At first I was out of the of a loss as to what to write today, but as always I try to draw as much from my personal experiences as possible so let's talk a little bit about the importance of patience when living in a country one might classify as "Third World".
I don't know how many times I've walked through the plaza in downtown San Jose and seen the same thing happen over and over again. A tourist gets irate with a local, loses his cool, and makes the rest of us groan for the lack of proper educational funding in our home country (thanks GOP!). It might be at a little souvenir stand or a street vendor selling shaved ice or whatnot, but if you live in a vacation destination you will eventually see this very same scene. For realism purposes, any sentence that has a "*" after it, means that it's translated from (sometimes very bad) Spanish...
|Don't be a Tourist...|
Gringa Tourista: "Good thinking Fred! I'll summon up all the Spanish that I remember from high school 40 years ago to assist in our negotiating efforts!"
Hapless Merchant: "Homemade dog food! Get your fresh homemade dog food here! Made with the finest roadkill from here to Alejuela!"*
Gringa Tourista: "he says this stew recipe has been in his family for about 100 years, and that he is the only one who likes shoes."
Gringo Tourist: "Poor guy, he probably supports his entire family on his craft. Let's swoop into his world and show him the divine benevolence of the English-speaking universe! Tell him we will buy his whole pot!"
|Typical San Jose Street Diner|
Hapless Merchant: "Huh?"*
Gringo Tourist: "Your stuff. How much do you want for all your stuff? I'll give you... two American dollars." (that he takes out of a wad of fifties and hundreds...).
Gringa Tourista: "My husband is a motorcycle"*
Hapless Merchant: "Huh?"*
Gringo Tourist: (visibly irritated): "YOUR. STUFF. HOW. MUCH. FOR. YOUR. STUFF?"
Hapless Merchant: (visibly frightened): "Dude, louder and slower doesn't change your language, I still can't understand a damn word you're saying. And I think there is something wrong with your wife (gestures at her), you might want to get her looked at."*
Gringa Tourista: GASP! "He said he will give you his entire stock for a night with me! The savage!"
Gringo Tourist: "GRINGO SMASH!!"
This is usually the part where the cops get called and our intrepid travelers are given a choice of either paying a "fine" or going to a Costa Rican jail for screwing with this poor guy's livelihood. The cop and the merchant will then split the "fine" and another American walks away with another "nightmare" vacation story...
Can you spot what went wrong?
The moral of the story is that "Type-A" personalities are screwed alot of the time when they travel to lesser advanced cultures. If you are used to getting your way all the time in your home country and lose your cool when the guy at the drive through gets your order wrong, you might want to just stay on the cruise ship when it docks. Just sayin'....
So I forgive you Costa Rica. No sweat on the internet outage that put me three days behind. Pura Vida!