Of God, politics, used clothing and a little matter of 27 years

A few days ago on Bloomberg News, the anchor was reporting on some data. He said “The statistics go back to 1985 —- 1985?” (Like, big deal). Then he said “I can`t believe it`s 2012. That`s sick!” He sounded disgusted, but I cracked up laughing. Now whenever I think of that I laugh. Indeed, 1985 was just yesterday!

We don´t have to go back quite that far to find Mitt Romney, running for his party´s nomination for president. It seems as if try, try again works. Because he is at it again, and it looks like he´s going to take his place with Sens. McCain and Dole, who were finally rewarded as the Republican Party’s nominee for president because, as some Republican spokesperson said, of them and now Romney, “It`s his time,” If this were Mafia land, that would be like a kiss from the Don.

Sick or not, 2012 is going to be an interesting, even an explosive year. I have heard that most of the world is waiting with bated breath for the outcome and with mouth agape at the shenanigans of U.S. politics.

It is nice to live where small is beautiful, diversity usually has the prefix bio and tolerance is the name of the game.

The holiday celebrations over, and many Ticos still on vacation (they get a lot of those days here), I decided to leave the TV and visit downtown San Jose. Not sure if the buses were yet running regularly, I called a cab. My taxista was a pretty mellow fellow while I fumed at the giant earth scooper blocking the entrance to Avenida Secunda so that traffic was jammed and alternative routes were required. (Of course, we view the maria differently.) When they repair a street here, they don´t think it`s necessary to warn people before the event. We were in a snarl of traffic approaching Avenida Secunda from the south when a motorcyclist passed us and my taxista hailed him, to no avail, then got out of the car to examine the left rear fender.

We followed the driver on his giant mosquito, and my taxista again tried to get his attention when we stopped at the light. He did so by banging on the door of his taxi. He then pointed out to the motorcyclist that he had nicked his taxi. He said, “Amigo, you gave my car a golpe, not big, but be careful in the future.” The motorcyclist hung his head for a second, then nodded, they shook hands, and we were on our way again.

¨That`s nice,” I said. “Very Tico.” My mellow driver just smiled.

Downtown was quiet, even peaceful compared to the previous two weeks. I enjoyed perusing the racks of clothing from various decades, including the 80s in a Ropa Americana. I bought a jacket that will be perfect for the next rainy season. It`s a Danskin with a great collar that will not permit neither wind nor rain to enter. It had, I noticed, a secret pocket, which I have been unable to find again. It cost $3. I used to calculate the value of a piece of clothing by how many times I wore it.

If I wear this six times, it´s a bargain.

On the way home, my taxista was an evangelical Christian. At least that is what he told me after he began quoting the Bible and selling me on the benefits of believing and trusting in God. Just what I needed after listening to American politicians quote the Old Testament, but never once, Christ, to win the religious fundamentalists in the States. They are outdoing each other promising financial freedom and social conservatism, which means they won´t touch your pocketbook, but they will restrict your sexual behavior. And being a mother will be a woman´s main job.

Costa Rica is nominally a Catholic country but the evangelicals have multiplied. I had to smile, listening to my taxista. I recently read that proselytizing was illegal in Costa Rica. (You have to love a country where you can prostitute but not pimp or proselytize.) However, like most soft laws, it is not much paid attention to. Bus drivers let individuals board the vehicle to, at best, beg and, at worst, harangue their captive audience with their pleas for money in the name of their religion or personal tragedy. Hmm, asking for money. It sounds like I am back to politics again.

I just can´t figure out how people, with the exception of Job, don`t blame God for their personal tragedies and misfortunes, but give Him all the credit for undoing them. Obviously God is not a politician.

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