I picked up a few items when I lived in Costa Rica that have proven to be remarkably durable. Alas, one of those items died a few days ago – my infamous (to Debi at least) pink flipflops. I bought these the first week or so I was in Costa Rica (which would have been around March of 1996). Due to the ever-present danger of strange infections one could catch in showers, I showered with these flipflops for the two years I was in Costa Rica. I’ve since worn these flipflops irregularly over the intervening 10 years. As you can see, they are well-worn and have paint on them (I wore them all around the house when I didn’t want to put anything else on). You can’t see it in the photo, but one of the straps finally broke (right near where it goes through the bottom of the shoe, making them unusable. Here’s the best part about these flipflops: I bought them for 250 colones. Rather than make you figure out the conversion rate for colones in Costa Rica in 1996, I’ll let you in on how much they cost me….

costa rica flipflops

You ready? $0.75! Yep, 75 cents for flipflops that lasted 12 years!

You’ll also notice in the picture a comb. That, too, is a relic from Costa Rica that I bought about the same time – March or April of 1996 in Cartago. I’ve used that comb almost every day since. It’s still going strong. When they finally freeze my body in storage to be reawakened in the year 2,357 when they can cure my cancer and bring me back from the dead (okay, that sounds funny when I write it like that), I hope to have that comb waiting for me with my personal affects. Debi gives me crap about it all the time, but not as much crap as I give her – she has almost lost it several times, and whenever she borrows it I freak out until she brings it back. Oh, and the cost of the comb? About $0.50 (around 125 colones or so).  Ergo, the best 375 colones ever!

The picture below shows me in Limon wearing them while calling in the numbers for my district at the time.


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5 Replies to “the best 375 colones ever!”

  1. I was thinking about it as I wrote that blog – 12 years! Okay, I’m not that old, but still, I have stuff I bought 12 years ago. That just seems like a long time. Of course, 21 years is even longer (you should post a pic of the sweatshirt)! Some times it’s just fun to think about how much time really has passed.

  2. Love it. I have an old sweatshirt that Amy bought to use as a nightshirt in college (1987). Not long after we met in 1989, I started wearing it, and I still wear it today. Amy keeps threatening to toss it because it’s full of holes, but I love it.

    But it definitely isn’t the bargain your .75 flip-flops were!

  3. I have several things that I have had forever. An Eddie Bauer sweatshirt I bought the summer of 1994, along with a shirt I bought at the Gap earlier that summer. Of course Amber wears the sweatshirt more than I. The list goes on, as I have a hard time parting with stuff I like.But I did pay a hell of a lot more than 75 cents. That’s awesome!

  4. Sharon, I’m surprised you caught that. I haven’t signed up for one of the groups doing this, but I sometimes I dream about it and hope that it might be true (if not now, maybe in the future). I’ll definitely check out the podcast you mentioned; I love This American Life anyway, even though I rarely listen to it anymore for lack of time and other podcasts I listen to are of slightly more interest to me. Thanks for the suggestion and keep up your hilarious blog!

  5. Speaking of freezing your body . . . there was a recent “This American Life” podcast called “Mistakes Were Made” on this very topic! If you haven’t heard it yet, you should check it out!

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