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PaulaV

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About PaulaV

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  • Birthday 03/02/1964
  1. When I lived in Quepos, a tico and an expat pointed out trees that were painted white on the bottom - as a sign to discourage squatters. I gather this is one reason why rental properties can be found for so cheap in CR - homeowners want someone on their property.
  2. I can't count how many times I have seen a look of surprise on a tico/tica's face when I say Hola! walking by them on the street, or when I have stopped to ask them in my horrible Spanish how are they and introduce myself, talk about how beautiful the day is, etc.. I suspect they assumed I would just walk on by and not interact with them. So, that is one of the many reasons I love CR. It's an opportunity to remember how to be friendly, embark on new adventures, and not be that typical gringo. To your point about expats thinking CR will be an extension of the US, Paul - I think a fair amount of expats move to CR just for the cost of living savings/views/climate, and aren't really looking for a different culture/place to call home. Those are the folks that will never get on a bus and talk to the person sitting next to them....
  3. I think nothing compares to actually living for awhile in CR and discovering within yourself that it is where you want to be. I have had more than my fair share of bad experiences in the country in the past year - lived in some seedy areas and struggled being alone and making my way around a country so completely different than what I knew, encountering difficulties ranging from bites, sprains, electric outages and hard walks with no car. My first trip to CR was Sept of 2011, living in a tiny apartment in Quepos for a month. I couldn't wait to get on the plane back to the US to escape the heat, humidity, noise, fear of being a single female living alone in a somewhat dicey area. The minute I got on the plane I thought: "Yeah. I can do this. Not in that specific area, but I can do this, and I want to find a way/place to be happy living in this gorgeous country" - and I instantly missed the mountains and people of CR. My advice is: if you aren't crying when the plane is taking off to leave CR, it's not for you!
  4. I think it bears noting that property tax rates in CR were .25%, in Texas they are around 2.6%. I have never intended to own in CR as the rentals are so inexpensive and I hate home maintenance. However, those rates will also affect rental costs as they are passed down to the renter. Although, if you're renting a $300k house doubling the property tax rate would add only about $62 a month to the rental rate, it certainly is something to consider! Thanks for the link, Beachlife4us.
  5. Yes, but on Panama - at the bottom of your link... "Tourist Visa If you are from the U.S. or Canada you do not need a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Tourists may stay for up to 90 days and, in general, extensions are not available unless you can prove you need more time because you are changing your status from that of tourist…for example, if you entered Panama as a tourist and then decided to apply for residency." 90 days is a fairly short time to determine whether you want to live in the country, find land/a home if you are buying...just my 2 cents on that. I have no idea if the above is enforced, though.
  6. http://insidecostarica.com/2013/01/08/costa-rica-ranked-amongst-top-5-retirement-havens/ Yes, I've seen that as well recently; perhaps some US/Canadians retirees would choose CR over Ecuador because it is a bit closer to their "hometown" for relatives to visit, though? Although Mexico is #4, CR #5 on the link above. $1 gas sure sounds good, though
  7. And, yet Panama is #2 on the recent list of "favorite countries for US/Canadian retirees" - CR placed fifth. I don't know how many expats make a decision based on political/war history, but I can say with certainty that CR not having an army is on my top 10 list of why I love the country...there is no army for the US to destroy
  8. I have SS disability benefits - not worried about them ending/being reduced, but it sure is it a beating to watch the Congress and Senate debate the issue over and over. As for CR inflation: that is a serious concern to me. I read a link (assume the same one as newman) on how gas prices, utility prices, etc. will increase dramatically in 2013 across Costa Rica. Clearly a huge burden to the citizens/expats.
  9. "Many?" Ha ha, every man outta know about such things. I am somewhat past the age of personally worrying about either, but would love to have a section for shopping and also travel/living/dating for single women in CR.
  10. Or, perhaps less sidebars/off-topic discussions with your suggestion. I usually have to go to my profile to see, hmmm - did I post to the thread about cars to comment on crocodiles, or was it the thread on the Spanish language? I know Paul works hard to herd threads into their proper place, though. People drive at night in CR? Yikes....
  11. I am completely in favor of more sub-sections within "Living." Not so much for sensitivity issues (I have no shame - will say anything anywhere, ha ha), but the section encompasses a whole lot of topics!
  12. Oh *sob* is that a straw hand-made CR reindeer....left 2 beautiful ones behind when I left, because Spirit Air wanted $50 for me to take them on.
  13. Perlita is pretty, as are your decorations! If I can take one of mine in between when my little cat knocks them over, I'll do so...
  14. I saw an odd post yesterday and when googling found it was a hacker (I don't think there was a link), then Paul removed it. Thanks for the heads up!
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