Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen

Million Little Things

The phrase “a million little things” is what I tell people when they ask me about my experiences living in Costa Rica. Keep in mind I am not complaining, I am simply bringing to light that the cultural differences between any two countries often can’t be realized without a full submersion for extended periods of time. Vacation is one thing, a year or two hiatus is another, but living year after year, decade after decade the stories that accrue are often hard to believe for outsiders. In this quick answer, computer fed, opinionated culture we now exist in, I often read random people’s questions and answers online for humor alone. A favorite inquiry of mine is “where is the best place to live in Costa Rica?” If that doesn’t sound moronic to you the reader, you should probably stop reading now because my sense of humor will most likely go over your head. To me that question is similar to what the best food to eat, the best car to drive, or the “best” of anything is so subjective that it can be likened to the best hour of the day or the best day of the week in my world. Let’s explore a million little things as 2024 is just around the corner and I welcome the challenges to come… time marches on.

I don’t know what it is about going to a different country (south of the boarder rules), but I’ve noticed everyone becomes architects, engineers, and carpenters. I’ve been to dozens of houses that have neither rhyme nor reason to their unique style, in a way it is quite refreshing when I see a house that has lights, electrical outlets, and stairways that are sort of functional and “creative”. Recently I have noticed that visitors often have an aversion to actual cash. I realize why but I always know that here in Central America cash is king. One can save themselves money and add to the economy of the small guy, the hard worker that might not use credit cards and still lives in a way that has existed for centuries. Apple Pay and Venmo is not everyone’s reality and in fact some aren’t even available in Central America. Speaking of cash, I have personally “paid” many traffic police officers in Costa Rica for my wrong doings. Speeding, passing over double solid lines, and even bureaucratic issues can occur to any of us, but I still find the old ways to be affective and can even expediate wrongdoings. Old ways die hard. I have known people that try to come to visit the entire country in 10 days. Apparently, they have not researched Costa Rican traffic and roads nor do they value a community once they arrive. What’s the saying…a jack of all trades, but a master of none? I tend to do the opposite on my vacations, less is more. Is driving “seeing” a country? Vacations are meant to be non-stressful and rejuvenating, quite often they can become the opposite. Speaking of vehicles, I once had my car battery start on fire while driving as well as my 23-year-old automatic seat motor on my old 4-runner….how many times does that happen in a lifetime? I’ve seen monkey’s electrocuted from power lines but then wake up and head back to the canopy, amazing! I’ve watched birds of prey grab just about everything and schools of fish bubble the ocean into a frenzy. From sunrise to sunset just being perceptive and out of your phone increases one’s chances of seeing miracles in motion.

Manana is such a great word here because it might be tomorrow, or not. In hard reality it will not be coming one day. When your house or rental gets swarmed upon by something hatching, try to enjoy the beauty of it all. The electricity will go out, it is just a matter of when. Your internet will be out too because that is just the way things are in this amazing beach town. Life exists in such a way that a million little things can and may happen to you here in Costa Rica, may I go out on a limb here and say that is precisely the beauty of ex-pat living. I wouldn’t want it any other way. As odd (and interesting) as many of our locals are there is a sense of awesomeness that I love about the vibes here in MA. The older I get and the more newbies that arrive that have a different mentality, the more I sit back and think to myself how much there is to learn. Keep the positivity and be good to one another, let those million little things work themselves out the way they always do.

Todd’s therapy is his writing. Never serious but always genuine he is committed to living a life that is fulfilling He massages the world’s problems away. He can be reached at 8830-7727, [email protected], or His wife Sarah is the premier photographer in Manuel Antonio at and she puts up with his opinions like a rock star. They just opened a private Bed & Breakfast called Sarahtoninbnb.