I was born in San José Costa Rica in 1955. Our whole country back then was a “small” town although to a little girl, it was the whole world. When my family moved to Brooklyn, New York less than a decade later, I was shocked to discover cars everywhere, cement everywhere, and people, just thousands and thousands of humans and that was just in our neighborhood. Absent everywhere was all the greenery, but we did live close to Prospect Park in its majestic splendor year round, and we were frequent visitors.
Time passed and decades later, I found myself bringing my husband and small children to Atenas, Costa Rica, a lovely, paradisiacal, perfectly placed county for travel anywhere in the country. Its popularity has expanded to reach corners of the world and citizens that make the move and enliven our town with their different customs and languages. Sometimes I wish I still belonged to the tourism board because it has tremendous potential to reach out to newcomers which I don’t think it is capitalizing on. But I digress.
New residents are ubiquitous and after spending almost 20 years here, I can sometimes guess (correctly) which of the new arrivals will have the stamina to live in a town that (like many small towns) is also a hotbed of ever-present intrigue and scandal. Just yesterday, I heard three or four conversations that were laden with juicy gossip! All before lunch!
Although I love my little town and use a lot of information as background for some of my writing, I cannot shake the disappointment in my fellow humans. While some of us are holed up, researching or writing for desperately needed income, others are quite busy backstabbing and doing some character assassination, often about people they are friends with or live in close proximity to. Heaven help me if I ever go down that road to hell.
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