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Costa Ricans – What makes Ticos Tick? Culture Shock and Cultural Adjustment

November 30th, 2014

crdanceWhen I first came to Costa Rica (hard to believe that it was back in the past century… late ’90s!) there were two groups of ex-pats here. A few took the time to really learn the language and the culture… others, (maybe most),  not so much. This has changed greatly and for the better.  More and more people with whom I come in contact not only have learned to communicate in Spanish, they are taking more time to learn the “why things are the way they are” part of ex-pat life.

Living here can be a real challenge, and while I cover the language and the culture shock stuff as part of my tours, in the early days, not a lot of people took me seriously.  The Internet portrays a very different place than the REAL Costa Rica.  Not bad necessarily… just different. Interested in this topic?  Read on… Continue reading »

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica – 2014

November 26th, 2014

tgThe ultimate in laziness for a blogger is to reprint an olde post.  OK… Here is a re-print plus maybe a bit new. Check prices!  They may have changed.

Trying to find a good and comprehensive list of restaurants that offer a good Thanksgiving feast in Costa Rica is difficult.  Several sites and user groups offer a few, but nothing really complete.  Hotels often offer Thanksgiving Dinner… quality can GREATLY vary.  Interested in this topic? Read on!

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Perpetual Tourists – Good Time to Get Legal or Get Gone

October 1st, 2013

pp.jpgPerpetual Tourists (PTs) are those folks who come to Costa Rica to live but have no intention of applying for legal residency.  They are under the mistaken impression that they can just leave Costa Rica every 90 days to “renew” their visa.  Some have done this for years and so will argue that it is OK.  However… This has never been legal, but sadly, it has never been made strictly illegal. Immigration has had many opportunities to remedy or clarify this problem, but instead it has skirted the issue time and again. Therefore, what we have now is a most unpleasant and even dangerous situation.  We have the immigration officials at airports and at the international frontiers  who pretty much seem to be acting on their own seemingly having received no guidance from their supervisors.  I know of nothing worse than bureaucrats acting on their own.

Interested in this topic?  Read on… Continue reading »

Costa Rica Business for Sale

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!

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Stand Proud America

July 10th, 2008

Must be just that kind of week!

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).

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Travels with Della and Joanna

July 8th, 2008

The LadiesThis post was actually sent in as a comment to an earlier post about crime in Costa Rica, but after reading it, I thought it not really relevant to crime… or maybe it was as these ladies apparently did a lot of cool things and experienced nothing but a fun time.

However, I did not want to discard it, and I decided it might be of general interest to a lot of readers, especially to older folks considering a trip to Costa Rica and more especially to older women who might like to travel together! Here is the account or the trip taken by Della and her female companion and written by Della.

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Learning Spanish

July 1st, 2008

Coffee Break SpanishPlanning to move to Costa Rica to live, retire or work? Regardless of how well traveled you are, culture shock almost assuredly will be a big factor in how much you and your family will enjoy living in a foreign country and whether you will be able to adjust and enjoy the experience.

I was speaking to the owner of one of the larger moving companies some while back, and he told me that he is now moving back “home” more than 50% of the customers he moved here originally. That is a helluva statistic, and he should know. I tend to believe this as I get more and more email from people who have made the decision to move here after spending little and sometimes no time in this country. Sadly, some have no option as they are just now realizing that they simply cannot afford to retire and live in their home country. This is true especially of many folks from the USA.

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Jacó in deep Doo-Doo?

September 10th, 2007

The unrestrained growth of Jaco has been of concern to a lot of people. More and more condos, apartments, houses are jamming the area from Jacó to Quepos. Too much and without proper planning. Couple that with the huge growth in the central valley, and you have a recipe for serious problems.Well now the piper is in line to be paid.

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The Colon Vs The Dollar – Watch your money!

August 12th, 2007

For many years I suggested here in this blog, in The REAL Costa Rica and elsewhere that the smart person living in Costa Rica (or for that matter anyone who keeps money here), should always pay using colones, but keep their money in a dollars account. There was a good reason for this. The colon was, for many years, on a system of scheduled devaluation that made holding colones a losing proposition.

I am now doing a 100% change in that position. If this subject interests you, read on…

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Better Interest Rates in Costa Rica?

July 28th, 2007

After the demise of the several high interest houses a few years ago, Costa Rica lost its appeal as a place to get thirty plus percent annual interest rates in a supposed secure offshore environment. Couple that with the influx of baby-boomers and retirees and I often get asked for secure locations where money can be kept at decent interest rates. Here are some of my ideas, and while I am for sure not a financial planner or expert in these areas, I can shed a bit of light on your options here.

Our money needs change as we age. A thirty-something person or couple can afford a lot more risk in their money management style knowing that they have another 30-40 years to “balance” the ups and downs. A bad stock decision is far less important at age 32 than at age 62. Therefore, I am directing this post to the over 50 crowd who are not in the market for a $2 million beach front home in Costa Rica. If you can afford that, then you have little need for anything I have to say.

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