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The New Driving Laws in Costa Rica

February 13th, 2009

jerkA lot of people are surprised to learn that it is perfectly legal to drink and drive in Costa Rica.  It’s true! However, the law also states that you cannot drive while drunk. That means that means that you as a driver are depending on the guy who is drinking to know when he is drunk. File that under things that make you go… “Hmmmmm”.

The government, getting fed up with the huge number of alcohol related traffic accidents and the resultant deaths, passed last December La Ley de Tránsito or simply new driving laws.

Although signed into law and effective last December 2008, I did not blog about it because there were sure to be a ton of appeals to the Costa Rica Supreme Courts, called Salas, regarding the legality of the new laws and the associated punishments which are truly severe. Sala IV has upheld some and is still considering others, but it is time to talk about these new laws. In this post, I will provide my thoughts and more important, a shortened list of the new laws and the associated fines and/or imprisonment.  If this topic is of interest, read on! Continue reading »

3,000 Jobs Gone? Why?

June 9th, 2008

I always try to remember that I am just a guest here in Costa Rica. That even though I am a Permanent Resident with all the rights of a citizen, sans voting, I do not have the right to tell Costa Rica how to run their country. This is often very hard to do, especially if the actions or laws affect those of us living here.

Most foreigners living here feel they do have that right. Perhaps they do. Certainly, it is hard to not form opinions and even harder to keep those opinions to yourself. However, I have yet to hear of a case where a North American was asked his opinion on an issue by anyone in the government.

Saying that, there are times when the government does something that to me just makes no sense whatsoever. A few weeks ago, the government announced a new policy that for the life of me I did not understand and still do not understand.

Continue reading »

Salsa Lizano and Other Stuff

November 11th, 2007

Gallo PintoWhere can I buy that??

The first time I started to get that question was right after I posted my daughter-in-law’s recipe for Gallo Pinto. Her recipe is, in my not too humble opinion, the absolute hands-down best I have had anywhere in all the years I have lived here and the years before when I was a visitor. She got the recipe from her mom and who knows before that… but it is superb! Those of you who know me are aware perhaps that I am not exactly an amateur eater!

Gallo Pinto, the basin ingredients are rice and beans, is perhaps the most famous of all Costa Rica foods and is served mostly as a breakfast dish, but also for other meals or even as a snack.

However, it is the seasoning ingredients that make the dish!

The key ingredient in her Gallo Pinto, or for that matter a large number of Costa Rican typical food dishes is Salsa Lizano. This dark brown sauce has a pretty unique flavor, and not a few tourists have loaded up on it before returning home. The problem, of course, is that they run out! That’s when I get the emails.

So, I decided to add a small online store to The REAL Costa Rica web site that sells not only Salsa Lizano and Costa Rica coffee, etc, but a variety of other foods gifts, clothes (check out the baby clothes!) and even a Costa Rica flag.

To get to the store, just click here. Then just click on the Salsa Lizano category.

Of course there are also the usual books on Costa Rica, but I also threw in stuff like music and DVD’s as well as learning Spanish. Just for yucks, I also added references to Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama as I get a lot of email from people asking about those countries.

All stuff is shipped from the USA. Enjoy!

Questions from Readers

October 24th, 2006

This is part of my continuing posts answering emails I receive from readers. Here are some more that I thought might interest you.

Continue reading »

Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part One

September 1st, 2006

Actually, this is probably better titled: “Considerations on the Expatriate Life”. Certainly the things I am going to discuss apply no matter where you plan to go.

As you might expect, I get a lot of email from people who are either making the move to Costa Rica or are considering such a move. Some are baby boomers realizing that they may not be able to afford to retire in their home country… others are younger, asking about employment opportunities and lifestyle. They ask my advice on a variety of things,and I give the best answers I can. But over time, I have come to realize that there are a some questions that are never asked, but certainly should be asked, before making a move of this magnitude.

So here are my thoughts on this.

Continue reading »

Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part Two

September 1st, 2006

Here is Part Two written especially for the under 50 crowd.

Under 50

Everything I wrote in Part One (for the over 50’s) is certainly applicable to the under-50 crowd of course. The biggest difference as I see it is that this younger group may not have financial independence, and thus they have to work in order to live here. With that in mind, their needs are clearly different.
Continue reading »

Mother’s Day – for babies

August 14th, 2006

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Costa Ricans take this holiday seriously! And somewhere, tomorrow, 12 year old Carolina will be celebrating her third Mother’s Day having given birth at age 9.

A couple of months ago, I was chatting with one of my employees, a 20 something young lady who was working for me as an intern. The subject got around to young girls getting pregnant in high school (colegio). She told me that before she graduated eight girls had become pregnant. Her class size was twenty-nine.

Continue reading »

How Many US Citizen Expats are Living in Costa Rica?

July 6th, 2006

pp.jpgI must have been asked this question about 4,000 times since I moved here. Odd as it may be, nobody seemed to know… until now. Finally, immigration has announced the figure. Of the 289,237 legal residents (foreigners) living in Costa Rica, only 8,400 are US Citizens. Continue reading »

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