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SALA IV Rules for accessible buses

August 7th, 2006

handicapsign.jpegLey (law) 7600 ((Igualdad de Oportunidades a las Personas con Discapacidad)) was approved ten years ago and required that all buses be equipped to transport handicapped individuals.

Not too surprisingly, the bus operators decided to wait ten years to see what was going to happen. What happened, of course, was that the law is now being (sort of) enforced and bus drivers are being ticketed whose vehicles are not to the new level. To date, only 12% of all buses have handicap ramps installed.
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New Design for this Blog

July 30th, 2006

blogger.jpegI have received a fairly large number of emails from people who told me they had some difficulty reading this Blog because the colors I used apparently did not permit them to read the words and differentiate headlines from text. That disturbed me as the whole purpose of a Blog is so people can enjoy (or not) my ramblings. With that in mind, I decided to switch to a color scheme with better contrast that visitors will find easier to read.

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Advice on Moving to Costa Rica

July 19th, 2006

bulb.jpgSometimes I am not the brightest bulb in the pack.

It just occured to be that very often I answer emails from readers of The REAL Costa Rica who ask questions that might be of interest to readers of this BLOG. Many are on topics NOT covered in that web site, so starting right now I am starting a new Category “Questions” where you Blog readers can see my replies to these emails. Let me know in Comments if you like this idea! 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 »

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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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.

Trading Spaces!

May 24th, 2006

The Real Costa Rica has a Guestbook, and one reader just added a VERY interesting entry! She must have actually read my constant rantings, either here, in the RCR, or maybe in the ARCR Forums, as she wants to visit Costa Rica in August (considering a move permanently) and asked me if I knew anyone interested in trading homes for that period. I had two immediate thoughts: Continue reading »

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