A Costa Rican mother might run around town with her baby in her arms, while a Gringa might be more relaxed about letting her baby play in the dirt. It’s all summed up by the common phrase cada loco con su tema: every nut has his own pet subject. It’s especially true for parents, who are crazy with love.
It’s not pretty, that’s for sure, but if you’re going to speak Spanish long enough to get a flat tire, or deal with significant bureaucratic trámites, or watch sports of any kind, or navigate the workplace, you’re going to hear it.
"The picnic is really important because it is the only event where most of the U.S. citizens here in Costa Rica get together. We would love to keep up this tradition forever, but it will depend on the support we can get."
Like many Costa Ricans, I’m a bit of a clean freak. This extends from the constant showering and brushing of teeth to the curious sleep disorder I experience when I know that there are dirty dishes on the sink. I was concerned that this might pose a challenge in having a roommate. I was concerned that others might not understand my strong and healthy relationship with Lysol.
I have lived in the same house for more than 10 years, but I have traveled quite a distance in that time. I have trouble channeling the college student who devoured the country with a ridiculous grin, unable to believe her good fortune, staring in rapture out of bus windows, listening wide-eyed to howler monkeys at night and thinking they were lions, making bioluminescent footprints on a deserted beach, getting lost, being found. Somewhere along the way I moved from “Will you LOOK at THIS?” to “Oh, yeah – that’s amazing, isn’t it?”
The gala’s title, “De Verde a Gris,” reflects the idea that Costa Ricans who move to New York must leave the green of their homeland for the gray of their new surroundings. For one evening at least, the music, food and art of Costa Rica lit up a small corner of a big city.
Costa Rica may have only two seasons, those they don’t mess around; they come and go with panache, like divas given a dull script but determined to bring it to life through sheer force of will. Check out our twice-monthly "Maeology" column.
In English, I'm a crotchety old-school grump. I am an editor and a former English teacher, and happily embody the worst qualities of both, brandishing a red pen and waging a warring battle against change. In Spanish, I have no such loyalties. I have the tone deafness of the second-language learner.