Tuesday, April 13, 2010
What's unusual about this motorcycle?
Yesterday morning I was on my way to the grocery store near our house and was almost blinded by the reflections off this motorcycle parked near our neighbors' house. There are only about 4 miles of paved roads around here and that most roads are dirt--or mud on days like Sunday when it rained, so getting a motorcycle as clean as this is a lot of work.
But in fact, there is nothing particularly unusual about the fact that this moto is spotlessly clean, including the tires. As I ran my errands yesterday, I saw others that were about the same. Ticos are almost fanatical about keeping vehicles clean. Maybe it's that they cost about twice as much as they do in the U.S. because of high import taxes. With the annual income here much lower, a motorcycle or car is a huge investment.
Taxis are also very clean inside and out. One taxista told me that he washes his taxi as many as three times a day. Even on a rainy day, even the floor mats are often spotless.
Another cultural note--besides putting dirty shoes up where they shouldn't be in a spotless van, the thing that most bugs Costa Rican taxi drivers is when foreigners slam the car doors. Many of the vehicles here have fairly light doors.