Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A few random cultural obersations*

*Not necessary accurate (or even accurate stereotypes), but little things that amused me.

Guns for show, knives for a pro
Which, if I remember correctly, was one of my favourite lines from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The only guns I have seen so far in Costa Rica have been safely inside the holsters of policemen. However, it seems quite de-rigueur to carry a knife. You see farmers with machetes, people wandering down the street with knives slung to their belts. Even our guide at the Reserva in Monteverde had one. It’s not at all threatening as the knives are being carried for a practical purpose, but with all the reported knife crime in London this year it is something you notice.


When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
We saw a lot of 4X4's on the roads and a decent proportion of these were Land Rovers. All of which seemed to come with Union Jack flags. Not something you get on the UK models.


Early to bed early to rise
A notable feature of my Costa Rican experience so far has been how early everyone seems to go to bed. Restaurants close early, bars shut and people disappear behind their doors. The flip side is that everyone gets up at sunrise, which is mighty early.


Clean Cutlery
Unlike in UK restaurants where the tables have been pre-laid, there were never any tables set with cutlery or crockery in Costa Rica. Cutlery always came in a packet.
If you were somewhere cheap it looked like this:

Somewhere a bit more posh and your knife and fork might come wrapped in a napkin:

Your beer sometimes came with a little napkin too:
Bavaria Negro. A very nice, locally brewed tipple.

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