Young Ticos come to the rescue when a storm sewer tries to eat a tire

The phrase has already been used, but it really was a dark and stormy night, Friday about 7 p.m. on Avenida 7 in a place where police do not like to go.

This is a tale of two idiots and a redemption.

Idiot No. 1 was the clown who pulled his car forward to block the intersection. Idiot No. 2 is me because I tried to maneuver my car around his because I had the green light and was in a hurry.


One of my first observations when I arrived in Costa Rica was the depth of the storm gutters. Later, when the rains came, I realized why some are two feet deep.

The one I dropped the front right wheel of the car into was a good two and a half feet. A helpful young street vendor suggested that I just back out. Clearly he never had driven.

I stared at the front wheel in its concrete vault. The left rear wheel was dangling in the air.  I contemplated a $50 tow truck bill to just pull the car to the asphalt.

The cavalry came in the form of two groups of young men in their 20s.  They quickly concluded they could lift the vehicle out of the pit. I doubted it.

But I returned to the driver’s seat while the eight young men braced  themselves and then righted the car. The job was easy to just back up slightly with three wheels on the ground.

Another example of Costa Rican kindness when you least expect it. They dispersed so quickly that I did not have a chance to thank them all.

But I do so now.

A.M. Costa Rica graphic The SUV was down by the bow!

A.M. Costa Rica graphic
The SUV was down by the bow!

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