Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear Costa Rica, I won't miss you

As some of you may know, I spent the last four years in Costa Rica, and anticipated a move during the last two years.  The move has finally happened, and we are settling into our new apartment in Northern Germany (there's no fun or privacy in getting TOO detailed as to my whereabouts ;-)).  Is it cold?  Yes.  Is the architecture badass?  Yes.  Am I losing my mind with chocolate and cheese lust?  Yes, definitely. 

My first impressions are good, people are very friendly and polite, the service is good, the food is fatty and delicious, and people actually stop for pedestrians!  I'm told this is most unusual (minus the fatty food) for Germany, and that I must live in a magical pocket of joy and wonder.  Or could this just be a thing of perception, as I've lived in the opposite extreme for the last four years?  My husband pointed out that perhaps my time in Costa Rica has primed me to see the positive, as the service there is horrible, the food is mostly bland, all material goods (incl food) are overpriced, drivers have the temperament and decision-making skills of a 15-year-old, government services are bogged down in bureaucracy and greed, and not to mention a certain infuriating brand of almost dishonest passive-aggressiveness that I thought I would finally be able to free myself from when I moved away from Seattle. 

Costa Rica bred in me, a raging irritability, an anger, a frustration, and a generally unpleasant disposition.  At the same time, I felt a feebility, a helplessness, a weakness in my inability to change anything about my surroundings, which only made me angrier.  I don't know if it was the noise, the saddening signs of the populace's disregard for human life, the feeling of entrapment and alienation between the bars built into every property and window, or if it was simply the heat of the burning sun; whatever the cause was, there was always fuel to keep the fire burning and to let it grow, right up 'till the very end when I was mugged, in broad daylight in a public park supposedly full of police officers, a mere three weeks before my departure.  I felt fed up, or as my mother would say, "Ich habe die Schnauze voll!"

So when people ask me "will you miss Costa Rica?" I can honestly answer "no"... "but what about the heat?  You're going to miss that in Germany!" nope.  That's what down coats and hot showers are for. 

As I type this, I am shivering in my heatless-until-October apartment, my feet numb, my nose and fingers icy, yet I find myself again, enjoying the sharpness of my thoughts, and the coolness, the placidity, of my emotional composure.