No Addresses Here in Costa Rica but We Never Seem to Get Lost!
It can't be explained. . but we always find our way!
There is a Method to the Madness here in Costa Rica. . you just have to expand your mind and BELIEVE that you'll get to where you want to go! And it seems that we always do! No one knows how it works, but we're getting good at it!
When I was very young, I remember that I used to live at 123 East Main Street. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and everybody had a very simple address. With streets like, 'Main Street', 'Broad Street', 'Canal Avenue' & 'Short Street', it was hard to get lost. It was a pizza delivery driver's dream! Easy street names and corresponding numbers! No room for error and your pizza arrived quickly and it was still hot!
Well, let's talk about modern day Costa Rica for a few minutes. My first address here was, "300 meters north of the Toyota dealership. . 100 meters east. . 25 meters south. . yellow house. . 2nd floor". . there's something unnatural about that. There's got to be an easier way. I was scared when I was invited over to my new friend's place for lunch many years ago. Imagine this for a moment. . "2 streets past the crooked tree. . turn left at the green house. . go up the hill to the diner and make a right. . 4 houses on the left past the old church. . green with white roof. ." yea, good luck with that! How did he expect me to get there? Well, I got there. . on time and what a lunch it was!
The funny thing is that it seems like everyone not only knows where they're going, but if you have to take a taxi somewhere, there's never a problem. This is how they roll here in Costa Rica. In 2007, I remember that a private company secured a contract to name every street and add numbers to all of the structures. 15 years later, I don't think you can see one house number. . they're either all painted over or there's vines, branches and bushes covering them all. It was a great idea on paper, but it just didn't make sense to anyone here in Costa Rica! And life goes on. .
And because there are more and more individuals from countries that have normal addresses that are moving to Costa Rica, the pressure is on to assign normal addresses to each and every home, building, apartment and store. There's a push for a month or two and then it subsides. . Personally, I don't think it's ever going to happen. Too much work and the old way is fine.
Too many times throughout history have those who THINK that they have a better way have tried to push an idea or concept on the society that is already established. I don't think the do it to be mean. . they just know that THEIR WAY IS A BETTER WAY and everyone will become better people if it is done THAT WAY. But if you speak with anyone who is from another country and has lived in Costa Rica for more than a year or so, there's no problem whatsoever in doing it the way that it has been done for at least 100 years or so.
Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. We Expats must adapt or perish. This is simply one of the tiny pieces of the puzzle and an integral part of the PURA VIDA Lifestyle here in paradise. . makes sense to me!
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About the author
Costa Rica is a magical place. Since November, 2002, when I first visited this country, I have been in love with the people, the culture, its biodiversity, the food. . everything about it makes me happy! Now I share my excitement with you!