SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise

15 May

This is the continuation of a series of blogs to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers: Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

chapter 25

SHOPPING and MAKING TAMALES

Shopping in C.R. could drive the average gringo or gringa nuts.

I include both sexes because, as you will soon read, you can’t escape the comedy/frustration by pawning off the task to your partner.  Sooner or later you will need to be the one in the store.

Let’s start with what is usually the man’s domain (although I know women who truly enjoy)… a hardware store (side note: I even have one lady friend to whom I give a Home Depot gift card at Christmas).  I’m not referring to just one hardware store.  What I’m about to describe I have experienced in hardware stores large and small in a variety of towns, large and small, such as all the way from San Jose which, like Los Angeles/L.A./Orange counties, is a conglomeration of cities, to the tiniest such as Paraiso, which is about two kilometers before you get to Playa Junquillal.   And, like L.A. etc., the conglomeration of cities that we call “San Jose” have no defining boundaries.  Like L.A. etc. you don’t know when you have left one and entered another. 

Costa Rica has a population of about 4 million of which 70% (about 2.8 million) live in the central valley of C.R. and that is what we know as San Jose.  Just to give you a perspective, C.R. is about the size of West Virginia (in square miles) and smaller than San BernardinoCounty, Ca.  These statistics, by the way, are part of what makes this country so appealing to me.  Having been raised in Alaska in a rural and totally undeveloped area (statewide population when I lived there of 300,000 +/-) where “rural” means everywhere except Anchorage (population back then 250,000 +/-) I am very comfortable in the rural environment that is most of C.R.  It truly takes me back to my roots except I’m not freezing in the winter.  When I was a kid there were times I literally prayed that when I died I would go to hell so I could be warm!

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