Tico time does not work to your advantage whenever you need to get anything done, period.
Tico time can be great. It gives you an excuse to be late to everything (or even not show up at all) it allows you to linger over lunch breaks and spend more time in a day drinking coffee than working.
The problem? It’s not very efficient, at all. You know how in the States places like banks, government buildings and hospitals may have lines? It’s so much worse here. For example:
-The bus we often have to take to La Fortuna advises getting there to buy your ticket 30 min in advance. We get to the ticket booth each time 30 min in advance (or more), only to find the booth closed for the next 30 minutes.
-I’ve waited an hour 1/2 in line to use an ATM only to find out that it has broken down/run out of money. I don’t remember if this is true or not in the States, but Ticos have a habit of answering their cellphones and holding a conversation at the most inopportune times, like while standing at the ATM with a huge line behind them.
-Lord help you if someone is in line in front of you in a store or restaurant and their credit card isn’t working for any reason. The cashiers just keep trying and trying and swiping and swiping for an hour or more. I actually had to ask the person in front of me in line once if they had another card. Luckily they did, or I would have offered to just pay for their lunch in cash.
Why am I venting about this now? I’m just preparing myself. You see, Ross and I have decided to rent a car for the next week so we can bring Mango to the beach with us (he deserves one tropical beach trip before we torture him with the cold New England weather). We just realized though, that while visitors to the country are able to drive with a valid license from their home countries, residents can not. Since we are residents this year and not visitors we need an official Costa Rican license to drive.
So, early Monday morning I’ll be going for my Costa Rican driver’s license and dealing with long lines and Tico times. Wish me luck that I
don’t freak out at anyone and make a huge scene pass.
Since we’re only in the country for a few more days, I have no idea what I’ll do with this license… is anyone at home hoping for an authentic Tico license as a souvenir? Let me know!