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shortnsassy

Reflections on our trip

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Hola,

We're home from our first trip to CR. Funny, we had a harder time adjusting to being home in the US than to being in CR and I mean physically and mentally. We want to return in the dry season, probably sometime in January to continue looking around, getting to know people, and practicing our Spanish. We're starting to look at plane fares now. The problem is I don't know that I'll recognize a good fare when I see one.

 

We traveled around the Central Valley and saw Alajuela, Grecia, Atenas, Carriari, Belen, La Garita, San Ramon, Naranjo, Santiago de Puriscal, La Paz, and more. We went to a couple of ferias. We were very graciously taken to the one in Grecia by Dave and Marcia. Thank you. We also went to the one in San Ramon. We took a shuttle bus to Arenal, had a view of the volcano going dormant and the lake from our hotel room, and went to the hot springs. I must admit that the hot springs were a major hit with me. We saw places for sale from $95,000 to $900,000 (yes, there was more land with the latter, but not $800,000 worth) and places for rent from $140 to $700 per month. In other words, prices are all over the map. It was also interesting to see how many places did not have stoves but instead had sort of 3-burner hot plates run by gas.

 

We loved the slower pace and natural beauty we found. Isabel at Vida Tropical was lovely and very helpful. The couple of young Tico drivers we had were lots of fun and went out of their way for us. We enjoyed everyone we met, both Tico and Gringo. We think we can live simply and enjoy pura vida. Frankly, besides the bureacracy, the hardest things for me will be if I have to have a suicide shower, because of the low flow necessary, and if I can't flush my toilet paper. BTW, what's with the toilet paper in CR? Is there a regulation against having thicker TP? Sorry if the subject offends.

 

Of the places we visited, we most liked Puriscal and La Paz; however, we just touched the tip of the volcano, so to speak. When we return, we'll hopefully be able to rent a cabina for a couple of weeks and we'll rent a car so that we can really investigate. Our plans for here are to start cleaning out—throwing out, selling, consolidating. The hardest part will probably be selling the house in this horrible market. We're considering 2 options in regard to that: (1) sell the house and buy something smaller that we can rent out here while living there or (2) sell the house and invest the money here. We're leaning toward the 2nd option.

 

Anyway, we'd like to thank everyone who gave us advice and answered our questions.

Jodi

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I wouldn't go with an anonymous person .......... stick with someone tried and true :blink:.

Glad you are heading back Jodi, perhaps we can say hello as we will be there in January. We have the flights and a two week house rental booked.

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Hola,

We're home from our first trip to CR. Funny, we had a harder time adjusting to being home in the US than to being in CR and I mean physically and mentally. We want to return in the dry season, probably sometime in January to continue looking around, getting to know people, and practicing our Spanish. We're starting to look at plane fares now. The problem is I don't know that I'll recognize a good fare when I see one.

 

We traveled around the Central Valley and saw Alajuela, Grecia, Atenas, Carriari, Belen, La Garita, San Ramon, Naranjo, Santiago de Puriscal, La Paz, and more. We went to a couple of ferias. We were very graciously taken to the one in Grecia by Dave and Marcia. Thank you. We also went to the one in San Ramon. We took a shuttle bus to Arenal, had a view of the volcano going dormant and the lake from our hotel room, and went to the hot springs. I must admit that the hot springs were a major hit with me. We saw places for sale from $95,000 to $900,000 (yes, there was more land with the latter, but not $800,000 worth) and places for rent from $140 to $700 per month. In other words, prices are all over the map. It was also interesting to see how many places did not have stoves but instead had sort of 3-burner hot plates run by gas.

 

We loved the slower pace and natural beauty we found. Isabel at Vida Tropical was lovely and very helpful. The couple of young Tico drivers we had were lots of fun and went out of their way for us. We enjoyed everyone we met, both Tico and Gringo. We think we can live simply and enjoy pura vida. Frankly, besides the bureacracy, the hardest things for me will be if I have to have a suicide shower, because of the low flow necessary, and if I can't flush my toilet paper. BTW, what's with the toilet paper in CR? Is there a regulation against having thicker TP? Sorry if the subject offends.

 

Of the places we visited, we most liked Puriscal and La Paz; however, we just touched the tip of the volcano, so to speak. When we return, we'll hopefully be able to rent a cabina for a couple of weeks and we'll rent a car so that we can really investigate. Our plans for here are to start cleaning out—throwing out, selling, consolidating. The hardest part will probably be selling the house in this horrible market. We're considering 2 options in regard to that: (1) sell the house and buy something smaller that we can rent out here while living there or (2) sell the house and invest the money here. We're leaning toward the 2nd option.

 

Anyway, we'd like to thank everyone who gave us advice and answered our questions.

Jodi

Concerning "papel hygienico" - I understand that all Central/South America has the same quality of toilet paper - Also be aware that in Costa Rica (I don't know about the other countries here) that their "soil pipes" are usually about 2 inches in diameter! Also, they don't put traps in the drains! Making a long story short, I put traps in the drains where I live (not all of the drains), and it was like living in a completely different house! Where I live, we also have a huge soil pipe! These are the things that people need to know about whenever moving to new territory, different culture! Imagining moving to Nigeria or Laos - The things yuou'd have to be exposed to in order not to make any majoor screw-ups?

Respectfully

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BTW, what's with the toilet paper in CR? Is there a regulation against having thicker TP? Sorry if the subject offends.

There IS better TP for sale in the supermarkets but evidently most Ticos think that it is not worth the expense. It seems that all of the hotels and public places all buy the cheapest TP available; thin, coarse single-ply.

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Hi, glad you enjoyed your visit here.

As for the showers, you will get used to it. You may have also been using an old shower, or it was set to the 'warm' setting. Someone we know put in all new shower heads, and had to turn the water up to keep it cool when it was on the hot setting.

And as Mark pointed out, there is two-ply TP available here. If you do decide to move here, you will probably end up joining Price Smart, its pretty much like a Cost Co store in the US.

 

See you next time.

Dana

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And as Mark pointed out, there is two-ply TP available here. If you do decide to move here, you will probably end up joining Price Smart, its pretty much like a Cost Co store in the US.

 

Or you can go to somewhere like AltoMercado and find Scott BR Tissues that are heavier weight -if you don't mind mortgaging the farm to buy them.

 

An alternative to that even could be installing a bidet, which are readily available in CR.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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My housekeeper just asked me to bring her some TP from PriceSmart, the kind I use. She said she buys CR paper at her local pulpería and it's so terrible she has to buy it frequently enough that the more expensive stuff will be cheaper in the long run.

 

Same goes for paper towels. I buy the Bounty towels at PriceSmart and can actually rinse them out and re-use them. When I use CR paper towels I have to use 3 or 4 to get the job done. Definitely not cost effective.

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Same goes for paper towels. I buy the Bounty towels at PriceSmart and can actually rinse them out and re-use them. When I use CR paper towels I have to use 3 or 4 to get the job done. Definitely not cost effective.

 

Not only that, I tried buying some more 'up-scale- paper towels just before I left CR end of June and what I wound up with had reinforcing fibers in them and so while they did hold up, that's not what I was looking for.

 

And as an added 'side-bonus', when I was mounting the roll on the vertical towel-holder I noticed that the center tube of the new roll looked like it now has a noticeably larger inside diameter than before.

 

I got curious and so fished in the trash basket for the old tube and found that I could slide the old one inside of, and that it would easily pass thru the tube in the 'new' paper towels! (The manufacturer is sneakily saving a number of sheets of toweling this way.)

 

BTW, if I had noticed that the center tube was larger, I would've chosen another brand of paper towels but the package was wrapped in such a way that the top and bottom with all the heat-sealed plastic overlapping itself prevents seeing the size of the center tube in the rolls. Be sure you feel the ends of the rolls in case any of the other manufacturers start in with this sly tactic, one I have never seen here in the US, so far.

 

This is the brand with the pale blue elephant on the wrapper, since I cannot remember the brand name of these paper towels, right now.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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Not only that, I tried buying some more 'up-scale- paper towels just before I left CR end of June and what I wound up with had reinforcing fibers in them and so while they did hold up, that's not what I was looking for.

 

And as an added 'side-bonus', when I was mounting the roll on the vertical towel-holder I noticed that the center tube of the new roll looked like it now has a noticeably larger inside diameter than before.

 

I got curious and so fished in the trash basket for the old tube and found that I could slide the old one inside of, and that it would easily pass thru the tube in the 'new' paper towels! (The manufacturer is sneakily saving a number of sheets of toweling this way.)

 

BTW, if I had noticed that the center tube was larger, I would've chosen another brand of paper towels but the package was wrapped in such a way that the top and bottom with all the heat-sealed plastic overlapping itself prevents seeing the size of the center tube in the rolls. Be sure you feel the ends of the rolls in case any of the other manufacturers start in with this sly tactic, one I have never seen here in the US, so far.

 

This is the brand with the pale blue elephant on the wrapper, since I cannot remember the brand name of these paper towels, right now.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

 

That brand with the pale blue elephant winking one eye is a Scott paper brand and they make the worst plastic wrap ever! at least here in CR. In Canada, it was a good brand. I don't know about their TP but that plastic wrap of theirs won't roll off in one piece, it sticks to itself, it's miserable!

 

So I won't be buying any Scott TP 'cause I don't want to be caught in the same position, so to speak.

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