The Best Beer in the World?~

Yesterday on our daily walk we noticed an odd and quite modern looking palapa on the beach. A plastic version of a bamboo hut complete with shoji screen doors and a plastic thatched roof.

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.

  3 comments for “The Best Beer in the World?~

  1. sc morgan
    30/09/2008 at 8:06 pm

    Ross- How funny. I love the idea of seeing Marky Mark Wahlberg in his Calvin Klein briefs (and nothing else). Creates quite an image.

    We used to have U.S. Air Force F-14s that did fly bys up in the Cascades area of the Pacific Northwest. They came over so low you could almost wave at the pilots. I’m sure they were coming out of Montana or N. Dak. and just enjoying a day’s outing, but they were noisy and scared the bejesus out of my Siamese cat. I’m sure he felt like Cailean, hawks about to devour him. Loud ones too!

    Barbara– As you know from the next entry, they did not leave. But it is now Tuesday and thankfully they are now. Thanks for stopping by. I visit your blog fairly often and also find your photos remarkable. Keep up the good fwork.

  2. Barbara Martin
    28/09/2008 at 3:45 am

    Interesting post and amusing in its own way. I’m sure you were relieved when the helicopter finally went away.

  3. Ross Eldridge
    25/09/2008 at 12:34 pm

    Hi there, Sarah!

    Loved this piece. I was able to picture it so well.

    The first time I ever saw something that was a promotion, and overhead, was in Los Angeles in 1993. I was helping to chaperone a high school trip from Utah to Hollywood (of all things) and about 18 of us are wandering along Hollywood Blvd and there’s a noise overhead, something very odd caught my eye … a huge pictorial banner being dragged by a biplane. On the banner, Marky Mark Wahlberg in his Calvin Klein briefs (and nothing else).

    Here, in Amble, the RAF does practice bombing runs every Wednesday. The fighter-bombers swoop down from Scotland and “pretend” to bomb Amble (to go further south they’d get into the airspace around the Newcastle airport) then sweep around and head back to Scotland.

    Sometimes the planes come in from the North Sea, clipping the tops of the waves, bob over the sand dunes, shake-rattle-and-roll us, then … after their turn … fly up the River Coquet, knocking the dust off of Warkworth Castle on the way north. It’s quite exciting, and Cailean’s used to it all now.

    But … the Air-Sea helicopters in use on our bit of coastline do shake the little dog the wrong way … simply because they hover not far above us. Perhaps Cailean has heard that miniature dachshunds get carried off by eagles and hawks?

    I wonder what your helicopter pilot was drinking? Would have been thirsty work up there in your hot weather. The Carlsberg brand? or lemonade?

    Cheers!
    R.

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