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Everything posted by Shea

  1. I had a $30 or $40 order of Breathe Right strips sent to my aerocasillas address at ARCR. Customs held up the package, declaring that the strips were "drugs". They kept them for considerable time, then said I needed a permit to receive such items here. By the time it was all over, I paid around $160 to receive my package.
  2. So why does that "forbidden" list include Breathe Right nasal strips? They were determined by customs to be "drugs." Say what???
  3. The two Ticos I know who lived in the U.S. were located in So. California and Connecticut. My car, however, came from New Jersey.
  4. I asked for directions to something in Heredia and the guy told me to go straight (direct). I went 2 blocks and the road ended in a T. Left? Right? There was no directo! AARRGGH! (I hope I spelled that right.)
  5. My fave was downtown Sacramento. A,B,C,D etc. in one direction. Cross streets were 1,2,3,4,5 etc. If you can't find your way around there you shouldn't be driving! Back to Seattle area, I have friends who live on the corner of (for example) 156th SE and SE 156th.
  6. No Margaritas in sight, but I still came home and slept off the lunch. Good food, good conversation. Norman was his usual self—handling a huge crowd with no signs of stress. Chimichanga was very good, and I finally got up the nerve to try the hot sauce. Appropriately named.
  7. ¡I have my mouth all set for a chimichanga! ¡Ole! Or maybe a quesadilla and a taco. Or… or… or… I'll be there, even if it does cut into my nap time!
  8. Yay, Seahawks! I don't even like football but watched the whole game just because they were in it. I watched it on CableTica, in English, with all the commercials (which weren't that great).
  9. Due to my macular degeneration, everything is slightly distorted and some letters disappear. I keep reading the title of this thread as "Football Payoffs".
  10. Gayle, I don't think that's a weird question at all, since I was about to ask the same question! Packaged dates are available at PriceSmart. I just bought some at the Tibás PriceSmart. They were not there for a while but have returned. I plan to buy another package and freeze them, knowing thst if they run out it will take months for them to come back. Seems to be the case with a lot of things. As for the palms, I was thinking that maybe they would grow in the drier areas i.e. Guanacaste. Is that not the case?
  11. The Gulf of California is located between mainland Mexico and Baja California, Mexico. It is also called the Sea of Cortéz. It also has a few other names. I dunno why but I'm gonna find out.
  12. I'm wondering, after reading that either spelt or spelled is correct, if smelt could also be smelled?
  13. Here's a link to the article I referred to earlier stating that more than 1,000 public employees make 5 million colones (10,000 dollars) per month. http://amcostaricaarchives.com/2013/04/central-government-readies-another-package-of-fiscal-reforms/ I don't think I ever said that there aren't a lot of people underpaid and/or living in abject poverty. It's the same in the U.S. and is deplorable. I merely mentioned that there (also) are a lot of people, both Ticos and expats, with a lot of money in this country. And there are a lot of people who don't pay the taxes they owe. The difference between here and the U.S. is that the IRS does a better job of policing and collecting past due taxes. Not great, but better. This post started out as a comment on unpaid taxes in this country. It has nothing to do with what happens in the U.S. in this particular case. I do believe that if the government did a better job of keeping track of unpaid taxes and collecting them via garnishment of wages, the deficit would be reduced. Not greatly, but some. Another big issue is the embezzlement/misappropriation of public funds. Cases are constantly being reported, and the embezzlers seem to run the gamut from clerks to ministers. When caught and convicted they are released or sentenced to do public service.
  14. I wish I could remember where I saw an article stating how many public employees in CR make more than 10,000 dollars a month. It was in the thousands. Doesn't matter really. I just know from reading in several different sources (I don't remember sources but here are the publications I read: Tico Times, amcostarica.com, insidecostarica.com and qcostarica.com) that it is a game among some Costa Ricans (not just the wealthy ones) to see how much tax they can avoid paying in spite of what they owe, by underreporting income, getting paid under the table, underreporting income from sale of property, etc. As for the expats, I agree that the taxes they avoid illegally are a drop in the bucket. The point is that they are liars and cheats at the expense of this country. I read many years ago that one expat reported the price he paid for his home as one cent. I wonder if he was one of the people who complain about the lousy roads, bridges, etc., and asking why the government doesn't do something about it. All of those drops in the bucket combined would add up to a huge amount of money and the government should be out there collecting that money. If anyone with half a brain had been looking, the one-cent cost of a new home would have jumped off the page. Avoiding taxes is NOT a game.
  15. There is a lot of money in CR and it's not all owned by expats. Look at the high-priced new-ish cars on the road! A small percentage of them are driven by expats. Now for my point: I'll bet a high percentage of those Ticos pay their fair share of taxes. It is considered somewhat of a game to see how little they can pay! If the government were to do a better job of collecting those back taxes there possible might not be such a deficit. Aso, I get very tired of hearing expats complain about taxes here, when they are a very small percentage of what they would be paying in their own country. Many of them not only complain but they do everything they can to cheat the government. Shameful! The next time this government borrows money it should be used for nothing else but following up on and collecting back taxes. Then they could pay off the loans and have some left over for important expenditures. My opinion. I agree with the person who mentioned lowering the extravagant salaries and benefits of many government employees.
  16. I don't think it's a case of one or the other being correct. They may be different fish, or just different names depending on location. Many things have different names in this country depending on location. Soda, pop, soft drink, coke (small c to make it generic), etc. all mean the same thing.
  17. As I read your description I was thinking grunion. That's what we have on the west coast. When they come in on the waves t night they light up the waves with their phosphorescence. Really a pretty sight. I once saw them come in during the day on the oast of ghe Gulf of California. The kids who were with me had a wonderful time putting them into a bucket and we all had grunion for dinner (cleaned and beheaded).
  18. Wlow, Gayle. I was just going to say the same thing! I guess we feeled the same way!
  19. Not fair, David! I was just composing something on this same subject. Anyway, I hope everyone gets the message. Got to go now...
  20. I once tried to count the ways the letter combination "ough" can be pronounced. I came up with more than 10.
  21. A guy I know was talking about an experience he had dealing with a business person or attorney, doc or whatever. He was telling someone about it and said that "the guy didn't even understand enough English to know what I was talking about!" WHAT???? Maybe we should develop another continent just for those jerks. And float it off somewhere far far away.
  22. Healthcare is the main reason I am in CR. In the U.S., health insurance would have cost way more than half of my income. Plus I would have had to pay co-pays and high deductibles.
  23. I do not say I'm American, I use estadounidense instead. I have done that ever since I moved here. Also, I have never encountered a negative response when I say/answer that I am from the United States. It usually starts a good conversation, either because the person is curious about the state where I came from or because they lived inor visited the U.S.
  24. Spending some time in each country will have you putting away the rose-colored glasses and looking at the reality. I have not been to Panamá, but I can tell you that a lot of the reputation of Costa Rica (environment, education and infrastructure, for instance) is illusion. There are good things, too. You mentioned no military, and I am on board with that, and also health care, which can be frustrating but is good quality. Environment: Costa Rica is home of the most polluted river in Central America. Not very environmentally responsible in my opinion. Infrastructure: Roads are terrible here, not to mention un-navigable sidewalks. There is little or no consideration for handicapped. Safety: The crime rate has risen considerably since I moved here six years ago, mostly due to geography. Costa Rica is a prime stoping off place for drug runners. I must say that for the most part, people here are great. I have had people go way above and beyond to provide assistance, whether it be giving directions (they have actually led me to where I want to go), helping me with my wheelchair (which I don't use all the time, just when I have to go a distance), etc.
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