What the hell is that thing doing here, we wondered?
We also saw men busy raking up the beach and hauling the refuse into the bush, dumping it on another man’s property. There were also two goal posts for soccer– futbol they call it here. Ah, we figured, it must be some wedding party or company picnic. We walked on, our dogs poking at various scents and generally enjoying the outing.
About two hours later, back home, the noise started.
A UH-1 helicopter, or Huey to those of you who spent time in Vietnam, flew repeatedly over our house,buzzing us. And when I say buzzed our house I mean about 100 feet over our head. It shook walls and rattled the pots and pans on the stove. We are used to the DEA or the Costa Rican Coast Guard cruising by on an occasional ineffective drug raid, so for the first hour we didn’t pay them any mind. Then the repeated pass-overs began to get irritating. By three yesterday afternoon I was contemplating using our nine millimeter to send a clear message to the pilot.
By four in the afternoon we were trying to get our daily fix of news– the American election progression and banking sector meltdown, don’t you know– and the the whoop-whoop-whoop was so loud we couldn’t even hear Wolfe Blitzer. Not that that is an altogether bad thing, but I prefer to use the mute button. It might be a contol issue, I’m not sure.
Alan said it reminded him of being in Tuy Hóa with Hueys overhead, and I felt like I was working the ER again with too many traumas coming in. We were both a bit testy by that time and had a snappy little exchange about the television remote.
I went outside with the binoculars to see what the writing on the helicopter said: Carlsberg.The beer.
Finally, just before dusk, they stopped.
This morning we were stopped at the beach by red police ribbon and a cheerful young man who told us we could not walk on the beach because there was a “Promotion” going on.
“That is a public beach. You can’t block it off,” says Alan.
Cheery Young Man: “Yes we know it is public, but for today and tomorrow you can’t walk here.” We are making a beer promotion and this is supposed to look like a deserted island.”
Alan: “That’s bullshit.”
Me: “Well please tell your jeffe that my husband is a survivor from the Vietnam era and he is thinking of shooting the helicopter out of the sky if it comes over our house again.”
Cheery Young Man: “Oh, don’t worry the helicopter is not working anymore today or tomorrow.”
We walked home and could hear the helicopter whoop-whoop-whooping its way toward us. By the time we got home it was directly over the house again.
We drove to Puerto Viejo to get some supplies for Alan’s latest project, a water feature, figuring being away from home was better than being under siege. At the hardware store we ran into Bob, the local Lotto salesman. We said we were fleeing the military war zone we normally call home and that we couldn’t even walk the beach. He had just been at Roly’s house. Roly being the president of the Muncipalidad.
Bob: “Roly just told me they came to him yesterday to ask if they could film. He told them it was fine with him but they could not block the beach.”
On our way home a truck load of Puerto Police were talking to the helicopter pilot.
It hasn’t been back since. I am enjoying the silence, as, I’m sure, are the monkeys.
Their ad promo might be: “Carlsberg. Probably the best beer in the world,” but their neighborly manners are probably the worst in the world.
I’ll be glad when they are gone. I doubt many of our neighbors will reach for a
when they think Beer.