Thursday, December 13, 2007

July 12, 2007 - Practicing Our Manners

Today we drove across the bridge - a toll bridge - in California. We used to have FasTrak (that electronic gizmo that lets you just slow down a bit, and get charged the toll automatically) - no human interaction needed. But we got rid of them when we got rid of a bunch of other stuff before our last extended trip to Costa Rica.

So this toll bridge - Four dollars! I felt my irritation rising - just like the good ol' days, when I drove to work every single day, humping through traffic and tolls. BUT! A funny thing happened when I rolled down my window and passed a fiver to the attendant - my mouth opened, and out came "Good Morning!" and then it closed again, and a *smile* formed (!!!). I got my dollar change, and said "thanks, and have a good day" - OMG!

Even before I had FasTrak, I used to play a sort of game - I would slow just enough to pass the toll; the objective was to see how fast I could get past the booth (I even remember missing once - Que embarrassment! The toll booth attendant had to leave her booth to get the dough. She was *not* happy.)

So today, as I was calmly leaving the toll area, still smiling, I said to Rick (by way of explanation) "just practicing my Tico manners." But I kept thinking about that - it's really not true. I think I have actually *gained* Tico manners. So even if there were no other reason, I say "Thank you, Costa Rica!"

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