Sleeping in the Bat Cave

I should probably mention just a bit about some of the peculiar aspects of living as an expat in rural Costa Rica First a word of warning: The local guys were not always incredibly excited about some foreigner moving into their turf and sleeping with all of their women. If you had lots of personality, the girls would eventually come around. You might have more opportunities than you ever did back in the States, but it wasn’t always wise to drink deeply of all of the fine wine. More than one American ended up dead or missing body parts for dipping too deeply into the local culture. Sometimes it is foolhardy to do in Rome what the Romans do. The locals had their own set of rules and then there was another set that expats were wise to follow. 

As far as my accommodations went, I lived alone in a smallish two-story house that I rented from Crazy Tim’s dad. For entertainment all that I had were a few books, some in Spanish, and a small portable radio with a cassette player. I did not have a TV and there was no cable anyway. If I did watch any TV, it was usually at the home of one of my Tico friends and it we usually watched soccer. I do believe that there are fewer expats today who are fluent in the local language because of cable TV. I think back in the day we were forced to learn the language and not just Tarzan talk, but actually speak the language fluently. 

The bottom floor of my house was an open floor plan with a small bathroom. Upstairs there was a balcony that ran all the way around the four bedrooms. The upstairs was just a square divided into four square bedrooms. The wooden walls dividing the rooms were paper thin. This proved to be inconvenient the few times that couples stayed overnight in any one of the three vacant rooms. There was no air conditioning, but usually it cooled down enough at night that I didn’t sweat all night, and the fan helped a little too. About all I had as far as furniture was concerned is one twin bed sized mattress on the floor in one of the bedrooms. There were no ceilings in the bedrooms, just a tin roof which was usually kind of nice when it rained. A few months after I moved in, at least one bat moved in with me, and knowing that vampire bats sometimes carry rabies, I eventually gave up on my attempts to drive him out. The thing was impervious to the fishing line that I wired throughout the upper reaches of the bedrooms. I felt like Wile E. Coyote. That bat outfoxed me at every turn.

Finally, out of frustration I gave in to the beast and threw my mattress off of the balcony onto the jungle floor below me, then walked down the stairs and out the front door, grabbed the mattress, and hauled it back into the house onto the floor of my living room. I never moved the mattress again and slept right there on the living room floor just inside the front door until I left Costa Rica. I had no use for and did not use sheets or blankets. Believe it or not, I did not even sleep in pajamas, which was convenient whenever Flor-de-Lance popped by after finishing her shift at the nearby watering hole.

Speaking of which, the only thing in my refrigerator was water and beer. The only thing I ever made was coffee, and I made it strong in a sock.

4 thoughts on “Sleeping in the Bat Cave

  1. Lol 🙂 A bat made its way into my Mom’s house last fall. Thank God, I wasn’t there for most of it: my Mom and my cousin who was staying with her slept all night with the lights on, only screaming when the bat would appear. By the time I got there the next day, it had seemingly disappeared, but I called a wildlife removal company, and the guy found the thing behind a curtain, about a foot away from where I had been taking a nap. This made me want to scream, but I didn’t find out until after the fact. Bats are the worst, and the bats you had to grapple with in Costa Rica are deadly. You are much braver than I am 🙂

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