Sunday, January 9, 2011

Costa Rica Culture Shock

I'm staring at a big pile of summer clothes that I need to wash and pack in a suitcase for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica.  My question is, why did I wash all these clothes last fall to pack them away in the attic, only to have to wash them again.  Why don't we just hide our dirty laundry at the end of summer and wait until spring to wash it.

I'm a little apprehensive about going to Costa Rica, which has been designated "the happiest place on earth, with the happiest people".  Coming from the neurosis-ridden, depressed and violent United States, I'm kind of worried I may just die of culture shock two minutes after deplaning.  However, the opportunity to get out of Wisconsin in February means I'll take the risk.

I honestly won't know how to handle a happy culture.  America seems so negative on so many levels, it's almost as if I've gotten used to being surrounded by the permanently unhappy.  Even our birds seem to be falling dead out of the sky....which is so ominous because a world without birds would be so sickeningly quiet and visually drab.  I've always loved birds and I make my cat wear a bell so he can't kill them.  The unexplained bird deaths is a source of anxiety for me.  Costa Rica has many rare and exotic birds.  Glad I have binoculars.

I've been to the the big island of Hawaii twice in my life, once when my mother was in brief recovery from breast cancer treatment, and again on my honeymoon.  Both times, the normally very active Mauna Kea volcano went silent and stopped erupting the whole time I was there.  I hope this is not going to happen when I visit the Arenal Observatory Lodge in Costa Rica.  My husband will really be mad if I manage to shut down a volcano again, especially considering what we're paying for a few days lodging here.   I've not mentioned that I have this uncanny ability to our traveling companions.  I'm fearful they'll banish me from the side trip.  I have always liked to play with fire.

I think I may take a surfing lesson, even at my age.  It just looks like a ton of fun to me.  Snorkeling and swimming are always givens on our trips.  I may try a zip-line, too, just for the pure thrill of a ride under the rain forest canopy.  Anyhow, my point is, I'm ready to be in a happy place, doing some fun things instead of being here, watching congressional representatives get shot in Arizona parking lots.  Republican or Democrat, no one wants to watch the country fall into this sort of anarchy; which seems to happen more and more these dark days. 

Maybe I'll learn something about a successful lifestyle in Costa Rica.  Maybe I'll stay there.  Maybe I'll meet an indiginous shaman who can give me some magic beans to get America on the right track.  Whatever, the news here seems to be all bad; and I'm glad I'm leaving for awhile.

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