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June 30th, 2012
I generally do not write op-ed blog posts, but today Costa Rica has lost a fine man who more than any other, has changed the face of professional law enforcement in Costa Rica. His name is Jorge Rojas Vargas, pictured left, and while I have never met him personally, (or professionally thank God), I would consider it a high honor if someday I might make his acquaintance and shake his hand. He is to me a hero in a land where heros in government are hard to find. I have delayed writing this post because I thought that just maybe… someone in the government might come to their senses and not permit this man to retire from public service. I mean all he really wanted was enough funding for he and his staff to do their jobs. Sadly, that has not come to pass. For shame.
Should you like more info on Mr Rojas and his importance to Costa Rica, read on…
Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Crime in Costa Rica, Jorge Rojas, Living in Costa Rica, OIJ, Opinion, Organismo de Investigación Judicial, Rants | Comments (6)
June 19th, 2011
Before we begin, the graphic left shows three sets of letters. Most of my readers know all three, but for those who do not, LOL = Laugh Out Loud. OMG = Oh My God, and WTF= ummmm, well best to ask your kids or grand kids about WTF.
Very handy though!
In Costa Rica, we only have two types of gas, Regular (OMG) and Super (WTF).
Prices in Costa Rica have been sliding up for some time. Food, of course is one, but that seems to be a world wide issue. I have already ranted about the transit laws and how much a parking ticket can cost, but the thing that really frosts my twinkle is the ridiculous price of gasoline and the seemingly never ending increases.
We just had another increase a few days ago, and now I am paying about $85.00 to fill my tank (Nissan Xtrail, a small SUV).
It has been a while since I actually calculated the price per gallon in dollars. As we use liters here and pay in colones, it takes a couple of calculations to convert to dollars but I have done so here as many of my readers are from North America and are more accustomed to price per gallon.
Below is a little chart showing the prices. If this topic interests you… read on!
Filed under Cost of Living, Cost Of Living Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Gas Prices, Gasoline, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Opinion, Rants, Travel Advisory | Comments (38)
April 14th, 2011
I must have received certainly no less than 1,000 emails from people very upset about a very misleading (I call it fraudulent) email they received showing a number of photos of “Costa Ricans” happily gathering up what appears to be every turtle egg ever laid in this country.
I am STILL receiving these emails regularly.
They call for boycotts of Costa Rica. They say “SHAME to the people of Costa Rica” and I can assure you, much worse. One advocated violence!
The problem? This whole thing is 100% crappola!
If this topic interests you… read on!
Filed under Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Opinion, Rants, Turtle Eggs | Comments (5)
December 3rd, 2009
A short while ago, I blogged about the crappy behavior of an American Airlines flight attendant during our recent trip back to the US. Read it here. I made a complaint which can can read in the other post.
If you are following this topic, read on!
Filed under Costa Rica, Rants, Travel | Comments (16)
November 25th, 2009
I am really torqued!
Recently, my wife and I flew back to the US and we used American Airlines (AA) for our flight to Dallas. It turned out kinda ugly. It seems AA, or at least their international flight attendants, have an issue if you do not speak English! Rather than re-write it all, here is the email I sent to AA:
I am VERY upset about American Airlines treatment of Latinos, in this case my wife who is Costa Rican.
While flying to Dallas, a flight attendant named “Sherrill” (or similar) was VERY rude. There were three of us in the row. Sherrill asked first the man in the window seat what he wished to drink. After that, she asked my wife in the center seat and I replied, “she would like apple juice”. The flight attendant then states very loudly: “Sir, I am talking to the woman not to YOU!” So I replied “that is fine, but my wife does not speak English so you must speak to her in Spanish”. Sherril then said: “I do NOT have to speak Spanish, I am an American and I live in Texas!”
This remark was heard by a large number of Latinos seated nearby and was VERY insulting both to them AND the 3 other folks who later told me how bad they felt.
If you do not want Latinos to fly American, SAY SO! I always thought international flights required bi-lingual attendants and were the plum jobs. This rude person insulted MANY people, not just my wife. If at all possible we will NEVER fly AA again and this story will appear on my two blogs (http://blog.therealcostarica.com/ and http://www.hisfault.com/) as well as in Facebook.
You should be ashamed and while I am 99% sure NOTHING will happen to this employee, no apology, NOTHING, I WILL do what I can to spread this story so other Latinos know how AA stands on flying Latin minorities.
That should be clear enough!
As I found out later, AA policy is that only ONE person need speak Spanish on a flight to/from Costa Rica. ONE person for what… 120 people or more? In this case, that person was the head flight attendant in first class (John) and as we all know. the first class attendants never associate themselves with the hoi polloi or in Spanish, la chusma.
To the many Ticos and other Latinos who I know read my blog, I would urge you to let your spending show AA that this kind of rude treatment is not acceptable. Delta, Spirit, Jet Blue, Taca, Lacsa and others all have service to the US.
I am pretty sure I will get the “canned BS” from AA if I get a reply at all. That flight attendants union is pretty strong so she will certainly be permitted to continue venting her disrespect for Latinos…
If I do get a reply, you’ll see it here.
Filed under Costa Rica, Rants, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (18)
January 31st, 2009
In the United States, shooting, assaulting and of course killing a police officer is a huge deal. The police simply do not rest until the perpetrator has been caught, and they are non too gentle in the process. This is as it should be because when something like that happens, it is not simply an assault on that officer, it is an assault on all police officers and more important, it is an assault on society.
Whether or not you are a supporter of the police, the one unassailable fact is that they represent just about the only line between you and a very nasty group of people who pay little attention to the law. A complete lack of respect for law enforcement is a harbinger of anarchy.
Filed under Costa Rica, Crime in Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Opinion, Rants | Comments (17)
July 10th, 2008
I received another comment yesterday and again I have decided to reply here as I think more people read the posts than the comments. OK OK… it is sort of another rant and probably should have been posted on July 4th, but here it is. It started out as a simply enough reply… then grew. However as my readers know, at times my self control fails me…which might be why I am not exactly thin!
Ohhh. Haters of the USA or those embarrassed to be an American will probably find this post not to their liking.
Below is a comment sent in yesterday and the stimulous for this reply. If my response might interest you… read on!
I don’t want to come off as a conspiracy theorist, but I do find it to be interesting that this is a problem for you now. My point, a lot of people are disenchanted, to say the least, regarding the current political, economic, etc… here in the US, and are hoping to relocate. Well maybe the powers that be prefer this not to be so easy to do. And therefore prefer not to have someone help make this possible, meaning you. You provide us with the much appreciated, and needed info. Seems as though with the recent CAFTA activity, that Costa Rica wanting to do trade with the US, is going to be pressured to do whatever Uncle Sam asks of them. Remember the disintegration of the middle class, means the corporate big wigs need all the slaves to stay here and consume in order for them to continue to make a profit. Now if we want to live elswhere, we are not here to keep them nice and fat. Ok, after previewing my post, I have to admit I do sound like a nut, or do I? (twilight zone music plays in background).
Filed under CAFTA, Costa Rica, Election 2008, Expatriate Life, Free Trade Agreement, Gas Prices, Gasoline, Immigration & Residency, Life in Costa Rica, Opinion, Rants, Retire in Costa Rica, TLC | Comments (19)
July 9th, 2008
Tonight I received a comment from a reader… and it pushed my rant button. I may be completely reading the comment incorrectly and assuming a wrong tone or meaning… and if I am, I apologize now… but the rant is still coming as I am replying to many others who I am sure I read correctly!
Here is her email, and if the topic interests you (and you can deal with my rant)… read on!
My family plans to relocate to Costa Rica, and I would like to know what your thoughts are regarding the recent activity by the Costa Rican Congress ending it’s 84 year old insurance, and telecom monopoly (CAFTA). How do you think this is going to effect the citizens of Costa Rica that have enjoyed a universal health care system, and what do you think the implications are for Americans residig in Costa Rica, that have been able to partake in this system?.
Filed under CAFTA, Cost of Living, Cost Of Living Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Free Trade Agreement, ICE, Internet, Opinion, Politics, Questions from Readers, Rants, TLC | Comments (20)
June 15th, 2008
Those of you who live in Costa Rica are probably quite familiar with the cellular phone system here and most of you are also aware of just how lousy is the GSM system in particular. TDMA is still the only reliable system here in Costa Rica.
To provide a bit of background for newcomers, visitors and tourists, there are currently two cell phone systems here in Costa Rica. The first, TDMA , often referred to as “the old system” and GSM, “the new system”. New is better, right? Often true, but in this case… totally not true.
The GSM system was installed some years ago by Alcatel, a French company under contract to ICE the government-run monopoly that controls all telecommunications in Costa Rica. Apparently not satisfied with just trying to win this huge contract in a competitive manner, Alcatel decided to spend some cash in order to bribe some key decision makers in ICE and in the Costa Rican government. About $11 million as I recall! This was also distributed to at least two and probably three ex-Presidents of Costa Rica, two of whom spent some time in prison for accepting these bribes, and a third who is currently hiding out in Switzerland, unable and apparently unwilling to return to Costa Rica for fear of also passing a few hours in the slammer.
This is important to know because the GSM system installed by Alcatel simply did not and still does not work well at all… and it will soon be the only system available.
Filed under Cell Phones, Communications, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, ICE, Rants, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (9)
June 10th, 2008
Caution! Rant coming!
As most expats, I watch the current political battle for the Presidency of the United States. I watch as Barrack Obama and others make their stupid claims that they will “do something” about the price of gasoline in the US, now over $4.00 per gallon in 23 states. They just don’t get it. To me, it as is stupid as their claims that they will stem the outflow of jobs from the USA to other countries. I have news for them. The first will not happen without strong leadership and new ideas (which neither candidate has even remotely shown) and it is years too late the do anything about the second.
Filed under Cost of Living, Cost Of Living Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Expatriate Life, Gas Prices, Gasoline, Living in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Rants, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (2)