Yet Another Reason to Carry Cash in Costa Rica

The actual title of this post is: Tap His Rear-End, Drop Fifty Bucks, and Get the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Out of There. But, I thought that some people (like people that don’t read this blog) might find it too…I dunno…vulgar, maybe? Well, whatever, I changed it to be a good girl. But, If you are offended, I want you to know that I had originally written “him in the” in place of “his” which even I thought sounded kinda graphic….So, yeah, you’re welcome.

On Sunday I hopped in the car with my incredible middle child to run over to Office Depot (yes, we have that here). Office Depot is at the mall, and the mall has a grocery store and a bunch of banks and a pharmacy, too, and I needed to hit all of those places So, basically, we were going to the mall to buy bread and pills, and go to the bank, and swing into latino Office Depot (which, by the way, smells exactly like regular Office Depot and that makes me feel all nostalgic and homesick). We drove about six blocks, when I – for the first time in my entire life – had an accident. Not like a pee-your-pants accident (I’ve actually done that a few times.), like a car accident!

Ok. So here’s what happened: Ok. I’m not sure.
Well…see?…Here’s the thing – I was doing one of three things when I rolled very slowly into the trunk of some dudes car, and for the life of me, I cannot remember which one. So, I was either fiddling with the radio, and for the record it is in the stupidest spot of all time (at the bottom of the dash, right behind the long stick shifter thingy so that you literally have to lean over and jam your arm behind the gear shift to change the station), or digging in my purse for Burt’s Bee’s Super Shiny 100% Natural Lip gloss in Sweet Pink, or glancing lovingly toward my incredibly good looking middle son as we talked about important spiritual matters.
As you can plainly see, this accident was not my fault.
But, being the responsible, gentle, grace-filled woman that…ahem…I am, I was prepared to take on this mess, and..I dunno..”make it right”. However, I like to think I am nobody’s fool, and I was not about to be taken advantage of by a jerk trying to make a quick buck off the dumb gringa that bumped – merely BUMPED – into his car! So, we both get out and he puts on his triangle flashy lights, but I can’t find mine so I don’t. Now, please remember that this all takes place in Spanish:

VWM (very worst missionary): I am so much sorry! Is your car injured?

DB : I don’t know, let’s take a look. Do you want me to call the traffic police?

VWM: I don’t know. Do we call them? I never meet this situation before. Is the police the thing we need do?

DB: Uuhhh….

VWM: Sorry, my spanish, she’s really bad! Ok, um… you need call police at me?

DB, surveying his car (which is a GIANT PIECE OF CRAP!): Well, look, this was just a minor accident, I don’t think we need to call the police. If you want, you can just pay me right now for the damage, and we’ll call it even.

VWM, looking along his bumper – which has absolutely no sign of damage where my push bars are – but is otherwise scratched, dinged, dented, pitted, rusted, scraped, gouged, and worn from whatever it has experienced in it’s life prior to 4 minutes ago when I tapped it, and I’m thinking “I’m not paying for this!”, but what comes from my mouth is: I can pay you for injure your car right now? Um, how much?

DB: I think 25,000 colones is enough. (that’s like $50) It will cost you a lot more if the police come.

VWM: I need to look in my thing that I carry money in to see if I have any money to give. Give me some seconds.

So, kicking myself for being SO lame, I walk to my car, and dig in my purse – where ironically the first thing I grab is Burt’s Bee’s, figures! – and I look in my wallet, which I already know is empty cause that’s why I’m headed to the bank. I search in my head for all the Spanish I need to tell this guy that he’s being unreasonable, that there is clearly no damage to his car, and that if he wants $50 out of me, he will have to go ahead and call the traffic cops. Once I feel confident enough to say all of this, I return to the scene of the crime and I say: I don’t have any money with me, is there a bank nearby?

And my brain is like: WHAT?! That’s not the PLAN!! We had a PLAN!! Tell him he’s a douche! Tell him you didn’t hurt his car! Tell him you’re NOT GOING TO GIVE HIM $50!! Tell him, NOW!!!

DB: Yes, there is one close. Do you want to follow me?

My Brain: SAY NO! Say you would rather wait for the police than let him get away with suckering you into giving away $50!

VWM: Yeah, Ok. I’ll follow.

My Brain: WHAT the?!?! Oh-Em-Gee!!! You SUCK at this!! C’Mon woman, GET IT TOGETHER!!
So I get back in my car, kicking myself, and as I’m following him, I can see he’s on his cellphone and I’m pretty much positive that he’s calling some of his scary friends to let them know that he’s leading us back into some dark alley where they will be waiting to rob us as soon as we pull in. I’m ready to defend my sons life, ready to fight, ready to run somebody over, but, then we pulled up to a bank and I’m just like, Oh. As I walk up to the ATM, a very nice lady who is helping her preschooler take a leak on the wall of the bank, tells me that the ATMs are out of order.

My Brain: Good! Now stick with the plan!! Go tell him you WON’T PAY!!

VWM to the BD: The ATMs no work.

My Brain: Good Now you tell em’!

VWM: I have $40 in Dollars in my car, will you take that?

My Brain: GAH!!! You IIIDIOT!!

DB: Sure. Oh, and try to be more careful in the future, sweetheart. *winks*

VWM: Uh, ok. Thanks. Bye.


So actually it only cost me $40 in the end…hehe, no pun intended. In a nutshell, that is “How to get in a minor/non-existent car accident in a foreign country”. I would love to wrap this baby up tight with some biblical principal or moral high-ground….but…I got nothin’…Sorry.

On a side note, if you are the praying type; I’d be extremely grateful for your prayers. I am exhausted. Beyond exhausted! I think it’s because I went without my stupid thyroid medication for like a week…oops. Anyway, so if you think of it…that would be cool. Thanks.

And on another side note, a couple of people actually solicited my advice after my last post (crazy/weird/sad/hilarious, I know) and I will be posting those questions and answers very very soon. So stay tuned for Ask Jamie How Missionaries Do It!



  1. Kirk on November 20, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I want so badly to make a joke about your recommended post title…but we're both respectable, married, christian people – so I won't.



  2. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on November 22, 2009 at 9:03 am

    HAhaha Kirk!! I can practically read your mind!! you are too funny!!

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