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July 13th, 2008
As a lot of my readers know, I first came to Costa Rica to retire. Many things came together while I was back in Chicago that allowed me to do this. One day, I realized that I really did not need to work any more. I had sufficient funds that, if managed correctly, would allow me to retire and not work another day. This was not possible in the USA (too costly), but was very “do-able” in Costa Rica.
I made my plans and within six months, here I was! Retirement seemed like such a good idea at the time, but sadly, it just did not work out. After five months, I was bored to death. I traveled Costa Rica and enjoyed the life, and after a while, I just settled down near San Jose and tried to just.. well… retire. I found myself watching TV and doing nothing… and frankly, just how much Oprah can anyone watch?
Since that realization, I have started 5 companies here not including The Real Costa Rica web site, that, while not a business, takes a lot of my time. I now work about ten hours per day, but working here is most assuredly not like working in the US. In fact, it is not like working at all! I am happy with life and enjoy the work and meeting new people.
However, the hours are long and my wife, who has worked at Costa Rica’s second largest hospital for over 32 years, is now wanting to work less, travel more, and have me available far more than I am. She has the right to spend more time with me, and I told her I would cut back. I therefore have decided to sell one of my companies and make myself available to her. If you have an interest in owning a (quite profitable) business that requires about 15 hours per week to manage, read on!Business, Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Retire in Costa Rica | Comment (0)
February 26th, 2008
I was shocked and dismayed at this. Although I have no issue with the candidate who was elected, I am sad that much of the political drama in the upcoming 2008 election will now be somewhat less meaningful. I am, however, glad to see that the overt silliness of our political system will remain intact!
Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early
February 9th, 2008
This was not the original title. The original was to be another “My Readers Write” thingy. Alas, I have gone on a rant that may please or offend some of my readers. While replying to the email below, I found myself waxing forth on about 20 other topics, ranting I guess… going off subject… decided it was way too long for an email response, and decided to share it with the world… cathartic I guess, at least for me. Kind of a mental laxative for. It is REALLY long… sorry. My blog.
One thing that worries me about trying to live in CR is the thought of having to be on guard all the time against house thieves. I’m originally from NYC and am used to watching my back in public, but I’m not used to having bars on the windows, etc.
Your page on Culture Shock mentioned that the concepts of right and wrong vary from culture to culture. I’ve heard Ticos blaming most of the petty (and violent) crime on Nicas that have come into the country.
Have you formed an opinion on why “Thou shalt not steal” and “Do unto others, etc.” are ignored by so many people there? Are they less attached to their “stuff” than we are?
So sorry to go astray Karin, but your answers are (buried) here.
I think “stuff” is relative. If the best you can afford is a radio, the loss of that radio is maybe equal to another person losing their DVD player or cell phone… Just my thoughts.
And… if you think the ten commandments or golden rule have anything to do with our 2008 world, you are probably pretty disappointed daily in your life. Ethics and morals have been under attack by the far left for many years, and the US is an example of how a society can deteriorate when it shifts from basic values, religious or otherwise. In fact it is my opinion that it is far worse in the US than here in Costa Rica, though of course there are areas in the US where people still respect one another, the laws of the land and their own God as they define Him or a higher power if that word is better. Of course, they are ridiculed for their beliefs.
I think the USA is broken.Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Opinion, Other Stuff, Rants | Comments (28)
January 18th, 2008
I know this topic is of interest to many. For many months, Costa Rica has forbidden the importation of birds, pet or otherwise, because of bird flu fears.
I can now say that this law has been changed and the news is good and bad.
The good news is that you may now once again bring your birds to Costa Rica.
The odd part? You may NEVER export those birds to any other country after they are here! I guess this should be called the bird version of Hotel California… You can check in, but you can never leave…
Therefore, as I have written at least 1,000 times before, if you are not 100% SURE that you will want to live permanently in Costa Rica (currently about 50% leave before first year), I would urge you NOT to bring your pet birds until you have lived here at least 6-9 months and are sure this will be a lifelong move.
For further information, I would suggest contact ARCR . I am sure members can get the hot skinny on this topic.Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Expatriate Life, Importing Birds, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Pets | Comment (0)
November 19th, 2007
The first time I received an email from a woman who expressed concern about her tattoos while visiting Costa Rica, I was about 40% sure I was being shined on a bit. I replied of course as that is not covered in either the REAL Costa Rica web site nor this blog. Later, she sent me photos, and she was for real.
Since then, I have received two more emails asking the same question, the most recent today. As I am one of those people who think for every person who will ask such a question, there are probably ten others who have not the courage to write.
So here is her letter and my reply for all those tattooed ladies coming to visit Costa Rica!Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Other Stuff, Questions from Readers, Tattoos, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (13)
November 16th, 2007
Up until two months ago, my family and I were living in a contemporary three-story house on a beach in Southern California. We had every convenience available. We were only limited by our imaginations. Now, here we are in the jungle with electricity that goes out from time to time, severely pot-holed roads and surrounded by people whose lives and backgrounds could not be more different than our own.Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Kids in Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Nora Straight, Other Stuff | Comments (7)
November 11th, 2007
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!Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica flag, Food and Eating, Gallo Pinto, Hmmm!, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Salsa Lizano | Comment (0)
July 26th, 2007
I have been pondering about blogging this for a while now… partly to get a handle on how I feel, partly because I expect some interesting comments.
Not long ago, President Óscar Arias Sánchez signed into law (“Ley de penalización de violencia contra las mujeres”) a truly controversial measure that provides tougher and longer sentences for the murder of women than of men.
While that in itself seems odd to me, the kicker is it also makes it a crime to insult a woman. Here I am not just speaking of a woman on the street or in the workplace. I am referring to any woman… even a wife or daughter. The law punishes men who are physically and/or psychologically abusive of women, especially a wife, live-in partner or girlfriend.Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Rants | Comments (5)
April 3rd, 2007
I need to apologize. I have not been able to Post here nearly as often as I would like. I am just buried in work, and sadly, income still must proceed pleasure… even in Costa Rica. The main site, The Real Costa Rica, is now up to about 25,000 new visitors each month, and between that and the Guestbook, I am just getting buried in emails as well. So once again, here are some of my replies to those emails.Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Questions from Readers, Retire in Costa Rica, Yurt | Comments (10)
October 26th, 2006
Victor Volder lives in the Netherlands. Lizza Capucion lives in the Phillipines and the two of them run an interesting web site, Expat Interviews. They ought to interview themselves so we can all know how they hooked up!Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Life in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Other Stuff, Retire in Costa Rica, Travel | Comment (0)