Love and Wonder in Costa Rica

Tiquicia: A per name for Costa Rica

First of all, in case you are wondering, and this has come up, the term Tico is what the people of Costa Rica call themselves, it is not a pejorative. I mention that here as I have been asked this question.

I live in Costa Rica and actually at this time I can’t even leave, if I wanted to, as the borders are closed and if I could get out, I could not get back in. This is pretty much about 99% OK, however I can’t leave to go see any of my grandkids, and a new one is set to arrive in September, so that is very sad and frustrating. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to go there now possibly bringing in my wake deadly germs, so it’s a no brainer to just stay here for the duration.

In the meantime I spend a good deal of my time trying to understand the culture here which I think it is safe to say is pretty unique. Sometimes I despair of every getting even a small slice of understanding, but recently this was posted on our Gringo Facebook page, and I think it is interesting that the Ticos have as many ways to describe feeling not quite right in the body and mind as First Nations people have to describe snow.


If you are a TICO, you definitely must have ever suffered even one of the following diseases:

2. PATATUS : Sudden attack of madness of unknown origin, which can be hospitalized for observation.

3. YEYO: Any sudden disorder that is severe enough to go to the doctor, take remedies and miss school, or work. It can be used as a synonym for patatus.

4. CHICHOTA: Cranial bulge usually caused by the gyration suffered during the patatus…!

5. EMPACHO: Digestive disorder caused by a “heavy meal” after eating wildly: tuna, fruits, pork leg, chicharrones and some liquor… The gastronomic society recommends for these cases “bitter drops” (there is nothing in the pharmacy better than that).

6. SERENO: Mysterious substance that is particularly watered at night and that mainly affects children if they do not wear the head well covered.

7. CUERPO PESADO : How to explain to another human being not born in Tiquicia what it is to feel with the heavy body? It’s a stick just like the trunk goes to one side, the arms weigh more than the fuck and by the way the legs don’t give it… who understands this?

8. ZALPULLIDO: Strange rash composed of a little “balls” that usually come out after you have eaten something that did not like you or is allergic to the shrimp cocktail which has swallowed more than the bill when you went on holiday to the beach.

9. RONCHA: The previous but tight and chopping balls that, especially if they are located in noble parts. And by the way, why would they call you nobles?

10. SOPONCIO: Suffering of the elderly and dependent on the social stratum, maintaining the name “SOPONCIO” if it occurs in wealthy people and PATATUS if the victim is middle class or lower class.

11. COGIO UN AIRE : This one really has crazy things to finish all Harvard scientists, because so far they do not explain what the pathophysiology , How can one catch a gaseous element (air)? And the air, do you just let yourself get caught?

12. LE DIO UNA VARA RARA : It has no place of the specific body, the fact is that that “vara” took him away.

13. LE DIO NERVIOS : Everyone has nerves, but in Tiquicia, the nerves “give”. It refers when a situation generates confusion, fear, anguish. It’s dangerous because it can end up in a jerk!

14. COSTALAZOS: Heavy-rise falls, usually in public places, of which those who suffer from it, despite the shreds, stop quickly, as if nothing had happened.

15. JODIDO: Be wrong, with some pain usually in some or all parts of the body, but also attributable to the pain of being out of work or without money . It also alludes to mental development.

16. CHICHON: Significantly substantial anger .

17. GOMA: it is said that a person has GOMA ( HANGOVER ), when he took up the water of the key in the bar and / or bars where he spent all night sucking guaro (and everything else).. it is characterized by headaches, tiredness, body pain and the classic “dry”…

18.TICOCARDIA: your symptoms are an increase in heartbeat when you play the National Football Team.Described by the unforgettable Parmenio Medina in the newspaper Al Día, in the 90s.

19. GRANO: Only here we say this to the small blood clot, the product of the wound. But we call it GRANO when the blood of a wound dries.

20. ACHICOPALADO: Be sad, bored, disappointed.

21. PRINGA PIE: Diarrhea.

22. PEGA: Severe digestive disorder, which is removed by arms message and taking a purgative.

23. PAL TIGRE: Sick.

24. DISCONSUELO: it is a pain that remains with one after a illness..

Ok, hello. In my mind, this fine observation of the dolors and states of the mind and body shows a higher attention to daily life and I don’t know what it means in the long run, however I aspire to giving this much love, humor, attention and respect to myself and others. Thanks once again Ticos for allowing us Gringo expats to share your country and get a taste of your flavor.

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