A few lingering flowers still on one of the four Yellow Bells trees in my yard.

In this quintessential Tico town, everyone is friendly and strangers greet you on the sidewalk if you are a walker like me and I always want to greet them. One of the interesting things I learned early on here is that younger people like to shorten phrases as they talk fast and a lot.

The common greetings are of course:

Buenos Dias – up until noon
Buenas Tardes – afternoon until dark
Buenas Noches – after dark 

But now the most common greeting is just “Buenos” and some make the afternoon and evening distinction by saying “Buenas” (the feminine adjective for the feminine words tarde & noche, “a” instead of “o”.) But of course most older people still use the full phrases above, though not all.

Always trying to act younger, I’m now in the habit of saying “Buenos” to most people I meet. Of course if I know them or come into a class or other specific relationship with someone, it is then all the “How are you?” greetings and small talk for a bit. Almost as much as West Africa, though not quite.

Buenas noches from Pura Vida Atenas, Costa Rica!    -Charlie

Sunset Over Atenas from my balcony

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