(PNS reporting from SAN PEDRO, COSTA RICA) Study abroad student Caleb Kostopoulos was kicked out of his temporary home in the Costa Rican capital of San José last night when his host family discovered he’d flushed toilet paper down the commode instead of putting it in the bathroom trashcan as instructed, the 20-year old Temple U sophomore wrote on his Facebook page.
Kostopoulos, an environmental sciences major who spending the spring semester studying at the University of Costa Rica forestry program, says he’d never heard or even imagined such a concept prior to coming to San José. In a long-winded rant, he criticized Costa Rica’s “third worldy” septic system and deemed the toilet paper disposal protocol “a literal pain in the ass.”
“My host parents explained to me when I first got here that I should put the toilet paper in the wastebasket, which struck me as insane. I actually thought they were joking,” Kostopoulos wrote. “I’ve been wiping and then flushing my whole life. I guess first world habits die hard, man,” he wrote, followed by the hashtags #FirstWorldHabits #IGot99ProblemsButFlushingToiletPaperAintOne
Kostopoulos was left with few choices when he entered the family’s lone bathroom Sunday night after attending a Presidential election celebration at La Fuente de La Hispanidad, he wrote. The bathroom trashcan was already overflowing with tear-soaked paper, leaving him with no option but to flush it down.
“My host mother had been crying all day because Fabricio lost the elections and never dumped the bin,” he wrote on Facebook. “I didn’t have any other choice. In retrospect, I should have just gone to the bathroom in the streets like most people do in San José.”
Yasmina Vilchez, the emotional host family mother, entered the bathroom after Kostopoulos and found the toilet clogged. She then screamed “Maldito gringo malcriado!”, cried for roughly 40 more minutes as she watched the final election results, made Kostopoulos one final casado for dinner and ordered him out of the home and into the barbed wire jungle of Chepe, he said.
Kostopoulos posted yesterday on Facebook that he has found temporary stay at hostel in Barrio Amón run by transient gringos hiding from their pasts. He plans to stay there while waiting to hear if his academic scholarship and student Visa will be upheld throughout the duration of the semester. His host mother said she planned to call immigration officials to request his deportation for the offense, Kostopoulos wrote.
If his scholarship is canceled or he is pursued by deportation authorities, Kostopoulus plans to change his name and head to Santa Teresa beach with a gang of backpackers planning to experiment with hallucinogens, hairstyles and artisan crafts for the next two to 48 months, he wrote.
Republished with permission from our PNS Partners at El Pejibaye. All rights reserved.