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Welcome to Costa Rica

April 19th, 2007

Here is an sad but interesting tale. It is a story of a mother and daughter refused entry to Costa Rica.

One of the companies I own deals with tourists coming to visit Costa Rica. This often involves having one of my people meet them at the airport. This is normally no big deal. We give them detailed instructions and nearly always, we are able to hook up without issue.

So it was odd that we sent a rep to the Liberia airport to meet a woman traveling with her 14 year old daughter. Often our customers are also being met by a tour company, so in this case, our rep met them and they both waited for the arrival of our mutual clients. After waiting an hour, it was clear they were not coming, so the tour agent and our rep left the airport.

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When is it Time to Buy a New Car?

February 21st, 2007

The kids were being champs. We sat in traffic, 20 miles from home, after a long ride home from the beach. Rush hour made traffic lights long waits. My car had been well tuned-up after a few break downs. I was glad our old car made it through another trip. Friends of ours sat a few cars behind us. It had been a great weekend. Then a taxi driver Continue reading »

My Readers Write

February 8th, 2007

I receive a zillion emails, and try to reply personally to all of them (except the ones that are clearly answered in The Real Costa Rica or are written by folks too lazy to just read the relevant page… but I digress! Over the holidays, the sheer numbers of emails increase AND I am run ragged by my wifey and businesses and have less time to reply. These emails were sent from The Real Costa Rica, The RCR Guest Book and Hisfault.

Some of the questions are pretty good and my reply may be of interest to others… so here they are! As always, I generally do not edit emails though I DO protect the identity of the writer as, sadly, some folks appear to be borderline literate. I may also shorten them a bit showing only the relevant question. Continue reading »

A Few Key Words You Must Know

January 11th, 2007

I learn Spanish from the people around me. I quit lessons awhile ago because time went to the kids. But, I continued to learn so much in a day from the children and the people in my life.
There’s a list of words you must know, of course, before traveling. Water – agua; bathroom – baño; those two are a cinch. But consider learning this word too…. Continue reading »

Crime in Costa Rica

January 6th, 2007

I get a fair number of emails asking about crime in Costa Rica… so maybe it is time to cover this topic once more.

Crime here, it is getting worse and I have no problem saying so. It is certainly different than when I first stepped off the boat. Saying that though, the crime is pretty well confined to two areas: San Jose (the city), and areas where tourists congregate. It is NOT country wide.

This is true for the US as well. A small town in Iowa is NOT the same as life in LA.

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Costa Rica Cell Phone Update

November 22nd, 2006

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – our friendly local state-run telecommunications monopoly has decided to purchase an entirely new GSM cell phone network rather than expand the current network.

Why is this a big deal? Because with this announcement, we know that it will be at least another year… more likely two-three years before cell phone (telephone) numbers can again be purchased. Believe it or not, this is probably good news.

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Prostitution Growing

November 21st, 2006

The daily Spanish newspaper Al Día reported that there are now about 9.000 prostitutes plying their trade in Costa Rica. The number of prostitutes has increased mainly to the increasing numbers of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Colombian women.Medical authorites are concerned because they have under their medical control only one third of the prostitutes, meaning there are about 6.000 prostitutes out there who are “outside the system”

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New Traffic Laws in Costa Rica

November 1st, 2006

Now THIS otta be fun! For those of you who actually live (and drive) in Costa Rica, your eyes must be doing a 360 about right now. Mine sure did. For those of you who have not had the ummm… pleasure… of interfacing with a Tico on the roads of CR… well… I bit of explaining may be in order.

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Central Bank Changes and the Effect on Currency Exchanges and Interest

October 29th, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, the Central Bank of Costa Rica decided to stop the ages-old policy of setting a daily buy/sell rate (exchange rate) for converting dollars to colones and vice versa. This daily exchange rate was known as the tipo de cambio, and was generally a very small spread, maybe 2.5-4 colones. It changed every day, increasing a fraction of a colone and thus devaluing the currency against the dollar… daily.

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Expat Interviews provides a Window to the World of Expats

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!

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