Country is not inexpensive, says veteran of 15 trips

Oh boy, here we go again: Another group of Costa Rica apologists denigrating anyone who disagrees that life there is the ultimate, the Pura Vida we all have been looking for.

I have been visiting Costa Rica regularly since 1992, even attended the best escuela I could find for two consecutive years to learn Spanish properly unlike most of the cerveza-guzzling Gringos that sit at the El Presidente bar. Mr Walkling on Wednesday, made many valid points.

During the 15 or so trips I made to Costa Rica, I have seen it all. It’s usually only these “Costa Rica is Nirvana ” preacher-types that state they have never been molested, robbed, scammed, had money extorted from them by the police or crooked attorneys, or heavens forbid, have even heard of such dastardly acts.

Of the many lengthy trips I made down there, only a few were uneventful, involving no rip-offs or worse. And two of them were the first and second trips. Back then the bad air quality in downtown San Jose’ was the worst discovery. But soon after that, somewhere around the late ’90s, I watched the gradual metamorphosis occurring that soon convinced me that is not a country I want to retire to. To the country’s credit, the bad air quality was resolved a few years after my initial visit, a pat on the back to the government!

However, it’s not the inexpensive place to retire to that it once was, as Mr. Walkling attested to. But, more than that, it’s the haves that have flocked in there (mostly Americans who couldn’t make it here ), that have attracted the have-nots.

I have experienced it time after time, from the shakedowns at roadblocks, to a mid day break-in at a cottage I was renting, to the white collar crime practiced by disreputable real estate attorneys and realtors, to the blatant young thieves that just rip the necklaces off the women’s’ necks on Avenida Central in broad daylight. No wonder there are so many gated condo/home communities sprouting up there !

I didn’t go looking for trouble, no late night drinking in the dark hovels of San José, but the have-nots made their presence well known in other ways.

I am far from poor, but to invest in more real estate in Costa Rica at this time is just foolhardy. Best to do as I do now: Fly down for a two to three month vacation and relax on a nice beach, content in the knowledge that my home back in Los Estados Unidos is not being broken into. Pura Vida my eye ! (smile)
Joe Furlong
Venice, Florida

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