Friday, May 16, 2008

Cultural Quiz 101

Situation 3

You meet a Tico at a party, hit it off right away and swap phone numbers. You call your new friend shortly afterwards to ask him to dinner a few days in advance. He gladly accepts - but on the night in question never turns up. Next time you bump into him, he offers no apology or explanation. Do you:

A. Feel insulted and resolve to reduce your circle of friends to those who take social engagements seriously.
B. Decide, next time, to only ask him out on the spur of the moment when there's no chance for forgetfulness or mind-changing.
C. Invite him to dinner again in a week's time.

If you answered A, there's no point taking it to heart or feeling paranoid- Ticos are just notoriously incumplidos. To you, simple forgetting about an arrangement, or turning up two hours late may seem tantamount to rudeness, but if you confine yourself to friends who share your attitudes about time, you will probably find yourself with a rather small social circle. Answer C will probably see you being stood up again. B is probably the best answer. Call up one evening and ask what your friend is doing. If he's going out, he'll probably invite you along. If he has no plans, suggest meeting up.

A single humor post from Costa Rica real estate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cultural Quiz 101

Situation 2

You're in a small town and need to catch a bus back to San Jose. Your taxi to the bus stop has to stop to allow a large herd of cows to pass on the road, and you arrive 20 minutes after the bus has left. Do you:

A. Sit down with a coffee and wait , fuming with frustration, for the five hours until the next bus leaves.
B. Hire a taxi to drive you the 150 miles back to San Jose.
C. Think laterally. Hail a passing taxi or pick-up and ask the driver to chase down the bus.

is a possibility if you have time on your hands and a good novel to read, or something else to do in a one-horse town. B is another option if your budget stretches to it, but if you answered C, you're thinking like a Tico. The driver will go like a bat out of hell to run down that bus in record time. When you overtake it, horn honking, both of you and the driver should lean out of the windows waving furiously until the bus stops to let you aboard.

A single humor post from Costa Rica real estate.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cultural Quiz 101

Situation 1

During a break at a roadside cafe during a long bus ride, a friendly older male passenger holds the door open for you, calling you my queen and offers to buy you a drink. Do you:

A. Snort in disgust at his sexism and walk off.
B. Insist on your buying him a drink instead (after all, you probably earn four times more than him).
C. Accept and thank him, but say that next time you meet (which you both know will probably be never), you will buy him a drink.

If you answered A, you're going to end up very irritated, very quickly, and possibly rather lonely, in Costa Rica. Try to accept the omnipresent chivalry with a sense of humor - you will get on a lot better, and probably meet a lot of interesting people along the way.
B would injure your friend's pride and embarrass him in front of anyone watching - a Costa Rican caballero. Never lets a lady buy him a drink, and definitely not a first drink.
C is ideal. Everyone is happy and now you can sit back for a chat.

A single humor post from Costa Rica real estate.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Top Five Favorite Dishes In Costa Rica

Costa Rican food is based on two main ingredients : black beans and rice. In most homes, especially in the country, these will crop up in every meal in every meal of the day masquerading under various names , and in some places rice and beans are even thrown on newlyweds like confetti.

Right now, I have listed my top five favorite dishes in Costa Rica. Experience a Costa Rican cuisine!

Picadillo. This is usually made from chayote, plantain, or potato, this is a kind of chopped vegetable stew, often with a little meat or egg, and flavored with spices.

Tamales. Steamed maize dough wrapped up in a corn or banana leaf with meat in the middle.

Gallos. A small serving of meat or chicken with tortillas.

Ceviche. This traditionally Peruvian dish is a firm favorite in Costa Rica. This is either white fish or seafood marinated in lime juice and spiced up with some onion, garlic, red peppers, and coriander.

And the last, but not the least is:

Empanadas. These can be savory ; made from deep with meat, cheese, potato or beans, or sweet; made from baked wheat flour and stuffed with fruit
preserves usually pineapple, guava or melon.

So next time you'll get there, try to taste these yummy and delicious dishes of the Ticos while enjoying your beautiful beach house in Costa Rica real estate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Indigenous People In Modern Costa Rica

Today you won't see much evidence of native traditions in Costa Rica. Only about 1% of the country's population is of aboriginal extraction , and the dispersion of the various groups ensures that they frequently do not share the same concerns and agendas. Contact between them, apart from through bodies such as CONAI - the national indigenous affairs organization is minimal.

Although a system of indigenous reserves was set up by the Costa Rican administration in 1977, giving aboriginal people the right to remain in self-governing communities, titles to the reserve lands were withheld, so that while the communities may live on the land, they do not actually own it. This has led to government contracts being handed out to mining operations in the Talamanca area, leading to infringements on the communities themselves, which are further hampered by the presence of missionaries in settlements like Amubri and San Jose Cabecar. The twelve "Indian reserves" scattered around the country are viewed by their inhabitants with some ambivalence. As in North America, establishing a reservation system has led in many cases to a banishing of indigenous people to poor quality land where enclaves of poverty soon develop.

Although the persecution of native people in Costa Rica is nothing like as bad as in Guatemala, in recent years there have been a number of disturbing indigenous rights violations, many of them documented. At the same time there is growing recognition of the importance of preserving indigenous culture and of providing reserves with increased services and self-sufficiency. In addition, indigenous groups from around the country, realizing that they need a cohesive voice and common agenda, have banded together to rent a Costa Rica real estate housing or building San Jose to be used as the headquarters for a united movement.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Finding Your Way Around Costa Rican Towns

In Costa Rica there is only one vision of urban planning: the grid system. However, there are a number of peculiarities that are essential to come to grips with if you want to find your way around with the ease. Getting around in Costa Rica towns especially if you are planning to have a Costa Rica real estate is essential. The following rules apply to all cities except Limon.

Typically, you'll see addresses written as follows: Bar Esmeralda, AV 2, C 5/7. This means that Bar Esmeralda is on Avenida 2, between Calles 5 and 7. Bar Lotto, C 5, Av 2, on the other hand, is on the corner of calle 5 and Avenida 2. Apartado (Aptdo) means "postbox", and bis means, technically, "encore": If you see "AV 6 bis" in an address it refers to another Avenida 6, right next to the original one.

Many directions, in both written and verbal form, are given in terms of meters rather than blocks. In general, one block is equivalent to 100m. Thus, "de la Escuela Presidente Vargas, 125 metros al sur, cincuenta metros al oeste", translates as "from the Presidente Vargas School, 125 meters south and 50 west". More confusingly, verbal directions are commonly given in relation to landmarks which everyone - except the visitor - knows and recognizes. Frustratingly, too, some of these landmarks may not even exist any longer. This is something to get the hang of fast: taxi drivers will often look completely bewildered if given street directions, but as soon you come up with a landmark, the proverbial light bulb goes on.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Car Safety In Costa Rica

The road traffic accident rate in Costa Rica is phenomenal - and rising. Most tourists see at least one accident on the roads during their time in the country, and though Costa Ricans blame bad road conditions, the real cause is more often poor driving - you're advised to drive extremely defensively. Sections of washed out, unmarked or unlit road add to the hazards, as do mechanically unsound buses and big trans-isthmus trucks.

Another hazard of driving in Costa Rica involves car crime. A recent scam involves thieves entering car rental companies' parking lots and making slow punctures in the tires of hire cars. Unsuspecting
drivers then take these cars out onto the road until the puncture eventually forces them to pull over, at which point the thieves stop to offer help before robbing you on the roadway or hard shoulder. Drive to the nearest public area and call the police.

  • Keep your doors locked and windows shut, especially in San Jose.
  • If someone suspicious approaches your vehicle at a red light or stop sign, blow your horn.
  • Do not pull over for flashing headlights. Note that an emergency or police vehicle has red or blue flashing headlights.
  • If you become lost, find a public place, like a service station, to consult your map or ask for directions.
  • If someone tells you something is wrong with your vehicle do not stop immediately. Drive to the nearest service station or other well-lit public area.
  • Keep valuables in the trunk or out of sight, and your car locked at all times.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Do not leave the keys in your vehicle or the motor running when you stop to fill up.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, go to the nearest well-lit public area and call the police.
  • In case of emergency call 911.
For extensive information about car rental in Costa Rica, visit Costa Rica real estate.