Costa Rica Independence Day Are you really free?
I spent the Fourth of July, chilling on the beach in Costa Rica, enjoying the waves, the breezes and the cool ocean temperature, all by myself. I read a good book, got a relaxing massage, and worked on my tan. I went home that night, grilled up some BBQ, poured a Jack and Coke and watched a movie. I didn’t go out to any big Independence Day parties, fireworks displays or gatherings, because truthfully, I just didn’t feel like it. I have very little enthusiasm for my birth country anymore, because I have come to realize that it just isn’t really FREE anymore. That is why I left. It is NOT the country I grew up in that is for sure. And having lived in this amazing little paradise since 2003, I am now seeing what real freedom is all about.
You are not free in America, truly free. Think about it. What can you do, that is free? You need a permit or a license to do anything. You are constantly being told what you can and cannot do; how you can do it; when you can do it; and usually being charged to do it. There are more postings, warnings, laws, regulations and signs, than the brain can process, constantly barraging you as you move throughout the day. And what is legal in one state, is not legal in the next, so you better be damn sure you toss your joint out before you cross from Colorado into Kansas, Toto. In Costa Rica, they don’t get too worked up over most things. There are almost no stop signs, yield signs, NO TURN LEFT; you don’t see hundreds of warning signs, no yellow stripes and there are NO street lights. And yet, there are very few accidents; they just figure it out. There are people on bikes, and scooters; kids, families, dogs and cows, walking down the road; and yet they are almost never hit. Everything just seems to move along, each person looking out for one another, using common sense, instead of RULES. Live and let live, is the motto here. As long as what you are doing is not hurting another human being, nobody really cares. YOU ARE FREE.
I got up the next day, took the dogs to Playa Matapalo for their Sunday bonanza. There are no leash laws here, so my dogs get to run loose on the beach. They don’t have to wear a collar, or have a dog tag; THEY ARE FREE too. Probably 99% of the beaches in the USA don’t even allow dogs, and if they do, they must be on a chain. How sucky is that? What dog wants to go to the ocean, and have to be on a rope? I parked my truck, right on the sand. No one charged me for parking; there was no beach entry fee; and all beaches are public in Costa Rica; ALL BEACHES. Even the ones in front of Five Star hotels like the Four Seasons. If you go to their entrance and tell them “I want to go to your beach” they have to give you access. They cannot deny it. The Maritime laws of this country prohibit anyone from stopping or allowing any other person access to the beach. You must let them go. THAT IS AWESOME. So the wealthy Ticos can’t deny the working man from a day’s enjoyment with his family. Unlike so many beaches in America, where the rich movie stars own the beach, and the average person cannot trespass, not in Pura Vida land. I love this country, IT IS FREE. That’s my idea of Costa Rica independence day.
As I sat on the beach, I noticed about 50 beautiful boats just parked in the bay. Do you know that you can moor your boat in the ocean, for FREE. That’s right; it costs NOTHING to anchor your boat in the sea. NOTHING; ZIPPO; NADA; NUNCA; FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! To register a small boat is only a few dollars a year; so reasonable that a local fisherman can have a nice Ponga, take people fishing, and not be bankrupted with the costs. Have you ever owned a boat in the USA? By the time you pay for the permit, pay for the registration and that of the trailer; insure both of them; buy the park pass and the boat ramp pass; mooring and dock fees, and luxury taxes on the hull, what is left to enjoy? And don’t even think of drinking a beer because they will impound your barge for drunk boating; another rule and regulation. And if you can afford all of this without selling off your first born into slave labor, where can you go and have some freedom to drive the pig? Every lake or ocean I had ever been on had so many boats, jet skis, kite surfers and swimmers; you couldn’t even open it up for fear of killing someone. Most waterways have more street signs, directional arrows, speed limits, no wake zones, buoys, drawbridges, can’t swim here, can’t waterski there, must wear a life jacket, no children under 5, look out for Manatees, no animals allowed in the water; not exactly a great way to spend your 4th of July huh? I will ask you again: Where is the freedom in America? Try Costa Rica independence day.
There were dozens of locals, waste deep, line in hand, fishing for their lunch. Guess what? You don’t need a license. Try doing that off the Santa Monica pier without one; they will fine you and take your rod and reel. Almost everyone on the beach had a beer in their hand; some had two; Me; LOL. Do you know that if you are caught with alcohol on the Ft Lauderdale Beach, they will arrest you; arrest you! For drinking a beer. What is the point of going to the fricken beach, if you can’t have a cold brew? The freedom is GONE in the United States of America. There were entire families camping on the beach; right on the sand; with their little village completely set up. They had cooking supplies, and grills, hammocks tied to trees, and tents and blankets sprawled on the sand. They have their truck backed up to their site, and the tunes cranking and everyone dancing. Try sleeping on a beach in South Carolina; good luck; some Ranger will bop you over the head with a baton.
You cannot just take your Kayak, plop it in the Colorado River in Arizona, and start row row rowing your boat gently down the stream; Nope; Illegal; Need a permit and a year wait. You can paddle your kayak wherever you want here. You see people walking down the side of the road, and just pluck a Mango or an Orange off a tree and keep on walking. It is free. Cars just pull over, right there on the shoulder, put out a blanket and have a picnic. They are truly FREE. Imagine what the Ohio State Trooper would say to you if you did that outside Columbus or Dayton. Just out my back door is one of the largest Melon producing fields in Latin America. They export millions of Watermelon and Cantaloupe to the USA. Every year, the owners give away thousands of tons of FREE melons to the poor people in the area. Why? Why not?
I always chuckle when you see a guy, pulled over on the side of the road here, taking a pee on a tree. Now, it isn’t legal to just go in the open, but it isn’t ILLEGAL either. As long as you TRY to hide it, nobody really cares. When ya gotta go, you gotta go. I am not condoning urinating in public, people, but the reality is, as far as crimes go, this one is pretty low on the totem pole. Yet you know, in some Blue Northeastern states, it is a felony now to relieve yourself on the side of the road, even if you are doing everything you can to hide it. They actually make you register as a sex offender because you couldn’t find a rest area, in a dire time of need. SERIOUSLY. Look it up. There are 13 states where this is a fact. It will make you vomit. So now some poor guy, who just had an extra-large Coke (which they are also trying to make illegal in those same states), will be refused a job because he stopped on the side of a country road to drain himself. FREE? I don’t think so.
You cannot even fly a stupid flag anymore, because it might “upset” someone. How pathetic is that? You should be allowed to fly any flag you want, say anything you want and wear anything you want. It is called THE FIRST AMENDMENT. But as soon as you tell someone they CAN’T do it, they want to do it even more. Why do you think you see these people dressed like clowns, looking like idiots, with huge piercings and who knows what; hanging out of their ears? Costa Rica is truly free. You can say and basically do and wear whatever you want. But you know what? They have way too much pride to ever embarrass themselves. Costa Ricans dress up to go anywhere. They would never consider looking like a fool in public. You will never see them wearing ripped or torn clothing. Even the poorest people put on their best shirt, iron it perfectly, to go to Church or out into Public. God Bless Costa Rica!
Oh wait; I cannot say that in America anymore, because mentioning God might offend someone. Can you imagine? Now, I am surely not a very religious person, some say I am border line heathen; but I was raised on God Bless America; One Nation under God; In God we Trust. This is the foundation of our nation. And a large portion of the USA wants to completely remove it from our schools, public buildings, money and even courthouses? Even if it offends YOUR religious beliefs, the Supreme Court says you must now comply with various laws because you might be offending someone else’s vision of how they should live. The leaders of America have the brain power of bird seed. Costa Rica was also founded on God. You are free to practice whatever religion you want, including NOT believing in God at all. But don’t think for one second they are going to remove it from their culture, their schools, their language or their beliefs. They will not change. If it offends you, then DON’T COME HERE. You won’t call a public office and hear “Please push one for English.” Learn Spanish or hire a translator. Whenever you ask a Costa Rican, how are you doing, they always reply; “MUY BIEN GRACIAS A DIOS.” GREAT, THANKS TO GOD. God Bless Costa Rica!!!! They say it, and they mean it.
Only the bottom feeders in America get everything “for free.” Welfare, unemployment, food stamps, cell phones, government housing because of course, they are less fortunate. How about saying the UN politically correct answer; they just don’t work. They suck. They are lazy. They are useless. The only thing you do not need a permit for, is to make another baby, to help milk the system; Sad. America also gives Billions of FREE dollars to countries all over the world, who want to blow us up. We pay for every single nation’s problems, even those that have proven for hundreds of years, that they just aren’t worth saving. We give them FREE everything. Free money, food, bombs, medicine, yet we cannot take care of our own soldiers who come home missing arms and legs fighting for a war, they did not choose. Unfortunately, it isn’t really free, because somebody is paying for it; you and me. Did you hear what I just said? You and ME; that is right; I still have to pay US Taxes EVEN THOUGH I don’t live in that country anymore. The United States of America is the ONLY country in the world that still taxes its citizens on income earned outside of its own borders, even if that person lives 365 days a year in another place. Now, under the foreign income exclusion law, you are allowed to make $91,400 a year without paying any income tax, just Social Security. Yet they are trying to remove that as we speak. It is amazing how many Americans live overseas who just happens to make $89,700 every single year. I find it funny when people call me and ask me “what are you doing?” I am working; what do you think I am doing? It is the middle of the day. There are only two kinds of people NOT working on a Tuesday. Retired people, and good for them, they deserve it. And total complete LOSERS; the ones living for FREE.
Americans are TIRED of the BS and it shows in factual numbers. More people are relocating and moving outside their home country than ever before. We see it here every day. Literally, the first thing that every client says to me when they get in my car, is how embarrassed, exhausted and flat out pissed off they are at what is happening back home. They are tired of constantly being told, how “fortunate” they are and how they have to “just give a little bit more” when all they have done their entire life is work and pay taxes. They are not fortunate. They are focused. They are not lucky, they CREATED their own success. The government did not do it for them. More and more US citizens are turning in their passports and renouncing their citizenship than ever before.
In fact, 15 times more people renounced their citizenship last year than in 2008, and the numbers this year are already blowing away last year’s record numbers. Every year the record is broken, from the previous year’s high. What does that tell you about the confidence in our leadership? The immigration office in Costa Rica is overwhelmed with applications for residency and citizenship. The ship called the USA is sinking, flooding, going down, and people are lining up, running away, as fast as they can. It is the Titanic. Costa Rica is their Ark. IT IS FREE. God Bless Costa Rica!!!
I will tell you what Freedom is. Freedom is having the ability to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF and not asks the government to do it for you. Having your family help you out in times of need, not a welfare check or food stamps. Taking it upon yourself to get up, get motivated, find a job, go to work, earn an income and take care of your responsibilities and having enough pride to do it; not ask for the States assistance. Freedom knows that you will get paid an honest wage for an honest day’s pay; nothing more, nothing less. That is the Costa Rica way. You will never see anyone begging, but they will always ask you if you have any work that they can do. God Bless Costa Rica.
From a very young age, they encourage you to attend school and STAY in school and get an education. Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in the Americas. Way higher than the USA. How sad is that? That this little country out performs the so called Greatest Nation on the Earth. It is actually illegal to take a child out of school and put them to work in the fields, like other Latin American countries. They make it very easy and very affordable to continue your education in colleges and universities; a semester is only a few hundred dollars; People aren’t set to fail, with tens of thousands owed in school loans, like back in the USA. Every Costa Rican citizen and Permanent Resident is entitled to FREE health care, under the CAJA SYSTEM. God Bless Costa Rica.
I hear people tell me all the time, how lucky I am to be living here, how bad it is back home, and how much they want to be like me. Life has no remote control my friends; you have to get up and change it yourself. I am either the guy who has it all figured out, or I am the dude who needs serious psychiatric treatment, but either way life has never been better than it is right now. I am not going to celebrate the Independence Day of the USA because I don’t think America is free anymore, but I will be celebrating Costa Rica independence day in September. I don’t need to go to a bar, drink beer and watch fireworks with gringos; I would rather spend it with my Tico friends. I am off to the beach for sunset cocktails, in a country that is truly FREE.
Live right, treat others as you want to be treated, be happy, be free; Enjoy life. Pura Vida!
God Bless Costa Rica.
Take care. Hope to see you soon.
Well, this coming weekend is my birthday. The big FIVE O. Never thought I would make it his far, to be honest with you. When I see my friends on Facebook from high school, you find yourself thinking, “Man they look old. I don’t look that old; do I?” Then you hear yourself arguing with that little guy on your shoulder.
YES YOU DO. NO I DON’T. YES YOU DO. NO I DON’T!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I think YES I DO. Oh well; it beats the alternative. Hope I make it another 50.
Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 74