Friday, February 13, 2009

Bread Without Salt - a Dicho

Bread Without Salt?

No, it's not another recipe - those are fun once in a while, but this is *not* a foody blog...

I heard a new saying (un dicho) this week - it is deeper than it seems at first, and it sheds a little bit of light on something that is strange to a lot of gringos in Costa Rica.

This is something that is said about some women - she is like bread without salt, or "pan sin sal." It isn't an insult - bread made without salt is still a nourishing staple. But the salt makes it flavorful, and more enjoyable.

So, what kind of woman is like bread made without salt? A woman who does only the basic grooming - she showers, for example. But she does not apply make-up, style her hair, polish her nails, wear stylish clothes, use perfume, etc.

What many gringos "see" in Costa Rica are women who seem to "dress to impress" - specifically to impress men. But these women are really just adding flavor and joy to their lives, and to the lives of those around them. The effort is not aimed just at attracting men - although it usually *does* attract men :-D, that is more of a side-effect.

When you "add your salt" you show that you care about yourself and that you enjoy life. You care about adding something special to the lives of others as well.

I have to admit, this discussion opened a new door for me - both to the Tico culture, and to myself. I have had my time as bread without salt, and have recently started to add salt back into my bread. It feels different - the difference is subtle, but definite.

Hmmm - I think it might be time to paint my toenails...

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