Costa Rican GPS


This week’s cartoon for The Costa Rica Star has received a really strong response since it was published on Friday.

It’s common for people to use landmarks when giving directions no matter where you live. How many times has a tourist asked you how to get somewhere and you attempted to tell them without using street names? I’ve often struggled to remember exactly how many blocks or the name of a street, even though I knew exactly how to get to their destination. It’s especially unique in Costa Rica as most residences and businesses don’t have addresses and most streets don’t have signs.

A visit to the Star’s Facebook page will give you an idea how many people related to this cartoon.

I talked to my editors in San Jose and did a lot of reading on getting around the nation. There weren’t just tourist sites and personal blogs on the topic, but several news stories. I even found one in The Washington Post. Waze is very popular.

I was surprised this cartoon revealed to me that I have a lot of friends who have been to Costa Rica and are very familiar with being physically lost in that nation.

When I first moved to Virginia I was confused with directions for about a day. it didn’t take long to start recognizing landmarks. When I moved to Honolulu I was confused for a month.

In Hawaii I couldn’t find grocery stores or gas stations. I wouldn’t have been able to find fast food if I didn’t live in Waikiki my first month. It wasn’t just that all the streets had names like “Kalanianaole” but you discover how much you are dependent on billboards and neon. Without those two things you’re kinda lost for a while. Then you get used to it and realize it’s awesome.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!


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