Just living in Costa Rica gives your brain a Ph.D.

A recent study that was the subject of anews story Tuesday said that seniors need continual challenges to stay sharp. The sedate retired life is not enough to keep the brain cranking along.

Fortunately for expats, there are no shortages of challenges in Costa Rica. Here’s a baker’s dozen:

1. Explain to the monolingual ICE employee that your Internet connection is languishing along at two bytes per second when you paid for a heckuva lot more.

2. Find the home of a friend who lives 50 meters west and 25 meters north of where the old tree used to be which is a point 400 meters east of the former shoe factory.

3. Find your way home from the friend’s house.

4. Figure which fruit vendor at the feria is giving you the better deal, all the while keeping an eye on your purse or wallet to frustrate crooks.

5. Notice that the hotel clerk is giving you 350 colons to the U.S. dollar and make sure you get the correct rate.

6. Find the Coronado bus station, which is somewhere on Avenida 7 between the antiguo Gran Cine Líbano and the Edificio INS.

7. Find Avenida 7 which is not next to Avenida 6 or Avenida 8.

8. Make a nice tres leches cake for eight persons with the oven at 175 degrees, and among other ingredients 230 grams of sugar, 125 milliliters of milk, 290 grams of flour and 400 grams of evaporated milk. Without a calculator!

9. Take a nice, quiet bike ride on the local main drag to see how motorists show their respect.

10. Dump the bike and figure out if your car license plate is illegal downtown today because it ends in 6.

11. Tell Charlie Brown the Great Pumpkin must be at Mas x Menos because they want 10,000 colons for it. That and other sticker shocks.

12. Overstay the happy hour at a downtown bar and step out into the city street just a tad past midnight.

13. Do about anything at the Caja.

Obviously, Costa Rica gives you more for your money!

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