Saturday, October 08, 2005

Costa Rican Timing

Costa Rican timing is hard to describe. People are late here or they just don't show up.

In los Estado Unidos it's OK, you just call up and cancel or you apologize or make up some kind of white lie. All of which are quasi-acceptable. but if you do this often people will think of you as a flake or they'll just stop returning your calls and you get one less christmas card in the mail.

But no... In Costa Rica no apologies or excuses are given. To some expats this sort of cultural phenomonon is 'liberating'. If something comes up it's OK, you don't have to twist your leg to make it. You don't have to get dressed and go just because you promised. If you are too tired, it's OK. Whoever you flake on will not take it too seriously. They won't get mad, in fact they weren't actually expecting you to show up anyway. People often make plans but than nobody shows up.

This seems like a cultural phenomenom that we just have to get use to. But, this trait makes it's way into business. We can't seem to get the water delivery guy to show up on one particular day, he just shows up when he feels like it. Working is like a side hobby to drinking coffee with your friends who happen to drop by. But remember, these cafecitos aren't planned.

Adam made a great connection. This mentality of not being on time, if at all makes its way into government and than not a lot gets done. I guess this is just one thing that we have to get use to. Still beats rainy cold weather.

Here's a new saying I just learned: when you cheer with your wine or beer glass you must look your fellow cheerers in the eye or you jinx yourself for seven years of bad sex.

YIKES don't want to chance that one!

No comments: