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May 21st, 2006
I was kinda wondering why nobody jumped all over Michael for his recent post on how bad is Costa Rica. Now, fellow blogger Erin has snatched up the gauntlet. Her response actually appeared in the comments area, but I wanted to make sure folks actually saw her words.
While I understand the points made in this article, I can’t say I agree with them.
First, if you don’t want to pay American prices, don’t expect an American lifestyle. Yes, the Costa Ricans are more laid back (”Type B”, if you will) than Americans. That’s part of the pura vida. It’s part of what we should all embrace if we make the move. Costa Rica is not–and never will be, thank GOD–the USA.
Second, real estate can be found for cheap. Even close to the ocean. Check out Golfito or the Caribbean side. Again, though, don’t expect American homes for tico prices. Not going to happen. If you want to live on a tico budget, buy a tico home. Better yet, rent. I know people that rent on the beach, or very close to it, for $200-$300/month. And that’s for a 3 bedroom. Yes, it’s tico style. But it’s a slice of paradise.
Third, if you don’t speak Spanish, of course you’re going to be taken advantage of (i.e. asked to pay $500 for a painting). Happens EVERYWHERE. Just check out the next time a pretty blond enters the local mechanic; watch them tell her she needs a new engine and a paint job and, while they’re at it, they might as well sell her a new car. Furthermore, you shouldn’t go to a country to live if you don’t speak the language. There’s been more than enough debate over that here in the States.
Fourth, yes, there are parrots and monkeys. In fact, they’re everywhere. But they’re wildlife. Don’t expect them to be where are the people are. Darwin did have this theory, you know… and I doubt that parrots or monkeys would have survived if they eagerly approached every human that came their way. Go into the country, into the forest, and you’ll find sloths, caimans, and yes, monkeys and parrots as well.
Fifth, not all of the beaches are dirty. Many are gorgeous. The insinuation that CR beaches are dirty offends me, and I’m not even a tica. (Editors Note: Hell, she won’t even get here for another 79 days, 22 hours, 48 minutes and 53 seconds, presuming her plane is on time. BUT, she did LIVE here for a while during her pubescent years, so listen to her anyway!
Sixth, one American couple that was met on their way to Panama? I meet couples all the time on their way to leaving wherever they currently are. Again, let’s remember that many, MANY American expats are living quite happily in Costa Rica.
Seventh, San Jose is a city. Yep, that’s right, a CITY. Of course there’s crime. Costa Rica isn’t some mythical country; there are the same problems there as in every other place in the world. The bars? Well, they’re for safety’s sake. But did you know? Costa Rica has far less violent crime, murders, and at-gunpoint muggings than the USA. (They do have more petty crime though: purse-snatching, for example.)
Anyhow, I guess I’ll finish up with my rant here. I don’t mean to offend, but I’m passionate about Costa Rica and slightly offended by the article. Michael, I’m sure you and your wife are wonderful people. But, as Tim said, it’s best to spend months (not days or weeks) in Costa Rica to really get a feel for it.Filed under Costa Rica, Immigration & Residency, Life in Costa Rica, Rants, Travel | Comments (3)