I didn’t have much to write about regarding my April trip to Costa Rica because it basically consisted of surfing, eating, and drinking. In fact, the only semi-funny thing that happened to me while in Costa Rica occurred when my flight landed at the Liberia airport.
The Costa Rican government requires that visitors fill out a landing card which you then submit to the immigration officer. It’s just some basic information, like name, date of birth, passport number, address, etc. For the occupation question I simply wrote “analyst” without identifying the organization I work for.
The queue at immigration was moving quickly, as the officers would take a cursory glance at each visitor’s passport, stamp it, and then promptly wave them towards the customs area. Except for me.
Despite having taken three years of Spanish in high school and being forced to spend part of my summer at Spanish camp in Minnesota (yeah, figure that one out) I really had no idea what the two officers were saying as they passed around my passport. The only word I recognized was “analista”, which the officers said repeatedly as they flipped through my passport pages, examining every visa.
“Hmmm…analista, analista, analista.”
Finally, one of the officers stamped my passport, handed it back to me, and smirked.
“Goodbye, analista político.”
And that was the only time in my life when I’ve wanted to say to someone, “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong, I work in the oil industry.”