plural noun: detours
1. a long or roundabout route taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way.
synonyms: diversion, circuitous route, indirect route, scenic route;
Life offers us many detours along the way; today was one of those days. It started as a well executed plan to drive to the Arenal Volanco, up early packed and ready to go by 7am. The map we have been using is a tourist map with very little information on it but it seemed to be getting us by until we decided to take a road trip.
A decision was made to take the shorter looking route on the map and we headed off in that direction only to discover our first roadblock – the road does not go to our location that way, we had to drive all the way back to where we originally started, 30 minutes back and at this point, a minor setback. The plan was to get a phone chip the day before so we had it all ready to go but we ended up staying at Sugar Beach to watch the sunset.
Costa Rica sleeps in like my Linda loo hoo so our first stop was in Brasalito at the local general store to purchase a phone card for navigation. This woman spoke no english and had a bit of an attitude, first one since arriving in Costa Rica. I excitedly went back to the car and opened the package to find a teeny, tiny phone card which I had to insert into my phone, realizing I had nothing to open the tiny drawer I had to go back inside the store and charade my needs to the non speaking clerk who clearly did not want to help me. It was my lucky day and she seemed to understand and handed me a safety-pin, I poked in into the tiny hole and nothing happened, once, twice, three times, I looked up at the clerk who was watching with a look of disdain; I gesture for her to try, she reluctantly takes my phone and pops open the tiny drawer. Gracious, gracious. I eagerly go back to the car with the drawer slightly open and carefully take out the old phone card and start to put the other card in the tiny slot and realize its the wrong size too big. I saunter back into the store one last time and show her my situation, she shrugs and I walk back to the car with my tail between my legs, get inside and drive away.
For those who don’t know, I cannot see anything anymore without my glasses and even with my glasses its difficult to see anything tiny and close up, I struggle. For those of you who do know, you can stop laughing anytime now.
I, like many people my age, would be considered technology challenged, so at this point I am a little concerned, worried that if I take out my Telus chip all of the information on my phone might be gone, disappear, forever gone and my camera might not work. I am freaking out a little bit inside as all of this is going on but not letting on; acting as thought I got it all under control.
We carry along the way hoping desperately to find a map, my co-pilot assures me if we find a map she can and will navigate. We pull a tourist company next and ask for a map – no maps at a tourist company. I ask for assistance with the phone cards because I could not get that little tiny chip into that little tiny drawer and I needed to see my phone working again to calm the anxiety that was mounting. The young clerk behind the desk spoke no english but she understands phones and sees my dilemma and is happy to help, she takes my phone, she plays and fiddles with it for a few minutes and suddenly it clicks into place, closed the tiny drawer and hands my phone back to me. I immediately inspect my phone to see that everything is where it should be – check – wipe my forehead, sigh a huge sigh of relief. We still have no map and no source of navigation and Costa Rica does not believe in road signs.
We are off again looking for any place that might sell a map or any place that might be able to assist with the phone card dilemma. A few more miles up the road we see a large supermarket, pull over and walk inside, there is a phone/dvd store attached to the supermarket, I walk in and ask do you speak english, “little bit” the young man behind the counter manages in broken english. I show him my phone and the phone card and say it’s too big do you have phone cards here that will fit my phone, he says I can cut it and pulls out this punch that looks like the exact replica of punches that line my white craft drawer at home. I am elated, so easy, you just cut it, wow who would have thought. He helps me put it into the phone and tells me you have to call this number to get it activated, my heart drops, I don’t have an active phone to make the phone call. He says he has to go, he is on his way out and has to get to the bank but before he leaves he goes next door to the money order booth and asks his colleague if he will help me, his colleague agrees but currently has a customer, so I wait. Finally, I step up to the counter and ask if he speaks english “little bit” in even more broken english than the last kind soul but he knows what I need because the kind fellow already explained it to him, so he takes my phone, the chip packaging and makes a phone call, fiddles with my phone and hands it back, I was so excited … here we go. I check the phone to make sure it still works, my camera, my contacts, yup all still there and working then a message pops up, the sim card is not activated. I wait in line again. Upon my turn, I show him the phone and the message, he takes the phone and calls the number again and hands me back my phone prompting me to put in my apple id, no problem, for once I know it, put in my password, updating, updating, updating, it starts showing me a plethora of languages but won’t let me choose one and then the window pops up again, phone card not activated. For flying fuck sakes, we have been in the store for over an hour and we are back to square one … I get in line again. I am feeling frustrated, I just want to go with or without the phone card, by this time it is 9:30am already and we are literally 9kms from our B & B with three and a half hours to drive; suddenly the volcano wasn’t looking so desirable anymore. After four attempts with the clerk to get my phone card activated, I gave up, stopped resisting what seemed to be the clear message, let go and sat with the fact that this was simply not meant to be, roadblock number two.
Interesting to watch my mind as roadblocks are presented, my EGO mind wants to do everything it can to ensure the plan is followed through, keep things the same, in other words it has a temper tantrum, it wants to go. It starts by insulting my intelligence, then it insults my ability to make a plan and carry it out, it blames the other person, then it tries to convince me that we can still make it, we can figure it out, just go anyways even though I know it is no longer a feasible plan. I know because my body has now joined the conversation and intuition is noticeably sitting at the table she is sitting a little higher than normal and I just know. My heart has also joined the conversation and taken a seat at the table. My EGO mind is diminishing moment by moment as I tune into and pay attention to my heart and my body. I notice. Jumping up and down in the background of my mind trying desperately to save the day, my EGO mind. Calm, cool and collected with a touch of concern, my intuition. Compassion and self-love with a wave of common sense radiating from my heart. After a few moments of noticing this all playing out, I paused and watched from a witnessing perspective, it’s quite entertaining if you can avoid getting caught up in it. Practice and, again there is that word, patience continually coming back to the present moment, checking in with all part of me over and over and over again.
My mind, my body and my soul.
Suddenly I was settled in the fact that this was not meant to be and a detour it would be …