The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Just like anywhere in the world, Costa Rica has its own set of quirks and norms.  Especially for those coming from North America, there are some striking peculiarities that will keep you on your toes and have you thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”.

For instance, you know you’re in Costa Rica when:

1.  You pay $9 for a small block of cheddar cheese.

2.  A man in a horse drawn buggy picks up your recyclables and isn’t afraid to walk on to your patio to retrieve those couple of extra empty beer cans you forgot to bag.

3.  You get excited that your water, internet, and electricity all work during the course of an entire day.

4.  The local pulperia’s (small grocery store) credit card machine won’t work so they tell you to take your groceries home and just come back later to pay.

5.  You buy room temperature milk and eggs.

6.  Your shower head is rigged with electricity and has exposed wiring to heat the water (AKA suicide shower) from ice cube cold to slightly less than ice cube cold.

7.  Shirts are optional.  Everywhere.

8.  Mosquito slapping becomes second nature.

9.  No one thinks it’s strange that there was a vampire bat in your house.

10. You eat black beans and rice (AKA gallo pinto) for every single meal.

11. Wild scarlet macaws watch you eat lunch on restaurant patios instead of pigeons.

12. Strange skin rashes appear in places they’ve never been before and for no apparent reason.

13. A hammock can be considered a legitimate guest bed.

14. The internet installation guy is “scheduled” to show up sometime between now to 10 days.

15. You shake all your clothes for scorpions before you put them on.

16. Red wine goes in the refrigerator.

17. Sand traps – which you thought only existed in cartoons – are an actual threat.

18. Markets have community machetes available for cutting your own fruits and vegetables down to size.

19. Few people need the community machete because they brought their own.

20. Despite all the craziness, you’ve never been happier in your life to experience these nutty little differences.

By Lindsey Vast


The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica