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Culture Shock

             In the article "Overcoming Culture Shock", Erick Liljenstope comments not only on the concept of "Tico Time" which refers to the way we Costa Ricans relate to time, but also on our perception of space. In the search for a successful encounter with our culture, he recognizes that there are differences between Costa Ricans and foreigners from over-developed countries and also makes some interesting remarks about his experience in this country. .
             Liljenstope points out that the Costa Rican way of perceiving time can definitely be shocking for Canadians, Americans, and Germans. He states that this difference can be frustrating; however, he is aware that some visitors have come to our country trying to escape from that "rat race" (dull routine) of their homelands. On the one hand, it might be true that "Tico Time" represents a relaxing mode of living, but on the other hand, visitors and people that come from other countries and specially from completely different cultures to live here might perceive it as a disrespectful attitude and from that premise, argue that one big part of being a Costa Rican is to be irresponsible, creating in this way, a deeply negative stereotyped concept of our true identity. The article presents also the idea that besides time, the differences also affect the perception of space. Liljenstope presents some situations in which he has been involved and that exemplify the particular Costa Rican time/space orientation; for instance, one of them was when he noticed some people "walking side by side down the road towards" his car (instead of using the sidewalk). It was not a fatal situation; however he had to slow down and "wait" for the people to move off the road. In this situation we can see how both: time and space seem to be viewed differently. Another example of Costa Ricans" time/space orientation is when a truck driver parks and blocks both lanes of the road.

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