Picture of the Day and Morbid Story of the Day, January 21, 2010

Here is today’s Picture of the Day:
If you’ve not heard it already somehow, there was a guy murdered in front of our house early this morning. Evidently, one coffee picker stabbed another one around 5:30 AM. According to rumors –and rumors, plus a lot of gossip, is about the only type of information available in Berlin at any given moment anyhow– the stabbing was a result of a conflict that was carried on from a few days ago.

This is part of the crowd that was hanging out and rubbernecking. We actually didn’t hear a thing, since our room is on the opposite side of the house, but when Angela woke me up around 7:30, she said, “There’s a shitload of people in our yard!” I was surprised, but mainly because I didn’t know she knew the word “shitload.” When we went out, sure enough, there were a ton of people hanging out in our yard and in the street.
A few of the people in the crowd were family members of the victim. Most of the people in the crowd weren’t. I can’t imagine how it must be to have a bunch of slack-jawed dipshits hanging around you and discussing you and your son’s death while you’re looking on at his dead body. Shame on the police, for not keeping all the “tourists” away, I guess, but as my friend Lucy pointed out, it’s also a reflection of their cultural approach to death and dead bodies, and it’s quite different from what one may be used to in other countries.

Finally the cops closed off the road so that the inspectors could do their work a bit better, but people were still hanging out in our yard. I guess the cops thought that it didn’t make sense to have an orderly crime scene where people weren’t (literally) stepping on your clues, if creating that scene meant foregoing some insightful comment from one of the yokels eating a bag of chips while standing in our bushes.
Since the victim and killer are both from Nicaragua, this led to much speculation and talk about the “Nicaraguan character.” Most of this talk was bigoted bullshit, of course, and it’s lamentable that when a Costa Rican kills someone, they don’t talk about how Costa Ricans supposedly don’t know how to solve their problems without killing one another, either.

This is the worst part: when the cops were about to lift and move the body away, the crowd grew even more animated, and people clamored in to get a good look. I know, Lucy, you’re right that it’s a different cultural approach to dead bodies. Still, it’s my cultural approach to say it’s fucked up to gather up the family and then go down the road to see the fresh corpse. Also, I guess the fact that I’m not posting any pictures of the dead body covered in a white sheet shows a different cultural approach. Food for thought, at least.

So, that’s the interesting news for today, I suppose. Not the good kind of news you want to spread around, but still the kind you should probably mention.
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5 thoughts on “Picture of the Day and Morbid Story of the Day, January 21, 2010

  1. yes, indeed! also another interesting cultural thing; as soon as i mentioned it to people – dutifully passing on the gossip as one does – they all said instantly – oh yes, but they must have been nicaraguans.

    rather disappointing in fact that they WERE. but there you have it. costa ricans are not generally so fighty, but they are rubbernecky death tourists.

    berlin is such a happening place all of a sudden!

  2. Admittedly, I don’t know diddly about Costa Rican ways. It just strikes me as insensitive from a plain old human standpoint to ogle and point at and gossip about a dead guy while his family is standing there in shock.

  3. I just realized another thing… the stabbing happened at 5:30, and they didn’t get the body moved until after you awoke at 7:30? That seems like an awful long time for a dead body to be lying on the road. Did the call just not go in until later because not many people are roaming the streets of Berlin at 5:30 in the morning?

  4. Paul,
    Yep, you’re right, weird time thing. They left it there while doing the investigation or whatever. Which meant that there were people hanging out cause the road was closed for about 4 hours, all told (more or less).

    I also think it’s weird that people were in our yard for an hour or two before we woke up, and even then we only got up cause Angela went to food Cucho to get him to shut the hell up.
    Guess we’re heavy sleepers.

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