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Buying a Camera in Costa Rica

June 29th, 2006

olympus_E10_front.jpgThose of you that know me know I like to take pictures. Until recently, I had two cameras, a little Sony P73 and an Olympus E-10. Notice I used the past tense. That applies to the Olympus. The Sony is just for “party use” and to grab for a quick no-brainer shot. The E-10 was my pride and joy. The big E10 is more for pros or serious enthusiasts (I fall into the second category) and requires setting lotsa stuff. Maria just wants to aim it a take it, so she uses the Sony.

When the E10 came out, it was REALLY expensive… like $4,000.00… and built for serious camera buffs. I paid a fraction of that from a good friend who wanted fast cash, but in my mind, it was ALWAYS expensive. It took incredible photos, and I had no desire to ever make a change.

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Costa Rica Tourism Down – Finally, They Admit it.

June 23rd, 2006

x.jpgI have been saying for some time that the government’s sunny reports of Costa Rica tourism have not seemed to match up with the reality of what we who live here are seeing.

We now have a new government headed by Oscar Arias, and with the new government, we get new cabinet ministers. The new Tourism Minister, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, is finally admitting what everyone has been noticing for some time. Tourism is declining.

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Just Exactly What Costa Rica Doesn’t Need!

June 20th, 2006

prph_1.jpgOKOKOKOK

Maybe a better title is: Exactly What I do not Need!

Wendy’s and Cinnabon are supposedly going to be opening soon in Costa Rica. Now, I LIKE Wendy’s, and I can maintain some level of control. Cinnabon is a different story altogether. For you vast unwashed who know-not a Cinnabon, it is a bun glopped with a fantastic rich sticky cinnamon mixture and covered with icing, and while I have NO idea of the calories or fat levels, nor do I have ANY desire to know, it has got to be just enormous. Nothing can taste that good and be good for you.

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Moving? What (not) to Bring to Costa Rica

June 17th, 2006

sweat.gifI get a lot of mail asking about moving here, especually about what to bring and what to leave behind. I thought this Post from the Forums

of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR) might be of interest to those heading for the wetter spots in CR. My wife and I live in San Jose, and while occasionally we get a humid day, it is nowhere near what folks experience who live in or near the rain forests or beach areas. Anyway, here is an interesting story about the moisture problems one couple experienced.

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Pothole to Remember

June 13th, 2006

PotholeCosta Rica is famous for its terrible roads and while the roads in and around San Jose are certainly not great, the real problems are on the coasts.

However, there IS humor in almost everything, and anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with the thoughtful and always courteous taxistas in San Jose may well feel an upswell of emotion in this photo!

Photo copyright La Nacion

Visit the new Real Costa Rica

June 10th, 2006

RCRI am not sure what on earth possessed me to do an entire re-write of The Real Costa Rica, but I did and it is now online for your viewing pleasure or displeasure. The most obvious thing you will notice is the new color scheme and menu system. There are also a lot of new pages, new pictures, about 500 new links… ugh. I still have to install the new search engine though the olde one seems to be working perfectly. Go figure!

Thanks to those who tested the site. Reading the same old pages for errors is booooring, but you really helped!

Anyway… here it is: The REAL Costa Rica

Enjoy!

Residency Scams

June 1st, 2006

scammerJust like real estate reps, anyone can hang out their shingle and say they are residency experts. Now come the scams as the number of persons coming to Costa Rica increases. Immigration officials, tired of the recurring problem, have filed complaints with the prosecutor’s offices specifying cases where expats who live in Costa Rica have been swindled.

One U.S. expatriate was jailed for a brief time when Immigration inspectors discovered that his documents were forgeries. The guy said he had paid a man he thought was a lawyer to obtain residency for him several years ago. He has filed his case and was awaiting a decision by Sala IV (the Costa Rica constitutional court) to determine if he would be allowed to remain in the country.

As I have warned many, do NOT shop for the best deal in residency. It is a silly as shopping for discount brain surgery. Use well known and well established residency experts and check out the local users groups for information before you spend a dime.

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