Hice una lista de las cosas que en mi cabeza, definen a "un tico" y las razones que me hicieron rechazar todas y cada una de ellas.
- Pura Vida: de tico no tiene absolutamente nada, sino que es mexicanísimo. Además, el uso que le dimos los ticos a la frase de Clavillazo hizo que ahora la frase sea relacionada más bien con la vagancia y el valeverguismo que sí caracterizan a muchos compatriotas. En lo personal, a mí hasta vergüenza me da usarla.
- Mae: igualmente, el vocablo es de origen mexicano, solo que aquí nuevamente la vagancia del tico ha hecho "involucionar" el idioma para dar nacimiento a conversaciones como:
Tico B: "sí maaee..."
- Gallo Pinto: es el mismo plato que se encuentra en el resto de centroamérica y el caribe. Al que me diga que "y la Salsa Lizano"? le puedo responder que la tal salsa, aunque es muy rica y todo, no es tica, sino bueno, es la conocida "salsa inglesa" (o su nombre correcto, Salsa Worcestershire).
- La Cerveza Imperial: la "cerveza de Costa Rica" es mas arroz y maíz que cerveza. En los ingredientes no les da la gana poner claramente eso y solo ponen "cereales". Luego dicen que porqué sabe así... en lo personal, prefiero la Bavaria que parece tener un poco menos de "relleno"...
- La "Suiza Centroamericana": no nieve, no neutralidad política, no igualdad. Tal vez en lo que se parece es en lo de paraíso fiscal...
- La religión: mejor ni empecemos con eso...
Living in this part of the world you are able to meet people you normally never thought you will know. And even though we come from many different places, there’s one thing we all have in common, and that is being foreigners in a country that is not your own. Many Japanese like to talk about their “unique” culture and considering the fact that they were not invaded of exterminated like the original people of the Americas, there is at least some collective memory they can brag about. Being away from your usual environment makes your brain to unconsciously look for the things that “define” you (I don’t like that connotation of the word). This soul searching has been giving some trouble lately and now you will see why.
I made a list of the things inside my head that would supposedly define me like a “tico”, and the reasons that made me reject each and every one of these notions.
Pura Vida: Literally meaning “Pure Life”, it can be roughly translated as “everything’s is/was/will be OK” or “don’t worry” “no problem”, etc. The phrase is not Costa Rican at all, but Mexican. The phrase “Pura Vida” became popular probably around the 50’s thanks to the movies of a Mexican comedian known as “clavillazo” (real name was Antonio Espino y Mora). Sadly, this actor’s famous line became also synonymous with something some Costa Ricans are also famous for: laziness and the “I don’t give a sh... about anything not directly related to myself” kind of attitude. Personally, I even feel ashamed when I hear someone using it.
Mae: The original meaning of the word is “fool” and its origins can be traced back to Mexico and not Costa Rica. In time it acquired many other meanings such as in the following conversation:
Tico A: "uy mae, aquel mae si es mae ah mae?"
Tico B: "sí maaee..."
Tico A: “hey “mae” (you), that guy is an idiot, don’t you think so?
Tico B: “you bet it”
(There are at least 3 different meanings for the same word in one single sentence)
Gallo Pinto: a Latin American dish of African roots, basically made with rice, beans and some other ingredients that change according to the country. Some Costa Ricans might say “but our has “Salsa Lizano!” (Lizano is the name of the company). Well, Salsa Lizano is just the normal “Worcester Sauce” you can find places. Not Costa Rican at all.
“Imperial” Beer: the “Beer of Costa Rica” is more rice and corn than beer. Sometimes I wonder it it can actually be called a “beer”, because I don’t think there is a regulation in my country related to the amount of malted barley and hops that should be used in order to call it “a beer”. I’ve tried some “happoshu” drinks here in Japan and some of them tasted pretty much like, if not exactly like the “Imperial” Anyway, let’s go to the next one...
The Switzerland of Central America: no snow, no political neutrality, no equality. Maybe the name comes because of the “Tax Haven” stuff... besides, it was a Nicaraguan, not a Costa Rican, who came up with this phrase.
Religion: don’t even get me started on this one...
Like these, there are many other things I don’t like simply because they are only myths or outright lies. As a foreigner and Costa Rican living abroad, I always try to give a good impression, but in the end I feel there are not many things left that can “identify” me with being Costa Rican. Living in this era of “globalization”, I feel that probably I’m not the only person feeling this “uprooted”. What do you think?