Posts Tagged ‘Life in Costa Rica’

We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Newsletters

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no.5

I remember the first day I arrived in Costa Rica. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

 

When she first landed, she was surrounded by all these smiling happy Munchkins celebrating like there was no tomorrow.

 

These big Fiestas in Costa Rica are like that too. There is smiling happy Ticos dressed up in these wild outfits, riding horses, singing and partying like the Wicked Witch of the East just had a house dropped on her head.  It’s called a Tope. And that first scene where the Yellow Brick Road starts out going round and round in circles is exactly how you feel as a new-bee in Costa Rica.  Nothing makes sense, everything is different and you are totally confused, yet you have no fear: the Gringo is here.

 

I guess I am very much like Dorothy now, “with my little dog too!” I have lived here for 9 years and still, every single day of my life, I chuckle and shake my head at some of the crazy stuff that happens in Paradise.  It’s hilarious, it’s sometimes stupid, it very rarely makes sense and that’s why I love this place. Join me as we set out down the Yellow Brick Road, known as Life in Costa Rica.

 

The first observation everyone makes when they land at the airport is that nobody has a machine gun.  You go anywhere else in Mexico or Central America and you see military personnel immediately as you land.  Not here, as there is no Army.  But go to a bank, grocery store or stop for gas, and the guard is packing some serious hardware.  These guys are right out of Soldier of Fortune magazine: bullet-proof vests, 9 mm Glock, sawed off Shotguns and black gloves with the fingers cut out.  The nice part is, the gas stations are full service, like when you were a kid, so they pump, check the air and oil, and even clean the windshield and you don’t even have to get out of your car.  Its all good, till the bill comes and you realize that its $6 a gallon.

 

You laugh later on when you turn on CNN and hear the USA complaining about $3.  Oh, and they get every single Colon out of you they can.  You hear the pump click, telling you its full.  Yet they some how manage to squeeze another liter or two into the tank so that they can milk every single drop out of ya.  You are in your car and all of a sudden think there is an earthquake, till you look in your mirror and see 3 guys rocking your car back and forth to get that last 300 Colones out of the customer.

 

As you continue down the Yellow Brick Road, you see stuff that makes the hair on your neck stand up.  People walk down the middle of the road, at night, wearing black.  No reflectors, no glow in the dark vests, nothing.  Sidewalks, forget it.  They also go completely against the rules we were taught as a child.  Remember, ride with traffic, walk against it?  Doesn’t apply.  Cars stop in the middle of the road, on a major highway, for no particular reason.  Sometime to have a conversation with a car stopped on the other side of the road.  So do Buses.

 

They actually have Bus Stops on Interstates with no where for the bus to pull off the road.  So it just stops.  Right there in the middle of the highway.  They also have bus stops on curves instead of at the corner. Go Figure. In the evening sometimes, right around dusk, you will see workers waiting for the bus. They are of course exhausted after a long days work in the sun.

So they lay down on the side of the road to wait for the bus. Do you think they sleep 2 or 3 meters from the road? No way. They actually use the edge of the asphalt as a pillow!!!! No S&^%. In other words, there head is ON THE PAVEMENT, their feet in the ditch, with tires flying by 18 inches from their nugget.

 

Every now and then: you guessed it; scrambled eggs. You see these workers hitchhiking and we pick them up everyday. They are usually carrying a Machete or two, and sometimes chainsaws and axes. It reminds me of the Bud Lite ad on TV, where the wife yells at the husband, “He has a chainsaw! Yeah but he has a 12 pack of Bud Lite too! And….. A CHAINSAW!!!!”

 

Buses pass trucks on a curve, or over a bridge, with a double yellow. Cars stop on the side of the highway, so the family can have a pick-nick. One of the “tricks” of the road here is if someone wants you to pass them, they will put on their blinker, to tell you to pass on the left. This gets me every time as I play the famous guessing game of Latin America. Do they want me to pass or are they turning left. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

At least the truckers put their hand out the window and wave you by, something they would never do back home, when it is safe to pass them on a hill. Another deal killer is the 4 lane road to 2 lane bridges, or 2 lane roads to single lane bridge thing. You will be going along, minding your own business and enjoying the beautiful day, and all of a sudden, BOOM. No road, bridge. There was no warning, no signs, nothing. Just 2 lanes becomes one and everyone has to merge. QUICK. There are no merge lanes anywhere either. It’s all or nothing baby. Like a video game.

 

Stop Signs? LOL  Suggestions. The old taxis in San Jose, aim for the pot holes too, so they can knock the car hard enough to jar the headlight, making it work again. You see people drive their cars, into rivers, so they can wash them. Not exactly environmentally correct but definitely gets the job done.

 

Speaking of washing my truck. I hired this nice young man to help me for a couple days. I found these gorgeous volcanic rocks down at a little private beach an hour from here. They were solid black, and shiny as you could imagine. These would cost me thousands of dollars back home from a landscape company. I knew they would look killer in my yard so I hired this guy to help me. We went back and forth 3 or 4 times that day with loads of rocks.

 

When we were done, my pick up was of course full of dirt and sand. So I told him to wash my truck and I left to go run some errands. When I returned, he was standing in my driveway gleaming with pride. My truck was spotless. He stood there, almost like a car salesman, pointing at the truck, showing me how beautiful it was. I smiled and pointed at the ground. He had that look your dog gives you; you know the look, when they tilt their head to one side because they can’t quite figure out what’s going on. Then all of a sudden it dawned on him, and his shoulders shrunk. All the sand and dirt was on my brick paved driveway.

 

I live off of a dirt road, yet it never occurred to him to back my truck out of the pretty driveway BEFORE he washed the sand out of the bed of the truck. It took him another 2 hours to clean the driveway.

 

Lesson learned. Always pay by the job, not by the hour.

 

Scooters and motorcycles are what we refer to as Mass Transit. I have never in my life, even imagined, you could get so much stuff and so many people on to one two wheeled vehicle. Entire families, 4 or 5 strong, are regular occurrences. You see dogs and newborns, groceries and cases of beer, and it all seems to fit just fine. Ladders, tool boxes, and equipment strapped to the back, and off to work they go. I find it hilarious when you see a horse, tied to the back of a bicycle or scooter, and the owner is running the animal, God knows where. You see people texting while bicycling or driving their moped. Just when you think you have seen it all, they out do themselves. Yesterday I saw a man on his bicycle with a huge Mahi Mahi hanging over his shoulder.

 

The one that kills me every time is when I see a guy on a motorcycle but the helmet is on his arm, not his head. You can just see the family at the morgue after a big accident. Yes that’s Ernesto, I know his elbow anywhere. A family outing is when they load 5 plastic chairs in to the back of a pick up truck and go for a ride, with the family sitting in the chairs. Definitely a couple fries short of a Happy Meal.  Trust me when I tell you, things are just different.

 

They put Ketchup on sandwiches and salads, not just eggs like Canadians. I actually met a woman the other day that puts Mustard on her sandwiches. I asked her to marry me. Beers and sodas don’t come in 6 packs or 24 pack cases, they are always sold individually. Eggs are not refrigerated, because they are so fresh, and you will never taste anything better in your life.

 

Limes are sweet and Oranges are sour, and Lemons do NOT grow in Costa Rica, and nobody knows why. Yet there are fruits you have never seen anywhere else in the world. It’s a Margarita lover’s paradise.

 

And if you have a mango tree, anywhere near a walk path or public road, you can bet your life that they will be pilfered on a daily basis.

 

As you drive down the highway, you see people selling fruit. Then 200 meters later, someone else is selling the same fruit. For the next mile, there are 6 stands, all selling the same fruit. What do they think is going to happen? You want watermelon honey? You sure you don’t want watermelon honey? Are you absolutely positive you don’t want watermelon honey? Look a watermelon stand!!! Whew, Thank God. I changed my mind. Glad someone is now still selling watermelon.

 

Maids clean floors, but don’t do walls. Poker games deal right to left not left to right. You go to a major retail, commercial center or office building and there is no parking of any kind. And the few spots they do have, someone is set up in front with a table selling jewelry. Doors open IN not out. So if there was an emergency………….. Think about it………….on the other hand, DON’T think about it.

 

Fences grow into trees. Public announcements are made by strapping two huge Disco speakers to the top of the smallest car on the planet and driving through town blasting out the information. Lobster is cheap: Pizza will bankrupt you. And don’t, FOR ANY REASON, order sausage on your pie. You will take one or two bites, and you will get that strange feeling that you have tasted this before. Hmmmmmmmm. But what is it? And then it hits you. They use Hot Dogs for sausage. Stick to Pepperoni and Ham my friends.

 

 

 

Marketing is not a Costa Rican specialty either. They make the smallest sign they can and put it on a tree and then wonder why no one ever calls. Even if you see it, you can’t read it unless you are on LSD. It is usually designed by a 4-year-old with every letter of the FOR SALE in a different color. Go into a bar, and you will see more clients BEHIND the bar than in front. I guess it’s more fun to drink WITH the bartender.

 

You will hear Rock N Roll playing on the speakers and they know all the words. “Oh, you like the Rolling Stones?” you ask. Who? No the Stones. Who? It’s like Abbott and Costello. How do you not know who the Stones are, I mean they opened up for Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. Forget it.

 

There is a saying in Costa Rica. How can you tell a Guanacaste baby from any other baby? It is born with a match in its hand. Burning is a birth right. They burn everything. When they should have a fire ban, they don’t. And if there is a fire, the truck doesn’t show up, and if it does it either can’t get up the hill or doesn’t have any water. So the firemen just sit on the side of the truck, eating their Gallo Pinto and watch the fire burn itself out. Then, when the wood telephone pole burns down, they replace it; you guessed it, with another wood telephone pole.

 

When you are at the grocery store, it is inevitable that the person in front of you will forget something. So they will run off and bring it back. Then they will do it a second and a third time. When the cashier gives them the total, they realize they don’t have enough money to pay for it and have to put an item back. God help you, if you end up being stuck behind a funeral. Why they have to take up the entire street and not let anyone pass, is beyond my comprehension. Clocks? We have them but they don’t do anybody any good as the Ticos are always late, even to their own funerals.

 

I have to admit though; you gotta love a country, where it’s legal to walk down the street with a beer. I won’t ever leave.

 

Government. Wow, I could talk for days about this one, but let’s just stick to a couple prime examples. You go to Immigration or the DMV and they tell you to stand in a certain line. When you get to the window, they tell you, sorry, go to this other line. When you get to that window, they tell you to go back to the first line that you were in 4 hours earlier.

 

The police pull you over for speeding. When you ask to see the radar gun, it is blinking ERROR ERROR ERROR. So you end up having to give the cop a bribe, and he THANKS YOU. It takes an hour to make a deposit at the bank, and then the teller can’t even tell you your balance. You have to go to another window for that. If you don’t use your account for a certain period of time, they freeze it. So you come to make a deposit and they won’t let you. You of course get upset and they inform you that if you want you can close the account. So let me get this straight. I can take all my money OUT of the account, but I can’t put any more in? Yes sir that is correct. Hmmmmmmmmm. I will take the first option thank you.

 

I will never bank at a National bank again, only private banks. But the Stupid People of the Year award has to go to the local water company AyA. I think the pre-requisite for working for AyA is that you are dumber than a box of rocks. Regularly, the pipes spring a leak. When you call the water company, it takes them 2 days to come and check it out. Then 5 guys show up and stand around doing nothing for an hour. Yup, that’s a leak alright. And they leave. Six more times that week, someone else comes back, looks at the leak and leaves. Yup, that’s a leak alright.

 

Trust me when I tell you we don’t have a water problem in Guanacaste, we have a brain power problem in Guanacaste. You know the saying, “He is not the sharpest knife in the drawer” Well these guys are butter knives. Plastic butter knives. Disposible plastic butter knives Made in China.

 

Paper……….. man do they love their paper here. Go to any government office, and there are 6 sets of paperwork for anything and everything. No country in the history of the world uses more paper. Save the planet, my ass. Save the trees……. That’s hilarious. I actually once went to get a permit to cut down a small tree on my property. They gave me 22 pieces of paper telling me I couldn’t cut down the tree. So they killed a tree to make enough paper to tell me I couldn’t kill a tree. Go figure.

 

Construction sites are a whole different planet. OSHA would have heart attack if they relocated to Costa Rica. You see guys working on a job site with flip flops, no hard hats or safety glasses. Railings are only 3 feet high, you could literally trip over them and open holes are everywhere. Just the other day my friend was at the “huge” Mall in Liberia. She wanted to use the elevator because she had her small child with her, but it was out of service. The broken door was half open, and the elevator was no where to be seen, just an empty hole going straight down. No Caution tape. No “Look out below” sign. Nothing. Can you imagine the lawsuit in the USA? Not in Costa Rica. People here look after themselves, the way I believe it should be.

 

Animals are definitely part of the deal here. Everyone I know has 3 or 4 dogs or cats, they just seem to show up and never leave. I just inherited my 6th. But these guys are street smart, let me tell you. They actually look both ways before crossing the road. You see chickens and roosters everywhere and the random pig tied up in the front yard is par for the course. As you drive along the highway, you will almost always see a horse or a goat tied to a tree. The rope is just long enough to keep it from sticking its head into traffic. We call these weed eaters, as they are there to keep the grass from growing too tall on the side of the road. I saw a Goat sitting on the hood of a car yesterday on my way to the beach. I had to go back for a second look. It never ceases to amaze me.

 

This week is the Annexation week here in Costa Rica, which means 10 days of serious partying. One thing this country definitely knows how to do is celebrate a Holiday and trust me when I tell you they never miss one. Ever. In 1823 the Province of Guanacaste made the best decision of their life, and they voted to leave Nicaragua and join this gorgeous country of Costa Rica.

 

So for the next week, we will have dozens of Parades, Topes, Carnivals, Festivals, Expos and just morning to midnight celebrations. It will definitely feel like you finally found Oz. There will be “bull fights” but not like you see in Spain. In this country, they stuff the ring full of drunken, cocky men, and then they ride a bull into the ring and people cheer as these rocket scientists get creamed by an 800 lb Toro. AWESOME !!!  This is what we call a couple beers short of a 6 pack. The bulls are never hurt or killed, just the idiots crazy enough to climb into the ring. This is the NASCAR of Central America.

 

I think anybody who knows me knows how much I LOVE COSTA RICA. I have a good time making fun of this crazy place but I wouldn’t live anywhere else. When I hear tourists say “Well we don’t do it that way back in America” I always reply “this isn’t America. If you want America stay in America”

 

Costa Rica is one of the finest places a person could ever live. It has the highest literacy rate in the Western World.Almost everyone is bi lingual and speaks English. They have some of the best medical care on the planet and one of the most stable Democracies south of Texas. It costs a fraction to live here compare to other tropical destinations. There is no army, almost no violent crime, and without a doubt the friendliest, happiest and some of the best looking people you will ever meet anywhere in the world.

 

You never hear of a movie theatre or school shooting and there is no Jerry Sandusky here. The temperature is always perfect, the ocean is always crystal clear, they have the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen and you don’t see a single piece of trash as you drive around the Papagayo area. It really is a wonderland and I feel blessed that they allow me to live in their country.

 

Thank you Costa Rica.

 

Next week I am taking a trip back to the USA to visit a couple friends, get my hair cut by my buddy Paul and catch a baseball game. It will be nice to be back in the real world but only for a couple days. After 3 or 4 days back there, I find myself missing this crazy place called OZ. I start clicking my flip flops and thinking “There’s no place like home” Come down and check it out.

 

See you down here in Paradise!

 

Pura Vida,

 

Michael Simons

 

If you have had a great experience with my office and Costa Rica, I want to hear about it. Please send us a video of yourself telling us WHY and I will post it to my website for everyone to see. Or send me an email and I will put it in my Testimonials. I appreciate your business and that you have decided to read this Newsletter more than I could ever tell you. THANK YOU.  Please take a little more time and check out the entire site. We have added a lot of information lately that I am sure you will find helpful. Also, please forward this to any friends you think might be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. Is there a story behind Tank Tops and Flip Flops you ask? Of course, but you have to stay tuned for another Newsletter. I hope all is well. Stay healthy. God Bless you and your families. Stop procrastinating and hurry back!

 

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Why are you still There and not here?

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Newsletters

Newsletter edition no. 3

Every day I wonder why everyone doesn’t move to a place like Costa Rica.  Now don’t get me wrong, I really don’t want EVERYONE to move here.  Then it would be like there, and I would have to leave – and I have no plans to go anywhere.  But there is so much negativity back in the USA and Canada that I don’t understand how people deal with it.  Whether it’s the Auburn school shooting or the Penn State abuse case, there never seems to be any good news.  

Life in Costa Rica is simple and everyone is happy.  I drove to work the other day, and there was this man on his bicycle.  He had to be 60 years old, just riding along without a care in the world.  I watched him for a minute as he went by.  He was smiling and singing like a little kid.  Then all of a sudden he popped a wheelie, went about 15 yards and the bike slammed back down.  He then proceeded to peddle as fast as he could and took his hands off the bars and threw them up in the air.  It reminded me of when I was a kid.  “Look Mom, NO HANDS!!!…and I did a WHEELIE!!!!”  But he was 60, not 16.  Fortunately, he didn’t slam into a bus.

 

I went home to visit my family over Memorial weekend.  I was there 6 days and I was very anxious to get back home to Costa Rica (I have to be really careful what I write here because my Mom reads my Newsletters and I NEVER want to insult my Mother) I mean, it was great to see the family and I had a wonderful week, but the whole experience reminded me WHY I moved to Costa Rica.  

 

Everything is a big ordeal back home.  It takes forever to go anywhere. And, you can’t just go out for a drink in the USA because you have to worry about being arrested for DUI.  You don’t even have to be drunk; you just have to have MORE than one cocktail in a one hour period.  Hell, who only drinks ONE cocktail an hour?  What is the point of drinking, if you are only going to have one drink an hour?  

 

My Dad told me a story about a client of his who got pulled over by the police.  He had 2 drinks.  TWO !!!!  They arrested him for drunk driving. If I got arrested every time I had two drinks, I would be in prison for the rest of my entire life.  REALTOR GETS LIFE IN PRISON.  I drink two drinks, FOR LUNCH waiting on the waiter to show up at my table. Not only did this guy get all the things you expect with a DUI, suspended drivers license, huge fines, alcohol class etc, they made him attend Anger Management Class. This is the stuff that kills me.  Anger Management – For Drinking?  Are you kidding me?  You know what makes me angry,  SENDING ME TO ANGER MANAGEMENT FOR HAVING TWO DRINKS.  But because of a couple of idiots, we all have to pay the price.  

 

That’s the problem in the USA.  Because of the irresponsible actions of a few the majority has to pay the price.  Can you say Sub Prime loans?  No thanks.

 

In Costa Rica, a cop once pulled me over, saw the beer in my lap and said “Señor, be careful.  That is a good beer.  You wouldn’t want to spill it.  Drive safely”  Besides, I definitely wouldn’t want to take a taxi home anyway.  Way safer to drive.  I mean, have you ever been in a taxi in Central America?  These guys drive like Mad Max.  No thank you.  It is much easier to just give a couple bucks to the cop if he pulls you over.  At least you know its going to good use.

 

Speaking of being pulled over…[more…]  I was driving back to Guanacaste from San Jose one time and a cop pulled me over for speeding.  Now, they don’t pull you over like they do in the USA, where they get behind you and turn on the lights.  NO, in this country they just jump out from behind a shady tree, into the middle of the road, put their hand up and force you to stop.  I always wanted to just blow by the guy and keep going, but I heard some horror stories of Costa Rican prisons.  I always wondered how many of them got plowed over because some tourist was reading a map.

 

So, the cop comes up to my car and asks for my Passport.  They do this to prove I am legally in this country.  Why a police officer can’t do this back home without being considered racist is beyond my comprehension (Reason number 846 not to live in the USA).  I show the officer my Permanent resident card and he has this look of disappointment in his eyes. He thought he had pulled over a Gringo. It is much harder to hustle a bribe out of a Tingo (Tico Gringo) than it is a tourist. There is actually a great story about the origin of the word Gringo; yes you guessed it, coming soon to a Newsletter near you.

 

He asks me out of the blue “do you ever go back to the USA?”  Of course I answer but I am curious why he asks this.  He motions for me to get out of my car and follow him so I do.  If a cop did that in the USA I would be totally panicked that I might never see the light of day again.  He goes back to his police car, which by the way is usually a tow truck so they can impound your vehicle if they need to, and pulls out his wallet. He proceeds to hand me over $100 CANADIAN DOLLARS and asks me if I know where he can exchange these.  

 

I had to hold in the laugh because I knew what happened. Somebody from Canada got pulled over earlier, and paid this guy $100 bribe in

 

Canadian dollars.  What’s so hilarious is the tickets are only about $20 if you take the ticket.  But of course most tourists panic; cop, gun, Spanish, TOW TRUCK and they give a big bribe to get out of the ticket.  The police offer asks me if I would BUY back the Canadian dollars for either US dollars or Costa Rican Colones!!!!

 

 

Now the fun begins.  I am in control.  He has no idea who he is negotiating with.  I do this for a living.  Make a long story short, I pulled out my calculator and we began the back and forth dance of the value of the Canadian buck.  I told him it was useless, he thought it was gold, and we ended on a fair price for the exchange.  I actually made about $16 FOR GETTING PULLED OVER.  Man do I love Costa Rica.  Can you imagine even offering a cop a bribe in Colorado? They would Rodney King you.  

 

I actually found myself being bored in the USA.  You have to plan everything and with traffic it can take hours to get anywhere.  Meet me here at such and such a time with so and so.  Texting back and forth.  Emailing.  Calling.  Trying to make plans around everyone’s schedule.  

In Costa Rica, I just drive into town, walk into any restaurant or bar and run into 20 people I know.  Who needs plans?  Or jump in my truck and go to anyone of a dozen beaches to hang out for the day.  You will get invited 10 times to go out fishing with people you don’t even know.  Yes I did go out to some wonderful dinners with my family when I went back home and I also saw the Van Halen Concert and had a great time.  David Lee Roth is still my hero.  I also took my family to a baseball game; it was my niece’s first game.

 

Now, understand she is 9 years old. Baseball is hard enough to get excited about when you are 40.  But when you are a 9 year old girl, with the attention span of a rubber band, this has potential for disaster written all over it.  I remember praying to God on the way to the game.  Dear Lord, please don’t give me a 1-0 pitchers dual.  Can you imagine?  By the third inning she would be totally bored out of her mind.  Thankfully, 7 runs were scored in the first inning.  She hugged me.  “I LOVE baseball Uncle Mike”  So we proceeded to buy everything with sugar that has ever been made on the earth.  Carmel corn, Cotton Candy, Ice Cream, Sodas, M&Ms, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and we might as well end it with a Snow Cone. I mean, why not?  But at the end of the day, the entire experience cost over $500!!!

 

Now, I can afford it, but seriously, how does a family of 4 pull this off?  The USA is just totally out of control.  

 

By the way we have a couple local baseball teams here.  When we found out that the team was lacking in some essentials, a group of local people stepped up with donations of gloves, balls, etc.  One of my good clients is a big wig with Miller Beer.  He called another big wig at the Milwaukee Brewers.  Next thing you know, a small container arrives in Costa Rica with baseballs, bats, hats, uniforms, gloves, catcher equipment, the works.

 

Now the Sardinal Brewers are stocked up and ready to play.  They might not be as good as the Colorado Rockies but they are just as much fun to watch and the tickets don’t cost a week’s pay.  There are dozens of examples where we give back to the community.  I get asked all the time about helping with local Charities and I promise this will be in a Newsletter soon as I know many of you want to know where you can help.

 

It blew my mind how expensive everything has gotten back home, but the thing I noticed the most, is how everyone was in a bad mood.  No matter who I talked to, they were miserable.  I was depressed just talking to people.  The first thing everyone notices the moment they set foot in Costa Rica, is how wonderfully happy, positive, friendly and nice every body is.  You very rarely ever see anyone in a bad mood.  The saying Pura Vida really makes sense after you land in this paradise.

 

Talk about landing at airports.  If I never have to go through Customs in the United States of America ever again, it will be one day too soon.  Dear God, what a nightmare.  It doesn’t even feel like the USA anymore, but Communist Russia.  They grill you when you get to the window.  Where have you been, Why were you in Costa Rica, What are you doing there, Why are you back, What do you want, What are you carrying?????????? Dude, I am just coming back to see a baseball game.  

 

They practically strip search you, make you go through 2 or 3 X-ray machines, and ask to see your ID about 14 times.  It takes 3 hours to get through the whole ordeal and you almost miss your plane.  Then when you are boarding the plane, some Homeland Security Agent asks you if you are carrying more than $10,000 in Cash.  

 

I remember once coming back from Las Vegas they asked me that. I said, “Nope left it all at the casino.  You should have searched me coming in.”  Needless to say they didn’t find that so funny and I had to go through another body search.  Going through the airport in Costa Rica is a breeze.  Everyone smiles at you, says Welcome to Costa Rica.  They ask how your day is going.  And they let you check extra baggage, over weight and usually don’t charge you.  I love this country.  But of course I did a bunch of shopping in the USA and stuffed it into my bags as we are always bringing something back from the USA.  My first thought was “How am I going to get this through Customs in Costa Rica?”  This takes tremendous skill and of course we have perfected it.  That’s right, you guessed it, and it’s for another Newsletter.

 

I was so glad to be back.  Just walking through the new Liberia airport and out into the evening sky, all the stress I felt before was gone.  It was a perfect evening, and you could see thousands of stars in the sky.  I bought a beer and opened it, and drank it on the way home.  The next morning, on my way to work, I was reminded again why I love this country.  I had to sit in a Costa Rica traffic jam as some cows crossed the road. I saw a family (yes a family) on their moped riding through town.

 

Everybody smiled and waved at me as I drove by.  There were monkeys and birds in the trees and I saw a couple dozen kids playing soccer in the park.  There was even a horse tied to post in front of a bar, like the old Wild West.  I had my coffee in my hand and I was off to have breakfast on the beach.  It was another perfect day in paradise and I was ecstatic to be home again.

 

Anyway, I am off to town.  I will just walk into any restaurant or bar and there will be a dozen friends to hang out with.  I can guarantee you this much.  I won’t be bored and I won’t take a taxi home.

 

See you down here in Paradise!

 

Pura Vida,

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Michael Simons

 

If you have had a great experience with my office and Costa Rica, I want to hear about it. Please send us a video of yourself telling us WHY and I will post it to my website for everyone to see. Or send me an email and I will put it in my Testimonials. I appreciate your business and that you have decided to read this Newsletter more than I could ever tell you. THANK YOU.  Please take a little more time and check out the entire site. We have added a lot of information lately that I am sure you will find helpful. Also, please forward this to any friends you think might be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. Is there a story behind Tank Tops and Flip Flops you ask? Of course, but you have to stay tuned for another Newsletter. I hope all is well. Stay healthy. God Bless you and your families. Stop procrastinating and hurry back!

 

Check Out My Full Website at  www.tanktopsflipflops.com

 

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