tires and spite.

5 December 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m tired of the bars in San José.

that is not to say I’m sick of the cheap beer or the chance to try out a new slang phrase I just learned.

I’m tired of walking to and from school at night, and watching the people file home from work or wherever they spend their days, pull their small cars into tiny carports behind massive, barbed-wire fences and gates with four padlocks for safety, and as I walk toward a woman closing her gate, the quick look of fear I get, and the erratic movements of her hands as she tries to close all the locks faster than on any usual night.

I hate waking through neighborhoods where houses are adorned by prison bars rather than front doors, where cars must be protected and people sequester themselves behind them, answering to visitors’ ‘gupe’ from the front door with ‘what do you wants’ rather than ‘no thank yous’. I’m done with being looked at as if I’m going to rob every person I walk by on the street, and I’m tired of noticing that I’m not the only one who gets looked at this way. I have more to fear than you, do I not?

I don’t want to walk up to the gate in front of my house, find that someone left the padlock undone, and have my heart skip a beat because I think something’s gone wrong. I don’t want to be told by locals that every other country in Central America should be staunchly avoided by me – because I’m a friend, they say, and they just want to warn me – because everyone out in the streets wants to stab me purely for the love of killing an American.

I refuse to believe that it’s pure naïveté which drives me to believe that people are better than that.  Last Saturday is not why I travel, but it’s something that I needed to see and experience.

But then there’s a film which puts most of my problems in perspective. Which basically means whatever I’m out to do, whether it’s sitting behind a Neve 8068 in a recording studio somewhere in Musicland, volunteering at a sustainable farm in Costa Rica, fishing on the sea in Alaska, or hitchhiking across Europe in the middle of winter trying to get a better feel for the local culture, to learn, to understand, to accomplish…what? You should see it; it’s great.


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