Dos Lo­cos: Tico Time Zone - Bus Stop of Life

Howler Magazine - - Contents - by Johnny La­houd

This month's sub­ject was go­ing to be a few bus tales about all my ad­ven­tures trav­el­ing back and forth from San José. I was still pon­der­ing the best ones, only to get lucky and stum­ble upon a new tale one day while wait­ing for a bus back to Mat­a­palo. I was lis­ten­ing to Klove ra­dio, singing and smil­ing at all the passersby. That's when a lovely older women walked up, smiled and sat down to wait for the next bus. I smiled back with a “Buenos días” to boot. Think­ing that was that, I no­ticed she was ask­ing me a ques­tion, so I re­moved my head­phones. She asked when the next bus was com­ing and our chat was off and run­ning.

What a bless­ing to meet Is­abella! Struck by her lovely dis­po­si­tion and Tica smile, I asked where she was head­ing. She was go­ing to see fam­ily in Liberia af­ter vis­it­ing her niece in Ta­marindo. She had trav­eled from south­ern Costa Rica and was en­joy­ing her trip. Now this is a woman of 85 all alone at the bus stoP ... I know, I know. I didn't ask; she of­fered up the in­for­ma­tion will­ingly.

Our chat con­tin­ued, and when the sub­ject turned to my­self, I told Is­abella I was now a lifer with a Tica daugh­ter. So then she told me about her child­hood. It was amaz­ing to see the twinkle in her eye as she be­came 12 years old again, re­lat­ing sto­ries about how she grew up in the old school days.

Is­abella con­tin­ued on about her chil­dren, grand­chil­dren, and fi­nally about how she was now a widow but blessed to have had a great life and chil­dren who love her. I just sat and lis­tened and saw her beam with the love of a life well lived. It made me proud to have made and be mak­ing a life for my­self here.

Even­tu­ally, the bus came and we wished each other pura vida as we parted ways.

As I waved good­bye, I ex­pe­ri­enced a truly en­light­en­ing mo­ment. I saw life through an­other's Tico eyes with­out an opin­ion — only lis­ten­ing, en­joy­ing and lov­ing the life God has given me.

As I put my head­phones back on and switched to my playlist, the se­lec­tion was Kenny Ch­es­ney´s time­less song “Don't Blink.” It's all about en­joy­ing the mo­ment and be­ing present to oth­ers around you. Then the next song came on and truly summed up the mo­ment — Sir El­ton John's “Tiny Dancer.” Singing softly to my­self and think­ing of all the pre­cious mo­ments past and fu­ture with my daugh­ter, an iconic line from the movie “Al­most Fa­mous” came to mind. When the young teen jour­nal­ist on the tour bus tells Penny Lane, “I need to go home,” she replies, “You are home.”

I´ve been in Costa Rica 25 years and that sen­ti­ment res­onates through my be­ing. Liv­ing here and know­ing these great peo­ple and our re­la­tion­ships has been a bless­ing.

One thing is for sure, we are only at the bus stop of life for a short time. And it's our at­ti­tude and how we treat each other that ul­ti­mately de­fines who we are. It af­fects other hu­man lives around us now, and will tran­scend count­less gen­er­a­tions. ¡Pura vida y viva Costa Rica!

I´ve been in Costa Rica 25 years and that sen­ti­ment res­onates through my be­ing.

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