Sunday, December 31, 2006


Ticos have a name for people of ill manners - cochinos, or "swine". The beach is crowded with such people right now. Their most notable, ill-mannered characteristic is throwing their trash everywhere. Beer cans, plastic soda bottles, plastic bags, broken styrofoam coolers and dirty Pampers are a major eyesore on the beach this time of year. Not only are they an eyesore on the beach, but also along the roadside. Cochinos routinely and brazenly launch trash from the windows of their moving automobiles, or from the windows of buses. Trash cans (privately purchased, distributed and maintained because of the problem) are readily available, and a lot of trash gets to them. But an equal amount doesn't.

Cochinos also like to defecate in the ocean. The locals don't go swimming this time of year. They'll wait a week or two for things to clear up before the boogy board hits the surf again. If a cochino uses a public restroom, they routinely urinate and/or defecate on the floor, sink, walls and, sometimes, the toilet. They throw dirty toilet paper on the floor next to the empty trash can. They plug up sinks for a quick bath, then leave the water on to flood the restroom. They try to flush large objects down the toilet. Beach establishments typically lock up their bathrooms for customers only, or charge 300 colones for non-customers to use their bathrooms. This reduces problems as cochinos can't or won't pay the tariff.

Though far outnumbered by those possessing a modicum of self-respect, as well as respect for others and the environment, their impact is substantial. They really rain on everyone else's parade. There's nothing anyone can or is willing to do about them. I, personally, treat them like the pigs they are, to and in their face. I break the "no confrontation" rule here. I throw their trash back at them. I once followed a car containing a passenger who threw 3 empty 16 oz. beer cans from his car window - 2 of which nearly hit me on my motorcycle as they bounced on the pavement behind the car and in front of me. I pulled over and went back for the cans. I caught up with the car at an intersection and threw 2 of the 3 recovered beer cans back in the window of the car, screaming every Spanish language expletive I knew at all four occupants, and giving them the world-recognized 'finger'. They laughed at me.

Cochinos don't have a conscience, don't understand and, most of all, don't care. It's what they've always done and will continue to do.

So we just accept this and clean up after them.

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree with you. I just opened a blog on ticos cochinos. I will put up photos of trash ticos cochinos leave around all the country.