7 Signs We’re Adapting to Life in Costa Rica


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Since we have been in Costa Rica for over 2 months now, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of signs that we've adapted to certain aspects of life in a 2nd world county.

We know we're adapting to living in Costa Rica because…

1.)  We panic when toilet paper is thrown in the toilet!  Non-first world countries just don't seem to have plumbing that can handle even a tiny bit of toilet paper.  Since we have young children, some of whom STILL use an obscene amount of toilet paper, it is an almost everyday challenge to keep the plumbing in good shape.

2.)  We expect to take showers that don't have a consistent flow of warm water.  Before my shower this morning, I turned the "hot" water faucet on and waited a good 3-5 minutes before any hot water started to flow.  It was unusually long this morning, but with every shower, I fully expect to have to adjust water temperatures at least twice.  Our middle daughter came out of her last shower excitedly saying that the water didn't go from burning hot to freezing cold! :o)

3.)  We get excited about not having to pay for using a public restroom.  (I seem to notice a common thread to the first 3 signs.  Hmmm…)  Last Thursday, we went to San Jose for a presentation the Pilot did at a nice golf course and they had free public restrooms!  It's the little things, like not having to spend 150 colones on a bathroom trip, that made that trip extra special.  HA!

4.)   Grocery shopping isn't a math phobic's nightmare anymore.  I actually like math, but when I had to figure out the currency conversion rate on everything, like trying to see if paying 4200 colones (roughly $8.40) for a jar of JIF peanut butter was a good deal, it was exhausting.  And it's much harder to keep a running total in my head when I'm dealing in thousands instead of ones and tens for units.

5.)  Sitting in an air conditioned room makes me freeze!  Yep…who would have guessed that we could acclimate to no air conditioning.  Not me, that's for sure.  When we went to the Pilot's presentation, the room was FRIGID!  I was actually glad to get out into natural air that morning.

6.)  The children are beginning to understand more and more Spanish.  This is a bit of a point of contention in our home.  The Pilot thinks they should be further along in their Spanish, but I'm quite pleased, especially since they're not in any formal language classes or in school.  No more using Spanish to talk about something and keep it a secret from the children.  Guess we have to work on a new language…

7.)  I'm not feeling as motion sick on the buses as I used to.  This was a huge concern for me (and my mom) because I am VERY prone to motion sickness…and morning sickness.  I think the two are related.  But the last trip we took on a bus, I didn't have to employ any meds (actually, I ran out!) and I also did not have to do any deep breathing to calm any queasiness.  I think that's MAJOR progress!

Have you seen signs of adapting to a new place?  What were some of the tell tale signs?  For example, when we moved to rural North Carolina, I knew I'd adapted when I wasn't floored by the smell of fresh cigarette smoke INSIDE a local grocery store.  Yes, you even have to adapt when you move to places within a country…even the United States!

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