The expat newsletters have been advertising a Newcomers luncheon on Monday at a restaurant in the neighborhood nicknamed “Gringolandia”. We decide to see what it’s all about and grab a taxi for a 10 minute, $2 ride.
There are 50-60 people in attendance, with a few familiar faces in the group. We grab two seats at a table and the wait staff takes our order. We soon learn that this is the first Newcomers gathering in over a year and that prior to Covid the meetings were held quarterly. Short presentations are made by approximately 25 people selling products/services or representing service organizations ranging from soup kitchens to pet adoption agencies. Two-thirds of the presenters are English-speaking expats. The other third are Cuencano’s who either speak English or have someone speaking for them. As a result of the presentations and the accompanying handouts we learn of a few items of interest. The whole meeting (including lunch) is concluded in less than two hours.
Tuesday afternoon is cribbage time! It is more of a pick-up group, and there are only five of us this afternoon. We break into groups of two to a game and three to a game. As we finish games we rotate players. William and I each win one of our games during the three hours of play (and talking), a 25% individual success rate.
Wednesday our friends David and JJ have invited us to their condo to make Chinese dumplings from scratch. We are joined by their friends Ron and Sharon. We know it could be an interesting afternoon when David starts us out with one of his signature mojitos. JJ has pre-made the pork filling for us as well as mixed up a large batch dough. In the background she is whipping up a pot of egg drop soup.