Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh goody, another protest.

[Language alert: I'm gonna drop the F-bomb a whole lot in this post. You've been warned.]

For the most part, I am all in favor of protesting, whether I believe in the cause or not. I believe in free speech, and I believe people have the right to speak up when they feel wronged, however stupid they may actually be. For the most part. However. There are limits to my sympathy and understanding, as is sometimes the case in Costa Rica, when one group or another (seems to be mostly relegated to taxi drivers, bus drivers and truckers) decides they've been wronged and the only way to right that wrong is to block the streets off.

Which is what happened this morning. Pirate cab drivers (so called because they are ILLEGALLY carrying people around without any meter, license (taxi license that is, not necessarily driver's license, though who knows), or insurance (generally speaking) in a tin can on wheels) decided the government had done something they didn't like and thought the best way to get the idiots in power to comply with their demands was to block most entries into San Jose. 'Scuse my languge, but Fuck. That.

I work in the city a few days a week, including today. I usually leave the house in Santa Ana around 7:00 and get to work before 7:30. This morning, though, pulling up to the Escazu toll, it was obvious something was wrong. There were about 20 cars in every toll lane, even the right-hand QuickPass lanes. Shit. So I headed over to the left-hand QuickPass lanes, which were not backed up... and I should have known right then it was a mistake. Traffic was completely stopped about 8 or so lanes wide (in a normally three-lane road), and I figured there was an accident up there. So I somehow managed to make my way through all of this mess and got off at the Escazu exit, thinking I'd go over the Los Anonos bridge and up the back way to work. Of course, ten thousand other people had the exact same brilliant idea as I did, so I sat in traffic another 20 minutes just getting to the bridge, but at least it was moving, and after that there was no real traffic to speak of.

Once I got to work, I found out the dumbass piratas decided to protest by blocking traffic. Wow, this pisses me off so much you have no idea. What right do they (or anyone else for that matter) have to block public access roads? (Turns out they don't; it's illegal.) What if there is an emergency? (Turns out there was, and an ambulance couldn't get through. How would they feel if it was their mother or kid or best friend in that ambulance? Fuckers.) So along with half of the workers in the city, I was quite late to work. (A friend at work knew about this ahead of time and came in at 5:00 a.m. I said I wasn't quite that enthusiastic about getting up so early, and I would have just stayed home if I had known ahead of time.) Now, my company is pretty cool about flex hours and days, but a lot of companies are not. How in the world could these morons possibly rationalize blockading the streets, basically depriving people of an hour or two's worth of wages, not including the wasted gas and irritation, and for what? They're like a big bunch of babies who cry and take their toys home when they don't get their way.

And what sucks is that the stupid idiots in the government usually give in to their demands. Which they absolutely should not. I mean, really. Every parent knows that when kids start whining, the last thing you do is give in, as it just encourages the bad behavior the next time they want something. And that's exactly what is going on. So I hope what actually happens is that they start throwing these idiots in jail, taking away their license plates, handing out fat fines for this crap. And I'm pretty sure the majority of Costa Ricans feel this way, at least based on the few I've spoken to (i.e., everyone at work) and from the comments on La Nacion's article about the fuckers. Everyone is just fed up with this crap. The laws are there, freaking enforce them already!

Well I'll tell you one thing. If Costa Rica still had a military, this shit wouldn't happen. Not that I'm saying there should be one; however, the police force (both San Jose police and highway patrol) really need to get their shit together and put an end to this nonsense. Although I will give them credit for using tear gas on some of these dumbfucks blocking the roads near Zapote. Although I will take away just a little bit of that credit for not making sure the roads were open and the piratas couldn't block the roads in the first place, since everyone (except me, it seems) knew about this ahead of time.

Speaking of getting their shit together, you may have noticed the highway patrol handing out a lot more tickets lately, particularly, it seems, for driving into San Jose on a restricted day, talking on your cell phone, not using a seat belt, and having tinted windows. While I can see talking on your cell while driving can cause accidents, the rest really are kind of dumb. I'm all for using seat belts, don't get me wrong, but the only person you're going to hurt is yourself if you're in an accident and not wearing one (yay Darwin!). Child seats are another thing entirely -- where are all the tickets for lack of those (currently one of the most serious infractions under the new transit law)? I certainly still see lots of people driving around without them. Or how about reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding... you know, the standard things that do cause serious accidents. Where are all the tickets for those things?

Oh but wait, it gets better: Our "wonderful" deputies in the Congress this morning decided that some of the fines for things like drunk driving and reckless driving were -- gasp -- too expensive at almost $600, so they have been lowered to around $400. Hello!? Isn't the whole point of high fines (yes, even very high fines) to make people think twice about doing things like getting behind a wheel drunk? Morons. Who elected these idiots? And it gets better: The new law gave points for various infractions; if you got too many on your license, you would lose it. For example, drunk driving was 50 points, and thus automatically you'd lose your license. This whole plan is scrapped. Say what? So you can drive drunk, have the possibility to kill someone, get a ticket, but still manage to keep your license? Bull. Shit.

Well. There you go.

Oh, and? The morons are planning another "protest" aka street blocking on Friday, March 12. For fuck's sake. The National Pirate Cab Union and especially spokesjackass German Lobo need to have their asses hauled to court. And I quote: "We'll throw ourselves in the streets on Friday and as many times as necessary." See? Big, whiny babies. Wahh wahh wahh...


  1. Good RANT.......i think you nailed it when you called them, 'fuckers', cause REALLY, that does describe it....... I would like to add something just for emphasis sake, "fuckin bitches". Please Costa Rica, put a little 'bite' in your 'bark'.

  2. I <3 you Michael! Don't know if you caught the local news last night, but one of the woman piratas was saying that they were doing this so the people would support them. Say what? I'm pretty sure at this point 99% of the people are strongly against them! Both the deputies from the major parties in Congress also said they would vote against whatever the piratas wanted (hooray!) to show them this is not the way to get what you want. Now I just have to figure an alternate route to work on Friday...

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  4. I noticed you have not posted in awhile. Are you still in CR? I REALLY enjoy your blog & would like to hear more of your experiences if you're still around (& if you're not, I'd like to find out why???).

    I'm adding a linnk to my blog - because even if it's older info - much of it is STILL relevant & can help others!!! THANX!!

  5. Still here, just not blogging anymore as I have no time! :(