Laugther is the best Medicine

laugh

by Beth Sylver 

When moving to a new area, there will always be unforeseen challenges. When moving to another country, those challenges can be overwhelming (and funny).

I remember one of my first was experiences with an ATM here. The ATMs are, naturally, in Spanish, and this made doing something simple like withdrawing money complicated. One day I entered the booth to use the ATM to take out 160,000 colones. My first problem was, and sometimes still is, was entering all those zeros! I couldn't get my head around the conversion from dollars to colones. It took me forever to complete the transaction.

When I finally had the money in my hand, I hurried to exit the booth, and the door wouldn't open. I was sure there was a button or something to release it, but I couldn't find it. It was hot in there and getting hotter. A woman came to use the ATM, and she couldn't open the door from the outside, either. I remained calm, but the woman began to panic. She decided to go to the bank for assistance. Several minutes went by, and I continued to try everything I could think of to open the door. Then, I looked up on the wall. Way up high, there appeared to be a button. I reached up on my tiptoes and pushed it. Much to my surprise, I heard a "click" and the lock on the door released.

Beth Sylver in Costa Ballena

Beth Sylver

The woman returned with a guard from the bank as I stepped out of the booth, laughing loudly at myself. I noticed that a local man had been sitting across the street, watching the whole scenario unfold. I smiled and nodded at him, thinking to myself how many times he had seen someone locked in the ATM. I was glad to have been able to provide him with some morning entertainment! Returning to my car, I was reminded of how much I had to learn about living in Costa Rica. And how no matter how many challenges I would face, it was best to meet them with a sense of humor!

 

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