Tico-ish Episode #003 – Getting and giving directions in Costa Rica

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Which way to San José?

Which way to San José?

Click here for Episode 4 Show Notes

Traveling within Costa Rica is an adventure – especially given the unique way that Costa Ricans give directions. This week, Christa and Ryan tackle this amazing cultural phenomenon with hilarious stories of getting lost – and found – in Costa Rica. (And this post includes AWESOME photos, as usual from Ryan – thank you!)  An interesting point that I didn’t bring up in the episode but that I thought of as I created this post is that there is a big disparity between how ticos give directions if they generally walk to their destinations or drive. Despite Costa Rica being a very developed country with lots of cars, there is still a large part of the population that doesn’t drive regularly, or has never driven. So… buyer beware! If you ask for directions in Costa Rica and you are driving, you might get a surprise!

Bread and immigration... turn left?

Bread and immigration… turn left? (photo courtesy of Ryan at http://costaricaoutsider.com/)

Without further ado… here’s what we talk about:

  1. How getting and giving directions “works” in Costa Rica
  2. What a postal address consists of in Costa Rica
  3. Where to find the street signs and house numbers…
  4. When Ryan’s students told him to “follow the cars” to get to the beach.
  5. When Christa’s co-workers told her to “go down” at the top of a hill to get to a house
  6. The best options for tourists wishing to drive in Costa Rica
When in doubt, just spray paint the directions right onto the street. (Hazardous for night driving, I guess.)

When in doubt, just spray paint the directions right onto the street. (Hazardous for night driving, I guess.)  Photo courtesy of Ryan from http://costaricaoutsider.com/


Bonus Content: One thing that I forgot to mention on the episode is a hilarious story about our “hometown away from home” of San Ramón. Within the last couple of years, the municipality arbitrarily changed the one-way streets in downtown San Ramón, many to the exact opposite way they were heading before. They did this at night, and didn’t really notify the town. So one morning, the people of San Ramón woke up to completely different street directions. This supposedly helped the flow of traffic through town, the veracity of which I can’t comment on. I can tell you that now, when getting and giving directions to people in San Ramón, there is a lot of confusion.

Here’s our most recent episode for your viewing pleasure.

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    December 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Awesome post.

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