Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Twenty years ago today

September 9, 1989 was my first full day in Costa Rica.

I came here because, following my year in Kenya, Costa Rica seemed more manageable (read: closer to the United States, both geographically and culturally) than my originally-planned year in Japan. (A bit of backstory can be found here, for any what needs it.)

In other words, I came to Costa Rica more because of what it was not, than because of any particular thing that it was.

I'm not sure I actually knew much of anything about Costa Rica when I arrived, except that it was in Central America, and that the language was Spanish (of which I spoke 10 words).

Well, and I'm also pretty sure I knew it wasn't an island.

I certainly didn't expect to stay, settle, marry, divorce, have children here. Not that I had any idea about where, when or with whom I might eventually do those things, but I most definitely didn't think it would be here.

When people ask how long I've been here, and I tell them, they always ask if I "like it here," or remark that I must like it.

Which is funny. I guess some people do have strong feelings about where they live, but I tend to like some things about any given place, and dislike others, and you just live where you live. The various circumstances of my life to date being what they are, I happen to live here.

In today's world of relatively affordable air travel and email and VOIP and blogs and digital cameras and whatnot, the distance really isn't the thing. The culture is different, sure. Sometimes that seems like a non-issue after all these years, and sometimes it doesn't.

Culture was certainly an issue in my marriage, but not in the way you (any given one of "you") might imagine. There are ways in which it is easier to be with someone from another culture, because you don't expect them to share your assumptions or ways of doing things on every point.

On the other hand, some of those assumptions and ways of doing things may be deeply ingrained or very important to one or the other partner, and sticking points may crop up in unexpected spots.

I do appreciate the shared cultural cues and points of reference (and language) of being in a relationship with someone who grew up in the same country I did, but I think it would be a mistake to attribute too much significance to culture in either case.

Actually, assessing the affect of culture on relationships is rather like trying to express whether or not I "like" living in Costa Rica - no answer I would be inclined to give would do justice to the depth of the question, and most people who ask aren't looking for that much detail anyway.

(By the way, this year's post is all about me, but September 9 is still many things to many people. [Also, and unrelatedly, in looking for those two links, I happened across this post (and its follow up) from three years ago. It is amusing.])


(Best Show)Watch September 10, 2009 1:58 AM  


Two things

1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on ‘Torchwood’for our website

2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

The Best Shows Youre Not Watching (dot) com [all one word]
‘Torchwood’one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

What’s in it for you?
Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think.


Steve September 10, 2009 5:49 PM  

ok that first comment threw me off my game let me regroup..................................
I'm still not convinced CR is NOT an island and when I finally come to visit you will be all like "HAHA Jokes on Steve!" :)

The only place I'm glad your at is in my life. You are a good friend and I enjoy knowing ya!

Now back to Torchwood!

The Cunning Runt September 10, 2009 8:26 PM  

I am indeed an island, though Costa Rica is decidedly not.

Beyond that, your links took me on a journey I hadn't anticipated, one which was rich and warm. More of the same things I usually get when I stop by here, but temporally displaced.

And Steve is entirely correct to note that it's a pleasure to have you in our spheres of consciousness. Whatever we did to incur this unearned pleasure is far beyond my comprehension.

I feel like I should throw in a fart joke to lighten this up a bit.

Anyway, hope 9/9 of this year adds to the richness of your life.


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