to my research, Panama requires a negative COVID test result. Which means if I traveled to Panama, I'd need to get a COVID test first.
For personal reasons, I've avoided getting tested. Well, until I absolutely have to. Like if I need to return to the United States for emergency reasons, or when I finally travel with Jesa to her home country, the Philippines.
However, I did find one country that is currently letting foreigners into their borders without a COVID testing requirement. And that country is Mexico. Another Spanish-speaking country.
And that's where I'll be visiting next. Mexico City. In the heart of the historic district. About a 20 minute drive from the city's international airport.
“What about the CFO thing? Will you ever see your girlfriend in Costa Rica?” you might be wondering.
Jesa's CFO case started to move along and her counselor has been very helpful and communicative this past month. In fact, she had her final interview, the long-awaited conference call with her counselor and another. From what I hear, the call went very well.
But that was two weeks ago and all she's waiting for now is the CFO's approval. There’s a chance she could be denied the certificate. But if and when she's issued the certificate, then she can leave for Costa Rica,
One thing that we learned is that the CFO averages a full year to issue a certificate to a Filipino who is in a relationship with a foreigner and seeking to travel abroad to see them. I was surprised to learn this. I guess it's more or less a test to see how serious the couple is.
But I think the CFO got the message we're a serious couple. I emailed their Secretary and Undersecretary last month unsatisfied with the case's progress. Soon after, Jesa was able to get ahold of her counselor and things started to pick up momentum.
My mom continues to be supportive and prays for us every day to be united soon. We’re still hopeful I'll get to see Jesa, back in Costa Rica, before her birthday next month.
I'll try to not be a stranger and send out more frequent updates. But next time I do, I'll be in Mexico City.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. You can pre-order a copy of my new book here: shepoetrybook.com