I have hesitated to write about this because it sounds so silly but it is so true and a large part of my existance in Costa Rica.
It always happens that something occurs here in Costa Rica and you want to know WHY they do what they do. I am and have always been a why person, even when it came to learning Spanish, I wanted to know WHY everything had to be male or female, why the word so had 8 letters in spanish and other such sillies as that. Things arise everyday where I find myself wanting to ask WHY is something done this way or WHY did they do that. This was such a part of my person living in the US where everything seemed to make sense or by asking WHY you could get logical reasoning for why something was done the way it was. Since living in Costa Rica I have learned that asking WHY can send me to an early grave.
My latest blog entry about my car radio would be a classic example of how many WHY’s come to mind when dealing with INS or the car repair folks. Why do I need to go a dozen different places to get my radio and locks replaced? Why do I have to wait 1 1/2 hours in the 3rd place I have been for someone to look at my car and see that the radio really isn’t there? Why do I have to go pick up the parts myself? Why can’t someone else do this for me? And so on…
I tell people when they move here to try to take the word WHY out of their vocabulary. Even when someone explains WHY they do something or the way that they do it, it won’t make any sense to us Gringo’s as it would always be much easier if they would do it the way we did it in the states but they never do.
This was my first taste of Costa Rican culture shock. I had to get over asking why all the time. Now when I find myself thinking WHY I switch channels in my brain and say, that’s just the way it is, I don’t need an explanation because it won’t make sense to me anyway.
This may sound idiotic but it works. I live a much more stressfree life by not asking WHY all the time. I have resigned myself to it’s just the way they do things and move onto something else.
I could give you a dozen or so examples of how this comes up in our daily lives but if you live here for awhile you will see for yourself it’s much easier to live here if you don’t question WHY all the time. If you start to question WHY something is the way it is….bite your lip and move onto another topic. Trust me it is the only way to live happily in Paradise.