Growing up in Costa Rica in the 1980s
Darius, Costa Rica, Growing up in Costa Rica in the 80's
Some days in our lives are unforgettable. You just close your eyes and just like a movie, images start running in your head; even sounds if you pay attention. Smells? Why not. Actually, smells are recognized memory triggers. Maybe that high school girlfriend or the smell of some food or candy that is not the same anymore. It was a rainy day as most days are in my country on this season, -or should I say ‘were’?...Global warming changes everything - March, is hot, is cold and humid. As topical as you can get. I was 11 years old by then. A year younger than the average 12. That was my moms decision cause my brother, who was only 11 months older than I, used to cry at kindergarten. I was interrupted from my beautiful routine of games and experiments. I never liked school, or maybe I did like it but not the act of waking up early every day, taking a cold shower (I could not take hot water showers because of a medical condition) and as I was smaller than the rest of my classmates, they always were challenging my nerves. My brother, on the other hand, was placed on another group. We were both on seventh grade but because of faith or whatever, the alphabetical order divided our path that we shared with up and downs and one expulsion or too through the whole seven years at school (taking into account kindergarten of course). It felt as a divorce somehow. New friends, new enemies, new challenges and choices. It was exiting and terrifying at the same time. A new girl to conquer, - or the first I would have the nerve to talk to -, a new fight that would establish me as the king. Well, the king of dwarfs maybe. And the teachers. A new English teacher obviously with a personality disorder ,i.e. looks like a man, speaks like a woman. The monster? There is always a monster. In this case, a mathematics professor, a woman with a scary look. They called her a lot of names, but my classmates, mostly the ones repeating the seventh grade, told us bump rising stories about her. Even teachers were afraid of talking to her. As I write this, I get transported to that time. 1985, a year of changes and discoveries that marked a milestone in my life. What happened in that year from my perspective? That is the subject of my next article. By the way, all this happened in Costa Rica. My dear country and personal paradise on earth.