not a good wild banana
Thursday, February 7 2019
location: Casa Trogon, Agua Vista Lodging, Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Usually our casita gets maid and pool service on Wednesdays, though yesterday had been some sort of school day that required parental involvement, so all that stuff happened today instead. I try to keep out of the way by staying out of the house, though even just being at the picnic table puts me in the way, since the maid (I believe her name is Liliana) wants to scrub the floor tiles in the outdoors part of the casita as well. So today I moved a chaise lounge out onto the bare soil north of the casita, in the narrow space between the house and the jungle where the coatimundis usually make their first appearance.
Gretchen had an early Spanish classes today, and when the maid arrived today, she decided to walk to the nearby Montezuma River to study. While there, she'd seen a large group of howler monkeys, so she'd sat down on a rock in the river and watched for about a half hour. At some point she saw some white dude walking along the river, so she motioned him over to point out the monkeys. It turned out he was an Australian gentleman who, like all Australians, was in the middle of an extended multi-month vacation. He and his girlfriend had, he said, been taking Spanish classes in Guatemala in both Quetzaltenango (aka Xela) and Antigua, places we'd both been.
The other day I'd plucked a small unripe banana off the banana tree the grows a couple meters northeast of the northeast corner of our plunge pool. In recent days the banana had started turning yellow. Since I tend to prefer bananas that aren't all that ripe, today I decided to try eating the little thing. As I went to peel it, I could tell that it was not a conventional banana. With part of the peel removed, this impression was reinforced by a distinct dark brown layer between the banana itself and the peel. But I took a bite anyway. It was mealy, starchy, somewhat "planty," though not sweet at all. Perhaps it was a plantain. Initially I thought it wasn't a bad flavor, and I even convinced Gretchen to have some. (She immediately came to the conclusion that it tasted dreadful.) But by my second or third bite, I'd had more than enough. Part of the problem was how slimy it all was and how hard it was to then get that flavor out of my mouth.
This evening Gretchen made an Asian dish with sauce made from peanut butter and canned tofu, which we ate with rice leftover from last night's Latino meal. It was a big success, especially considering that cooking here at the casita, with the supplies available in Costa Rica, is a little like cooking at a campsite.
This magpie jay almost landed on me when I was outside the casita today. This experience scared up a memory I'd had of aggressive magpie jays from that time when we stayed at nearby Ylang Ylang Resort nearly 11 years ago. Memories are weird; I'd totally forgotten about even the existence of magpie jays, but this aggressive individual made me go back and look at my old journal entries from that time. Here's a picture from back then, complete with the caption I wrote:
"A magpie-jay. They like to steal packets of sugar, although sometimes they take Sweet & Low by mistake."
—me in April, 2008
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