costa rican days, random thoughts…

Things Costa Ricans (Ticos) have a lot of that they don’t seem to care about:

Stray animals: we see dogs and cats everywhere we go. Very few of them seem to belong to anyone. The only dogs we see on leashes are attached to tourists. There have been a couple of locals with dogs, but in those cases they seem to be less there for companionship and more there for guarding.

The sign back there says “Perro Bravo!” And indeed, he was giving me the business, so I backed away slowly…

But not all dogs are Perro Bravo — some are Perro Rio. We saw this guy laying in the same spot in the road almost every day we went to the El Velero Hotel:

Fires: this is the standard way of disposing of anything one wants to get rid of quickly — simply drag it out into the gutter and light it on fire. And then walk away — no matter if you’re endangering your (or your neighbor’s) property, or if you’re potentially setting ablaze a whole forest. More than once we saw whole hectares of land ablaze with no one seeming to care — at best, maybe there was one guy standing around, looking slightly concerned or (more likely) bored of the heat. Very strange.

Dirt roads: it seems that everything interesting to see — truly interesting, that is — is at the other end of a long, awful, rutted dirt road. 11 kilometers of it for Witch’s Rock. 30 kilometers of it for Monteverde Cloud Forest. 16 kilometers of it before one reaches Rincon de la Vieja National Park, and then another 7 kilometers of it in the park itself. Good GOD, people, get some pavement, willya?

Unfinished architecture: this is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it is frequently difficult to tell what is “done” and what is “a work in progress”. It would be difficult to get a handle on the number of homeless here in Costa Rica, if only because the meaning of “home” has a lot more leeway — apparently, a ricket of sticks, plastic tarp and cement blocks will qualify as a home. If a structure seems currently occupied, this seems to mean it is still underway. Just near La Casa de Larry, there is a set of towers that clearly have been incomplete for several years:

The only thing that lived in these towers? Bats!

Livestock: I guess it is disingenuous to assert that Ticos don’t care about their livestock — near La Casa de Larry, a family with several cows would regularly tie them up in a vacant lot so that they could graze on the grass there:

But for the amount of livestock I found simply wandering around uncontrolled — frequently in traffic — it could be inferred that a somewhat lower level of caring was held towards the animals and their well being.

Graffiti: there are many, many more pictures to be added here, I just couldn’t be buggered right now. This is the best piece I’ve seen so far: