Ξ July 2nd, 2005 | → 53 Comments | ∇ |
Profiles seem weird. I hate writing about me, but if you made it here, I guess you really wanted to know.
My name is Tim and I live near San José, Costa Rica with my wife Maria Luisa (or just ML), one dog (Pirolina), two Abyssinian cats (George and Charlie), and a green parrot named QuiQui, that never stops talking in two languages.
I do not know the sex of the parrot as:
1. he/she will eat you if you try to ‘check’ and
2. as I understand it, it takes a DNA test to determine sex anyway.
I am originally from Ohio… near Cleveland, but lived in Chicago most of my life and moved to Costa Rica several years ago. The standard question I get is why?
I guess that it was basically the fault of Ernest Hemingway.
Sometime in My Youth, I read The Sun Also Rises and a few other of his novels, many dealing with North Americans leading a sexy expatriate lifestyle. All painted a wonderful scene of living in exotic places and enjoying intellectual conversations over coffee in some Bohemian haunt. Well, I have yet to have an intellectual conversation here and there are no Bohemian haunts to be found. However, it IS exotic here, and the coffee is first rate.
So if you really want to know more… it’s probably best to just start with the questions I receive most often:
Will you ever move back to the US?
Very unlikely. Costa Rica is just about as good as it gets.
Do you miss your family and friends?
Do you miss them enough to ever go back?
Hell no. Let them come here. No snow.
Do you like to live in hot climates?
No. I hate it.
So why do you live in Costa Rica?
Because I live in San José which is in a mountain valley about 5,000 feet in altitude and has near perfect temperature and weather. We average 340 days per year of sunshine and daytime temps of about 78 degrees. Hard to find that anywhere.
I thought Costa Rica was hot?
Parts are! It is at the beaches. 90 plus most days and high humidity. We are only 10 degrees north of the equator, but the Central Valley is almost perfect!
Do you work there?
Yeah, I own several companies here.
Do you speak Spanish fluently?
Well compared to most Americans, I speak Spanish pretty well, but compared to a Latin, no. But I am way past the beer and bathroom questions.
Was it hard to learn Spanish?
Oh hell yes! That “old dog – new tricks” thing is absolutely true. Past age 40, it is damned hard to learn anything.
So how old are you?
Kinda personal huh? Let’s just say I fall into the old dog category!
Is your wife from the US?
No. She is a Tica (a Tica is Costa Rican woman… men are Ticos) and she speaks little English.
Is that a problem?
Not too much. We almost never fight! In my way of thinking, most fights start because the guy says something stupid or thoughtless. If you aren’t really fluent in another language, it is much harder to be an jerk. Of course if the woman is a bitch on wheels… LOL. But mine isn’t! She is sweet.
Is living in Costa Rica expensive?
Depends. If you eat at Tony Roma’s, TGI Fridays or a zillion other places catering to Gringos (North Americans), and if you want to live in gated communities with a bunch of other Gringos, then the cost to live here is about the same as Miami. If you live in a Costa Rican neighborhood (which is most of Costa Rica other than the Gringo hideouts) and eat Costa Rican food, the cost is MUCH less. I know folks living quite nicely here for $700.00 per month.
Where do you live?
I live in a mostly Tico neighborhood with few Gringos. I am about 7 km from San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
Wouldn’t you rather live with other Americans?
Not particularly unless they have learned how to behave themselves in another country. Also, what is the point of living in any foreign land if you’re just going to surround yourself with people from your own country?
How far is the beach?
Depends. About 2.5 hours from the Caribbean Sea and about 2 hours from the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica is small and would fit nicely inside West Virginia!
What do you drink there?
Too much diet coke! Sadly, I can’t get my favorite here (Diet Dr. Pepper!), and an occasional beer. I hope the Dr. Pepper people read blogs and figure out how to send me a supply.
What’s a beer cost there and is it any good?
In the market? $.90 and yeah… it’s great! Some really excellent brews here!
Do you smoke?
I have almost stopped… it was getting out of hand!
What do cigarettes cost?
Cigarettes? $1.25 per pack for Marlboros
Can I come and stay at your house if I visit?
Maybe and if I know you.
What’s it like living on an island?
Sheesh. You watch Jurassic Park and think Costa Rica is an island? It isn’t. It is a country in Central America, and if I want, I can drive 3 minutes from my home to the Pan American Highway and drive back to Chicago in about 8-10 days.
Yup! A son and daughter in Chicago and a son here in Costa Rica plus a gaggle of grandkids.
Tell me something nobody knows about Cost Rica who doesn’t live there!
Burger King and MacDonalds deliver to your home!
How can I write you?
Click the “Email Me Here” link in the sidebar at left.