Come On Feel The Ruido: If You Give A Man A Microphone…

Sometimes it seems like they're using this many microphones (Image credit at end)

Costa Rica is sometimes a loud country. In fact, a lot of Latin America can get pretty loud, and that’s one of the first things you notice as an outsider.

When I lived in Colorado I grew up in one of those neighborhoods where all the streets have Spanish names, for no explicable reason. Our house was close to a street called “Ruidosa.” I didn’t know any Spanish at the time, so I was surprised later to discover that “Ruidosa” means “noisy.” I was surprised because it was one of the quietest places I’ve ever been.

A few years ago my brother and I visited Mexico City, and one of the times we got off the bus, we noticed that there were about three competing loudspeaker announcements, sellers yelling to hawk their wares, about four stores playing loud music to attract customers and, of course, there were people conversing by shouting to be heard over all the noise. Costa Rica isn’t that bad, fortunately, but it does have its moments.

All of this is just to introduce a series on Costa Rica Outsider; it’s called “Come on Feel the Ruido.” I’ve been trying to take videos of some noisy Costa Rican situations so as I get more, I’ll upload them here (and to my YouTube account).

I took today’s video just yesterday. As you can see, it was a slow Saturday afternoon in Palmares (as are most Saturday afternoons in Palmares). Below where we teach classes, a shoe store was having an anniversary sale, so of course they hired a DJ to play music and make announcements, all to entice potential customers into buying a pair of shoes. Actually, just watch for yourself:

The only regret I have about this video is that I stopped shooting the video about 5 seconds too early because the next thing he yelled was literally, “Hey lady, why don’t you come on down and buy some shoes?”

Anyhow, there are a few problems with this. First of all, if you like the music, the man was constantly talking over it, so that’s bound to be irritating. And if, for some incomprehensible reason, you wanted to hear the man speak/bellow, that was also difficult, because he kept turning up the music while he was speaking. It was pretty awful and hilarious.

I also got a bit of “behind the scenes” video:

What about you? If you live in Costa Rica or have visited here, when did you notice some noisy situations?

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

(Microphone Image Credit)

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Just One Monkey On One Of Infinite Typewriters at Costa Rica Outsider
Hello, and welcome to Costa Rica Outsider! My name is Ryan Sitzman. and I'm the proverbial "man behind the curtain" for this site. I hope you like it, and I'd love to hear any comments or feedback you may have. I also have a language learning blog at, or you can check out my personal site at Thanks for stopping by!

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