Edit Blog Post
Published: March 20th 2008
Yes, I realize it's been a very long time since I've updated this blog, but today I realized a new benefit to keeping it updated more frequently. This morning as I went to greet a Canadian family who showed interested in one of our communities, she surprised me with a jar of REAL maple syrup. Pleasantly surprised I asked her, "How did you know I loved maple syrup." She responded, "I read your blog!" This was exciting for two reasons. One, it's incredible that someone from Canada, after reading a blog from Costa Rica, was thoughtful enough to bring down a special treat for somebody she had only met vicariously. And two, I absolutely love maple syrup. As I'm writing this, I have not discussed a new idea that just came to mind with my business partner Andrew yet, but I will actually share it with you first. What if somehow or another we created some sort of special related to the communities (www.crcommunities.com), the retirement tour (www.boomersincostarica.com), or even the bed and breakfast (www.angelvalleyfarmbandb.com) for those that brought me real maple syrup or my other favorite, flavor blasted cheddar goldfish? Honestly the idea is so fresh I don't even have
a clue how to work with it just yet, but that's why working with Andrew is so great. He will find a way to convince strangers from all over the world to want to bring me snacks I can't seem to find here
Now to an amusing short story...
It's a running joke here that everyone and their brother has something to sell you. In fact, it's especially apparent when you are related to real estate in one way or another. There is a growing consensus that if you're a Gringo, you must be completely loaded and buy at least one large farm a day. I have literally been asked to buy a farm from total strangers on the street, my pharmacist, my ex girlfriend and various members of her family, every single Costa Rican friend I have here, and even police officers who pull me over for speeding. In fact it's the best way to get out of a ticket. Just show interest in their land! But, the other night is by far the best one. After spending a week in Miami working with trainers and nutritionists to create a better diet and exercise program, I was thrilled to be back in Costa Rica to begin the new life. I was a born-again health nut! So, the first thing I do of course is suit up for the basketball court. About 30 minutes after arriving to the mean streets of San Ramon where the court was full of high schoolers, I find myself face up holding my ankle in excruciating pain. I had taken the wrong approach to gravity and fell funny on my throbbing ankle. Anyways, later that night I find myself in the emergency room at the local public hospital. I thought it would be a safe investment to ensure that my ankle was in fact still in one piece. But here's the kicker (yes, pun intended), within 2 minutes of meeting with the doctor, as if to say, " What can I do to put you in this car today?" she literally tries to sell me her friend's farm!! I couldn't help but to laugh. At this point in our very new relationship, I'm sitting in a wheel chair thinking about one thing, and one thing only, MY ANKLE! You know when something is so incredibly off beat that you don't even react to it? I mean, it's the little stuff that drives us crazy. But when you are weary of the X-ray results and the only thing on the doctor's mind is, " Hmm can I get a sale today?" you just have to laugh.
I will say this though. I was actually very impressed with the facilities. Coming from the United States I believe many of us are programmed to believe that if it's not expensive it must be dirty or be of sub-par quality. But honestly, entering the emergency room and feeling no financial pressure was something I think many of you could appreciate. The hospital was clean, efficient, and left me the information I needed to get me back on my feet once again. Obviously this is not a big deal to Canadians as you seem to have a health care system that is affordable as well.
Comparing Miami to Costa Rica...
The week I spent in Miami was informative and shocking all at the same time. I have become so accustomed to 3 dollar meals and 20 dollar a month gym memberships, that it seemed somewhat nightmarish every time we went out for a bite to eat, or I wanted to get some exercise. It was absolutely mind boggling to see how much money people had to spend on their daily routine. The cost of living is outrageous, period. The city is fun. There is so much to do and you have access to everything. At times, admittedly so, I need my fix of the fast paced life. However, I find life to be a lot less stressful and whole lot more enjoyable now that my base is in an affordable paradise environment and my vacations are to places like Miami or New York City. I didn't even splurge, yet I literally spent more money in 7 nights in Miami than I do in over a month in Costa Rica, and that includes rent, all bills, and social activities. Point being, if you are realizing the quagmire so many North Americans are in, please take that extra step and come see Costa Rica for yourself. It really isn't that hard to make this happen and the rewards are infinite.
Til' next time,
Tot: 1.38s; Tpl: 0.063s; cc: 9; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0702s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb