You have to learn Spanish

I like letters like this. It’s obvious Mr. Colborn is very unhappy here and will probably either leave for another country or return to his own. One less expat living in Costa Rica who does nothing but complain about everything. I guess I’m deaf, dumb, and blind because Costa Rica has been very good to me. I’m a white guy (Irish descent) and have received nothing but respect and friendship from all Ticos and Ticas, including the police. I live in San José (no, not in Escazú or Santa Ana), I’ve been earning a paycheck since I received residency in the 1990s. I ride the bus like everyone else, walk thru San José centro, drive my car (I’ve accepted the fact that owning a car here is expensive). The noise doesn’t bother me, it’s all part of living in San José.

I’ve never been robbed, assaulted, or had any place where I’ve lived broken into. I hope (like everyone living in any city) that it never happens. I have razor wire and an electric fence in my backyard. This is common in all countries in Latin America, again part of life that one must accept.

People come here, spend their time in a 4-star hotel where everyone speaks English and think that this is paradise. They move here without learning the language or making good connections, then find out that life is very different than when vacationing here.

If you’re going to live here you have to learn to speak Spanish. Not just the menu at Taco Bell, I’m talking about really learning to speak and understand the language, and you have to make connections with the locals. Not the English-speaking ones whose goal is to remove as much money from you as possible. I’m talking about the real Ticos and Ticas who are great people and welcome any foreigner who brings a smile and not some attitude problem. Some are bilingual, many are not. They will help you with everything.

People who can’t accept the life here should go somewhere else. Life is too short to be unhappy. Me, I’m staying as long as God permits.

Stuart Dunbar

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