30 minutes is never 30 minutes here – it’s more like an hour. “I’ll see you at 4:00” really means 5:00. Or 5:30. Or maybe not at all. It takes some getting used to and it’s definitely difficult to make plans because I find myself always waiting around. I recently hired a taxi to pick me up at 11:00, knowing I had multiple errands outside of town that needed to be run but needed to be back by 2 to meet with DHL. But 11:00 came and went. So as I waited for the taxi watching the minutes pass by, I could honestly feel my body start to stress. I know, I know, this is “Tico Time”. But I just don’t understand it.
Everyone I meet seems to own a watch so I don’t understand how no one is ever on time! I never wear a watch but somehow I know what time it is and where I’m supposed to be at any given moment. It’s amazing to me that anything ever gets done here and no wonder everything takes longer than it should. I’m really trying hard to get used to this different way of life but I always feel like I’m on a delay and that never makes me feel good. I have many things to do and I can’t be waiting around for people who may or may not show up!
I guess I might be also somewhat to blame for perpetuating the problem. Like in the example above, DHL actually came early and I was still out running errands (although I would have been home had the taxi shown up on time). But the DHL guy was kind enough to call me and then wait for me even though perhaps that set him back a little time in his day as well. But when I told him I’d be there in 15 minutes, I was there in 15 minutes.