It was a touristy area, which was neither my style nor hers. Still, we dug our toes into the sand and picked at lobster as the dark waves of Tamarindo Bay broke under the stars.
Behind us an obnoxious woman ignored her dinner and instead prattled on about the politics raging back home in her school district. It would have been an irrelevant enough conversation back in the States, but she had packed it in her carry-on and brought it with her to paradise. Her friends listened, tried to contribute, and then were dismissed as she continued to hammer home whatever her point was.
As everyone around us ate, her two sons played in the darkness near the surf alongside a young Costa Rican boy.
A coconut sailed through the darkness, a makeshift football. One of the children caught it and lofted it back out over the sand. The game went on. The older of the American kids scooped a missed throw up out of the sand and haphazardly chunked it back the other direction, missing his target like a celebrity’s first pitch. The coconut cracked loudly as it hit a man’s chair at one of the restaurant’s tables.
Both of the American kids ran as fast as they could the other direction and dove over the ridge and out of sight towards the beach.
The Costa Rican boy stared at them oddly and trotted over to scene of the accident. The people at the table were glaring and one of them muttered something about how someone could have been killed. The mother screamed at her boys. Someone else at the table complained about the unsupervised kids.
The boy understood none of it, of course.
He just picked up half of the broken shell and stared at it sadly, then, noticing a fresh coconut just a few feet away, tossed it to the side. He held the new one up. “Tengo otro!” he yelled. I have another.
Pura vida. Pure life.
So who cares what they’re saying at the table next to yours? They are loudly demonstrating that their values are not yours. Tune it out. That’s not what we’re here for. We are here to have fun. To live.
Go grab a coconut and meet me on the beach.