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Eating Hamburgers in Costa Rica

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Eating Hamburgers in Costa Rica


“Esto mundo es loco, loco, loco”
-Dona Eliza

Mira and I are eating hamburgers at a run down burger joint on the eastern outskirt of Heredia. We just received our cat-sized slabs of meat grilled to a slight crisp with cheese and onions escaping out of every side of the bread contained vessels, and were just about to chomp into them when our feast was harshly interrupted by a drug addict.

“Are you Americans?” the addict asked us in perfect English. “You look like gringos, where are you from.”

The addict was talking at a yelling pitch and, in his current state, was obviously not aware of any social parameters. His clothes were clean, his pants baggy and stylish, he wore a prominent chain that dangled down his leg and connected to his wallet, and had on a t-shirt from some heavy metal band. His complection was very light, and he could have easily gotten by as a local in Spain. He was not the typical washed out and beat type of drug addict, but rather gave the appearance of someone who came from a moderately wealthy family and received a good education. He was a drug addict by absolute choice.

We confirmed the fact that we were from the USA.

“IMPERIALISM, yeah, Woohoo ,” he yelled in the burger joint. “Do you want to take over the world?!?”

I was beginning to take this guy for a real dick. Mira just glared at him.

“You like George Bush?”

“I don’t like any politician,” I replied.

Mira and I then just tried to ignore him. A feat that was impossible, as he was standing directly in front of us doing some kind of gotcha dance. His arms flared all around him as he tried to provoke us into defending US military action. I was about to notify him that my military was essentially his, as the good ol USA is the surrogate armed forces of Costa Rica. If Costa Rica had the power of the USA I guarantee that they would be the first to drop bombs on Iraq. Power needs to be utilized to be actualized. The sword has always been drawn, our time is not unlike any other. But I did not care enough to make any such statements.

So Mira and I both remained silent as we listened to the drug addict’s song. Soon he grew board of taunting the US military, and began talking about drugs. We were informed that he was really high and liked to go to Bar Havana and do cocain. He said that the police in Costa Rica did not really enforce drug laws. I believed this statement. I do not think that the police here do anything here but dress up as police officers and extort the occasional fifty bucks out of the unsuspecting tourist.

The drug addict then realized that we do not care about militaries, politics, or any of those guys in suits on the TV. In fact, I have the impression that he realized that he also did not care too much about any of this. The drug addict just seemed to be a little disgruntled about something.

He then told us that he works in a call center.

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Barva, Costa Rica
February 1, 2008

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Filed under: Central America, Costa Rica

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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