Lost in Paradise
Author: Marie Kasseroler
There are two things you need to know about Germans.
First, they love their rules. If you're late or go through a red light - God forbid! - you will at least be bombarded with punishing looks that make it unmistakably clear that you have just committed an unforgivable crime.
Second, they're meticulous. If things aren't resolved efficiently, they get nervous. After all, the schedule has to be kept. So, if you're a German coming to Costa Rica, there's something wrong with you, or you're lost.
But if there is one thing to know about Costa Rica, there is no more beautiful place to get lost.
In my case, I ended up in Uvita, a small village on the South Pacific coast. The three months I spent there working at Ballena Tales were some of the best of my life so far. Ten years ago, there was nothing more than some houses; today, it has become a hotspot for escapists with many small but good stores, restaurants, and hotels.
You can mainly enjoy nature, go hiking, surfing and swimming here. I can't count the evenings I spent sitting on the beach (forbidden, but we are also in Costa Rica), drinking Imperial, and watching the sunset with my new friends from the volunteer house. I could also tell you about endless parties and karaoke nights in Uvita and Dominical. But I have experienced so much more.
For example, I learned that if you want people to be on time, give them a time 40 minutes before the actual one and provide them with coffee so there is no hassle. If you don't do that, everyone is 20 minutes late across the board, and it's called "Tico Time."
In general, rules are more like guidelines here. Driver's licenses, for example, are overrated. If you want to cross a street, you should just run and pray that the driver will somehow stop. Sidewalks don't exist, and the definition of streets is very elastic.
Nevertheless, flip-flops are an inescapable part of everyday outfits. Sometimes a construction worker's mistake causes a tree to fall on the power pole, you have no water or electricity for hours, and his response to the angry crowd is mere, "Well, what am I supposed to do about it now?"
There were moments when I was incredulous or found it funny, but in retrospect, I realized how nice it is not to take things as seriously as in Germany. Today I know, for example, that there is a solution for (almost) everything, that it is not bad if you do some things tomorrow and not today, and that not everything has to be perfect.
Besides, you experience so much more when you have to put your cell phone aside because there is no electricity again. Stunning sunsets, for example.
Gracias Uvita, por todo!
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