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salish sea

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  1. Only sort off topic: I remember the night of the election in 2004, looking at emigrating to Canada ... to Australia ... to New Zealand ... Couldn't afford any of them, as we didn't have a spare 2 mil (and, no that's not mil, but million), but just looking gave me a degree of comfort. Eventually the pendulum will swing back and good sense will reappear. regards, Gayle
  2. ...and then you, too, can buy US elections. (No, I am not signing my name. Pretend I'm anonymous)
  3. In CR, we lived out in the campo, with beautiful views of the surrounding green, green hills. Lots of birds, butterflies, howler monkeys and coyotes we could hear, but not see. Before then, we always lived in suburbia in the US. I never thought I would like living in a real urban area, but spouse really wanted to move to Vallarta. Some things continue to be a real adjustment (can almost never hear the birds because of noise from traffic and neighbors' music), but the convenience of it all is making me a real convert: just 2 or 3 blocks to a number of very good restaurants, walking distance to a large grocery store, ditto to a small Asian grocery store with all sorts of jarred goodies and other items, ferreterias, dentist, etc, not to mention the beach and malecon. So it's a different life, but has its beauty, too. I never would have thought so! regards, Gayle 5 de diciembre Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
  4. What about approaching an organization like The Nature Conservancy or something similar? They may at least have some suggestions where you might start. Buena suerte!
  5. Marsrox and induna, Thank you both for this thoughtful, very interesting discussion. I, too, see very hard times ahead for CR, and I wish it weren't so. President Solís, if I recall correctly, has tried and tried to reduce public sector pensions, especially those that, by almost any measure, are excessive, and I recall that he was unable to do so due to push-back from the Asamblea and some of the unions. I don't think that there is any option open to him at this point. If CR has to look to world markets for help, the imposition of austerity, which will constrict the national economy and cause terrible hardship, possibly for a generation, will be the result. I don't think it will work out well in Greece, and the same goes for CR. Perhaps China will step in, but how much of CR's natural resources will be handed over as a result, will only be known when China comes to collect its debt. I don't think the Chinese do much of anything out of altruism. Not good times, and I'm now thoroughly depressed.
  6. (I'll edit this as I think of other things) In no particular order: --the kindness and friendliness of Ticos --flocks of noisy green parrots flying overhead and pairs of parrots in downtown San Ramón, telling all the other parrots that THIS is their territory, and pairs of parrots challenging each other (or that's how it sounds, anyway) --the haunting sound of oropendolas, and how startling it is when one calls from nearby --Lizano sauce --the world-class orquesta sinfónica nacional --chorreadas --wonderful CR Coffee --hummingbirds feeding and one in particular sitting on the clothesline under the roof --the green feria in Aranjuez --the wonderful fresh queso palmito at the little store north of us; they make it every day and the famed Oaxacan cheese does not come even close What are the things that you think you would miss if you left CR? regards, Gayle
  7. salish sea

    Our dream/intention to live in CR

    Hi Marsrox (love your name and meant to say that to you a long time ago), Our attorney here in San Ramon charged us I think around $250 for wills for both of us. We do have our house in an SA, so the situation is a little different, but at least that gives you some idea. regards, Gayle
  8. lucybelle, interesting article, but I don't agree with the premise. I think that regardless of who you are, if you're not planning to return to your home country, you're an immigrant (or emigrant...). If you are planning to return or just aren't sure, you're an expat. You skin color or country of origin, imo, has nothing to do with it. My father, may he rest in peace, was an immigrant. There was no question whatever that he was never going back to his home country, and he never did, not even as a visitor. For me, I visit the US, am still interested in what's going on there, but CR IS my country, and I care deeply about it and its culture and people. But that's not to say that that precludes my ever returning to the US. I just don't know. So in my mind, at least, I am an expat. It's not a matter of finding a place I like better. I'm not looking, and, frankly, I don't care. I love CR. But if something happened to my spouse, would I carry on here? I just don't know. I simply can't say, "never," so I'm an expat. And I know that, for example, for induna and eleanor, they seem themselves as immigrants. regards, Gayle ps: but we do have CR wills and have made plans for cremation, although the notion of renting a crypt for 3 to 5 years and then having our remains swept out also holds some appeal. Everything is temporary, nothing is permanent.
  9. salish sea

    Our dream/intention to live in CR

    jal, describe your homemade fruit fly trap, please. I need one! Thank you kindly. regards, Gayle
  10. salish sea

    Our dream/intention to live in CR

    Hi jal, Wellllll, I'd respectfully disagree with Paul about Zarcero. Elevation is close to 6,000', and, while it's a wonderful place, it is much colder. Ciudad Quesada I think is only a few hundred feet above sea level -- a big difference. When we came here the first time on vacation, for some reason, we talked to a real estate agent -- I cannot recall how we met him, but we originally emailed back and forth before we'd ever come to CR. He showed us several properties in the Florencia area, one of which we really liked (probably 40 different kinds of fruit trees, some of which we'd never heard of before). We were all ready to buy it (really stupid idea -- no due diligence whatsoever) but something made me say, no, and back off entirely. It would have been a truly terrible mistake. For us, the area would have been much too hot and humid. When you have time to really spend more time exploring, learn about different microclimates in the areas you're thinking about. A few hundred feet can make a surprising difference in temperature. I'd second crf's suggestion about the area around Cartago and the Orosi Valley. Just gorgeous, but check things out leisurely. Despite what real estate agents may tell you, there is no hurry. regards, Gayle
  11. Hi everyone, This is not about the national power company, ICE, but about something entirely different. Someone on a local forum here in San Ramon mentioned that friends and neighbors in CR might not have emergency contact information that might be needed for family members elsewhere, or know what to do for pets or plants, etc, until family or friends can arrive on the scene from the other country. I thought it was a splendid idea (as did my spouse), and here's the information that I put on a simple spreadsheet and sent to our neighbors here and our kids in the US: contact info for our neighbors: phone including area code and email addresses contact info for our kids: same info as above My name, passport number and cedula number, along with my cell phone # Same info for spouse info about our pets: feeding instructions, etc, along with veterinarian info We have plants in the house and in pots outside, but, frankly, in the scheme of things, only our pets matter to us. And, of course, I made sure our neighbors were willing to serve as emergency contacts until our kids could arrive. If you think this might be useful/helpful, adapt it as you wish, and may it never be needed! regards, Gayle
  12. Dennis, You could always wait until the Canadian dollar rebounds. The tradeoff, of course, is that in the meantime, if you do decide to build, materials will continue to go up in price. I remember when the Canadian dollar was worth as little as 63 cents (and we had a wonderful time sailing in BC and buying things we couldn't have otherwise afforded) and also remember when the CAD was worth around USD1.10 or a bit more -- ouch! (for us, not for you, when Canadians flocked south of the border to buy our cheap gas and other stuff). I think if you're committed to CR, really know where you want to live, then bite the bullet. Lots of houses for sale, and if they've been on the market for a while, you can be a tough negotiator, and maybe the exchange rate will wind up not mattering at all. Good luck! regards, Gayle
  13. Hi Dennis, I agree with crf. We looked at a lot in San Ramon and found out that it would cost around $85/sq ' to build (early 2012). The wonderful agent (no longer here in CR) advised us to buy an existing house we liked instead of building. We did find a wonderful house, and for us it was the right decision. Unless you have a completely trustworthy general contractor and find no unexpected "surprises" when the building is going up (one neighbor here had a $4,000 retaining wall that wasn't in his budget, but which he had to have constructed) -- and tell me how likely both of those things would be in Canada, let alone here -- if you are committed to owning rather than renting, do not build. If you can find "off-the-shelf" house plans here (that would be for a Tico-style house), you might be able to build something within budget, but even then, I wouldn't count on it. regards, Gayle
  14. salish sea

    Our dream/intention to live in CR

    Comment to jal: you've been on the forums on and off, so probably know this already, but rent for a while in a place you think you'll like. Spend 2 or 3 months there. Like it, great, renew your tourist visa and see if you still think it's for you. Don't like it? Think about why you don't like it and find somewhere else to rent (when you return) and see if that suits you better. Once you decide that CR is for you, apply for residency. But rent until you're sure, and let Marsrox's story be a cautionary tale. Other thing I'd add is that neighborhoods change: barking dogs, annoying neighbors, nuisances. With a rental, you can leave and find something in a better location. With home ownership, much harder. Good luck! regards, Gayle
  15. Say it nicely, Tiffany, and it will sound like a compliment.....
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