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Dia de Independencia en Costa Rica

In truth, today is not yet the Costa Rican Independence Day. That happens tomorrow. Tonight the big event happened at 6:00 PM, approximately 26 minutes ago. The Costa Rican national anthem played on the speakers all over the country and patriotic Ticos were supposed to stop what they were doing and sing along.

I’ve read about the Costa Rican Independence Day in guidebooks and they sensationalize the experience, it seems. OR, perhaps it is just that they are in a place where the experience was a little bit different than mine at 6:00 PM. Normally, I would be more than willing to go down to Central Park in Atenas and check out the festivities, but Lydian and I have officially come down with the sniffles (gripe—pronounced “gree-pay”—as Francisco the van driver called it). We have been exposed to it for the past two weeks and finally succumbed. Everyone around us has been coughing and sneezing. I have been compulsively using my hand sanitizer, but alas, my time has come. So Central Park didn’t seem like fun to me tonight. Instead, we went to the grocery store. This is where we were at 6:00 PM.

Although sometimes it is truly cool to be in the center of the action, often areas on the periphery are more interesting. I took a moment to videotape our surroundings when the anthem played at the Coopeatenas Supermercado downtown. Mostly people milled around unenthusiastically, but one passionate fellow in a striped shirt went ahead and sang along with the anthem the way the guidebooks said everyone would. I was enchanted by his feeble effort. He was willing to make an ass out of himself amongst a group of his own citizens to do what he believed was right.

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