Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Exchange

This year, Costa Ricans will celebrate Black Friday, although not with quite the same fervor or depth of discounts that we enjoy (or suffer from?) up North. And as Ticos crowd the stores, they'll have to weave between the abundant plastic Christmas trees.

It didn't occur to me that a country without Thanksgiving could still celebrate Black Friday. Or that a tropical country would invest in plastic evergreens. But with all the gringo tv we watch here, I shouldn't be surprised.

What's perhaps more curious is that some holidays transfer better than others. Was Thanksgiving left behind because it only works with an official government decree granting time off of work? Or was Thanksgiving left in the dust because no advertiser found a way to make money off of it?

Meanwhile, the US has yet to adopt any Costa Rican holidays. For those looking for new ways to celebrate, I recommend Juan SantamarĂ­a Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Santamar%C3%ADa). Next April 11th, join your Costa Rican brothers and sisters in celebrating the defeat of William Walker, an American from Tennessee who took over Nicaragua in order to legalize slavery.


I've found a blog with a similar title and some interesting entries:


Check it out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attitudes Towards Time

I've set up Outlook so I can write an email message at home, press the "send" button, and relax knowing Outlook will automatically send the message when I connect to the internet later. But this is much harder to do with people; I can make plans in advance but people don't take them seriously. For a week I've been trying to organize a high school trip but it didn't come together until the last moment. It's as if the future were wild, untameable, better left to its own devices.

Living on a Peace Corps Budget

I'm getting ready to move into a new apartment. Living alone on a Peace Corps budget requires some adjustments. However, I'm lucky to have lots of helpful neighbors, which makes the process easier.

I've got three weeks to go and I'm making good progress. I've already got a gas stove, something like a sink, a rice cooker, an electric skillet, some mismatched tableware, and a promise of tables. And my fridge was delivered Monday!

Living alone should also help my projects. I can increase tourism in my community with a new tourist attraction: the world's most ghetto fridge.