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Ladislav in Costa Rica now

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Ladislav in Costa Rica now

Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:15 pm

After having read incredible reports about Costa Rica being the Thailand of Latin America, well, I decided to come down here and see what is happening.

Anyway, I am in San Jose. A really nice Spanish colonial city and very similar to Baguio in the Philippines. Sometimes I just can't help feeling that I am in Baguio.

Some major distinctions:

There is very little English here. People talk to you in Spanish. They expect you to speak Spanish. I have no problem with Spanish so I feel at home.

The place is very green and not as polluted as Baguio and there are many parks.

Most people look Spanish; not mestizo. The numbers of local Asians and Blacks are low. But there are some, of course. So an Asian or a Black person is not seen as a foreigner.

The number of pretty girls is about 5-10% of the Philippines. You can't even compare the level there and here.

The food is about 30 percent more expensive but is of good quality and all edible. Not much use of corn, mostly beans and cassava and then meats and fried plantains. Salads are fresh and vegetables smell good. All kinds of rice, yellow and white mostly.

Taxis cost twice as much. Hotels do, as well. A sim card was also some 4 dollars and in the Philippines it is less than a dollar.

The whole country has some 4 million people so it is not as crowded and there is no big traffic problem. The people don't constantly try to cheat and overcharge you as they do in the Philippines. Taxi drivers just use meters. Costa Ricans are modest and natural and don't seem to have complexes. They just act normal.

The number of clubs and night places is not even 10 % of Manila. Many are expensive. I went to a pole dancing go go club and it was $24 consumable- 3 drinks. A lady's drink - just one - was also $24. The pole dancing club had girls dancing nude.

I get no attention from women ( except in go go bars) because they probably do not see me as a foreigner which is a nice change.

The country has no army, very few cops and there is not much crime or trouble. People have good salaries- a cop makes some $600 a month which is not bad. There are no poor classes, most people are kind of in the middle. Costa Rica is really a Latin American Switzerland.

Very few if any Costa Ricans emigrate. Most expat guys stay with their women here.

All guys find girlfriends here. Visas are easy- 90 days upon arrival is doable. Expats here claim that it can be done indefinitely.

There is no ice barrier with strangers as in the USA. As in most countries in Latin America, citizens are called by the name of the country. No hyphenations and no internal sub-nations.

Most people can pass for a local here.

Initial conclusion: not a bad place and if there was no Philippines, I would not mind living here. But the Philippines stole my heart in 1991 and I will never get it back.
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Postby Banano » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:14 pm

What about non p4p action?

How easy are normal girls to meet, can you chat em up on the street, malls...get numbers like in PH?
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Postby xiongmao » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:19 pm

Nice trip report.

Is Costa Rica a good place for USA men to retire to? Are you safe from the IRS there? Is it cheaper than Panama?

Have you been to China? I can't remember. Anyway, if you think Filipinas are pretty, in China you'd lose your mind!!!
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Re: Ladislav in Costa Rica now

Postby Rock » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:23 pm

ladislav wrote:After having read incredible reports about Costa Rica being the Thailand of Latin America, well, I decided to come down here and see what is happening.

Anyway, I am in San Jose. A really nice Spanish colonial city and very similar to Baguio in the Philippines. Sometimes I just can't help feeling that I am in Baguio.

Some major distinctions:

There is very little English here. People talk to you in Spanish. They expect you to speak Spanish. I have no problem with Spanish so I feel at home.

The place is very green and not as polluted as Baguio and there are many parks.

Most people look Spanish; not mestizo. The numbers of local Asians and Blacks are low. But there are some, of course. So an Asian or a Black person is not seen as a foreigner.

The number of pretty girls is about 5-10% of the Philippines. You can't even compare the level there and here.

The food is about 30 percent more expensive but is of good quality and all edible. Not much use of corn, mostly beans and cassava and then meats and fried plantains. Salads are fresh and vegetables smell good. All kinds of rice, yellow and white mostly.

Taxis cost twice as much. Hotels do, as well. A sim card was also some 4 dollars and in the Philippines it is less than a dollar.

The whole country has some 4 million people so it is not as crowded and there is no big traffic problem. The people don't constantly try to cheat and overcharge you as they do in the Philippines. Taxi drivers just use meters. Costa Ricans are modest and natural and don't seem to have complexes. They just act normal.

The number of clubs and night places is not even 10 % of Manila. Many are expensive. I went to a pole dancing go go club and it was $24 consumable- 3 drinks. A lady's drink - just one - was also $24. The pole dancing club had girls dancing nude.

I get no attention from women ( except in go go bars) because they probably do not see me as a foreigner which is a nice change.

The country has no army, very few cops and there is not much crime or trouble. People have good salaries- a cop makes some $600 a month which is not bad. There are no poor classes, most people are kind of in the middle. Costa Rica is really a Latin American Switzerland.

Very few if any Costa Ricans emigrate. Most expat guys stay with their women here.

All guys find girlfriends here. Visas are easy- 90 days upon arrival is doable. Expats here claim that it can be done indefinitely.

There is no ice barrier with strangers as in the USA. As in most countries in Latin America, citizens are called by the name of the country. No hyphenations and no internal sub-nations.

Most people can pass for a local here.

Initial conclusion: not a bad place and if there was no Philippines, I would not mind living here. But the Philippines stole my heart in 1991 and I will never get it back.


Thanks for the report. I thought u didn't like Thailand, lol. To be honest, I never heard many good things about Costa Rica. It's been way too developed w/influx of N. American retirees over last 10-15 years. But when u say number of pretty girls is 5-10% Phils, I find that hard to believe. Cus I know there's a lot of Colombianas and perhaps Venezualans who go there and most Pinays can't hold a candle to either in the eyes of most. And most people seem to agree that hot Filipinas are very rare. Even pretty ones are very hard to find except many in off-limits HiSO area. Recent trip reports confirm this perception.

Some say Panama might be a bit better. But I think it's pretty much been destroyed as well by the gringo retirees. Why not go some close place more exotic like Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, or even Cuba!
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Postby pete98146 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:06 pm

Thanks for the trip report Lad. I've got friends who have come up with the same conclusion as you have. For some odd reason, the CR women aren't as pretty as ladies from other SA countries but is a very livable country if you wanted to retire there.

Agree with Rock...would love to see somebody do a trip report on Colombia or Venezuela. How long are you in CR?
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Postby terminator » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:51 pm

Wow, it sounds like the "best" country in South America (no big Police-state, good food, OK life). I think I'll look into it further.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:08 pm

I am here for another week or so. I have a feel for neutral countries with no political problems or deep social ills, like the US, or many Latin American countries with military gov'ts and repressions, arrests, etc. Always wanted to check this place out.

By the way I like Thailand but it does not seem to like me. What I mean by Latin American Thailand is that it is Thailand sans problems of you being of another race. It is nice when people talk about you and call you senor and caballero vs some racial epithet or poking scornful fun of you. I was not yet called Gringo by anyone but we will see with time.

I have not been to China but have been to TW and HK but I do not like living under a red flag and am not attracted to N. Asian women and the feeling is mutual. They do not like me at all either. Only the very ugly CJKs like me,

As far as retiring here. yes, there are many Americans here, and as far as the IRS from what I have heard they cannot extradite you for tax things but again, you need visas to live here and they can just kick you out as an undesirable alien. Few countries actually extradite you if the US bugs them to, they simply do not renew your visas so where do you go? I just pay my taxes, file my forms and sleep well at night.

As far as them not being as pretty as Filipinas, I mean, they are so according to my taste. We all have tastes, I really like the feline Malay and the Chinese Spanish mixture and here you just have Spanish. There are no big numbers of Venezuelans or Colombians here unless they are the ones who look Mestizo.

The Americans that I met here have told me that they have been living on 90 day visas for years. Also you need to have a departure date set at some 80 days after arrival otherwise they will just give you a 30 day visa.

I did not go to Colombia and other places because it was just cheaper to fly to CR plus I wanted to do this since the 80ies. DR is in the Caribbean, and I wanted to experience something new since I have lived in Puerto Rico( Caribbean) before.

They say Costa Rica is the most expensive of all the countries in Central America.

When they ask me about my place of "original origin" and I tell them "Ukraine', they know where/what it is and do not grimace as some people do. Most Filipinos do not know it and have never heard of it. Makes it very uncomfortable in social situations.

All in all, not a bad place to live and visas are easy.

Not been to the beaches yet.
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:10 pm

Have been talking to different girls at malls and in parks and yes, you can chat them up and they are like totally unafraid of you. Have not tried talking to them at bus stops but I think it would be OK. I did not ask them for their number but I am sure you can score those easily.

You can talk to strangers here. Went to a nightclub and just started talking to a guy sitting next to me and we talked for over an hour. No ice barrier among guys here.

The people here do not have any desire to go and live in the US: their country is prosperous, they have jobs, they go to school, and unemployment is rare. Foreigners who come here usually stay with their GFs here ( which is a trend that is starting to happen in the Philippines as well).

Yesterday I went to a night club which was a bit less expensive and was really well decked out- a huge interior and an enormous stage with three dance poles and there was a trap door in the stage itself and it would rise and the girls would come out seemingly up from the stage floor itself.

They danced one by one and would strip and then sit with guys. But there were some 7 girls and maybe 50 guys inside and there were no foreigners there. The cover charge was $12 consumable- two drinks. I talked with the strippers and they were nice and humble and there was no ice barrier.

The Internet seems to be fast, cellphone services are also good- you can buy a Sim card on the street, pop it in and call the world. There is no such thing as overseas callings/domestic calling- it is just 'calling'. In the US you buy a prepaid phone like Tracfone but you cannot call the Philippines from it whereas I was calling the Philippines yesterday from a cellphone card that I bought on the street here.

This country is not so polluted/overpopulated and there are all these national parks everywhere and the cities are well laid out and very pretty. The Philippine cities are not as pretty and are polluted. Thai cities are ugly.

While the numbers of girls are not so large, prostitution is legal and still cheaper than the USA. If you have $50-100, you can get laid on the same night. Which is not cheap but also not bad. And cops won't be knocking on your door arresting you for soliciting and other nonsense.

The food is very good. In the Philippines, food is an eternal problem and agreed by many to be inedible while here it is a gobble fest for me.

There are lots and lots of birds here- tropical ones - even in the city, and they sing and shriek and what not. There are no roosters crowing as in the Philippines and not many sparrows around.

Visas are either cheap or free. You just hop across the border and come back every three months.

As far as romance goes, there is apparently no foreigner here who wants a GF and who cannot find one.

It is not as cheap as the Philippines but it is at least half the price of the US. And it is only 3-4 hours from the US. You can fly home over a weekend and come back.

There is no linguo-racial complex here. Like what you have in Asia with people running away from you, avoiding you, people looking like they are trying to shit a watermelon when they talk to you or demonstratively answer in English when you speak in their language. People talk to you in Spanish and expect you to respond in it. Spanish is the international language here. Also, they do not know if you are a foreigner or not because a Costa Rican can be of many colors and races. And also, you do not have people here sticking fingers at you and pointing you out to their friends as they would an animal. Something that some ill mannered Asians are wont to do,

Also, they do not seem to always be trying to scheme to cheat you as they do in the Philippines/Thailand daily.

But as far as the beauty of the girls go, I was talking to my Filipina ex maid on Skype and even she was prettier than most girls here. Filipinas just have the Asian skin which is taut and rubbery and can't be beat.
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Postby Rock » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:15 am

ladislav wrote:I am here for another week or so. I have a feel for neutral countries with no political problems or deep social ills, like the US, or many Latin American countries with military gov'ts and repressions, arrests, etc. Always wanted to check this place out.

By the way I like Thailand but it does not seem to like me. What I mean by Latin American Thailand is that it is Thailand sans problems of you being of another race. It is nice when people talk about you and call you senor and caballero vs some racial epithet or poking scornful fun of you. I was not yet called Gringo by anyone but we will see with time.

I have not been to China but have been to TW and HK but I do not like living under a red flag and am not attracted to N. Asian women and the feeling is mutual. They do not like me at all either. Only the very ugly CJKs like me,

As far as retiring here. yes, there are many Americans here, and as far as the IRS from what I have heard they cannot extradite you for tax things but again, you need visas to live here and they can just kick you out as an undesirable alien. Few countries actually extradite you if the US bugs them to, they simply do not renew your visas so where do you go? I just pay my taxes, file my forms and sleep well at night.

As far as them not being as pretty as Filipinas, I mean, they are so according to my taste. We all have tastes, I really like the feline Malay and the Chinese Spanish mixture and here you just have Spanish. There are no big numbers of Venezuelans or Colombians here unless they are the ones who look Mestizo.

The Americans that I met here have told me that they have been living on 90 day visas for years. Also you need to have a departure date set at some 80 days after arrival otherwise they will just give you a 30 day visa.

I did not go to Colombia and other places because it was just cheaper to fly to CR plus I wanted to do this since the 80ies. DR is in the Caribbean, and I wanted to experience something new since I have lived in Puerto Rico( Caribbean) before.

They say Costa Rica is the most expensive of all the countries in Central America.

When they ask me about my place of "original origin" and I tell them "Ukraine', they know where/what it is and do not grimace as some people do. Most Filipinos do not know it and have never heard of it. Makes it very uncomfortable in social situations.

All in all, not a bad place to live and visas are easy.

Not been to the beaches yet.


Thanks Lad. Perhaps Costa Rica is a good place to bring a serious gf from some Spanish speaking country in SA or Caribbean to cohabitate with since it seems to have a more tolerable infrastructure and better safety. Some of what you say about the people - minimal ice barriers, easy to talk to, white and black Americans not sticking out as foreigners - could be said about DR as well where I am now.

What you say about costs seems a bit confusing. Phils is not that cheap and I actually can live cheaper in SW Florida than Manila, Cebu, or perhaps Davao. Thailand and even Taiwan are cheaper too. Can you give some cost breakdowns in Costa Rica to show what's really expensive and what's cheap?
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Postby Banano » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:09 pm

Have been talking to different girls at malls and in parks and yes, you can chat them up and they are like totally unafraid of you. Have not tried talking to them at bus stops but I think it would be OK. I did not ask them for their number but I am sure you can score those easily.


Im still not convinced costa rican chicks are that easy to get in bed,
brazilian chicks will talk to you n kiss you after 2 minutes of talkin to them but getting into thir panties in another thing..

Ladislav
Do you think you could get costa rican girls in their 20s without paying?
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Postby ladislav » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:24 am

Thanks Lad. Perhaps Costa Rica is a good place to bring a serious gf from some Spanish speaking country in SA or Caribbean to cohabitate with since it seems to have a more tolerable infrastructure and better safety. Some of what you say about the people - minimal ice barriers, easy to talk to, white and black Americans not sticking out as foreigners - could be said about DR as well where I am now.

What you say about costs seems a bit confusing. Phils is not that cheap and I actually can live cheaper in SW Florida than Manila, Cebu, or perhaps Davao. Thailand and even Taiwan are cheaper too. Can you give some cost breakdowns in Costa Rica to show what's really expensive and what's cheap


All in all, Costa Rica is about half the price of an average US city. A taxi half way across town is $4-8, an average local meal is about $4-6,. P4p- one-three hours- $50-100. A private room in a hostel- about $30, I was shocked by the price of coffee on the streets- $1.80. Then a taxi from the airport - a long ride- is $32. A city bus is one dollar. Not that cheap.
I know there are cheaper places in the US but you have to deal with dour paranoid people. And no GF.
For carefree travel, you need some 80-100 a day including your hotel, taxis etc.

And , yes you can get a GF in her 20ies or even late teens ( 18-19). They don't look afraid of foreigners and many look intrigued by you. But picking up non p4p girls for a quick roll in the hay does not seem to be the concept.

I talked to Costa Rican guys and asked them about if one can establish a relationship with a virgin woman ( in the city of San Jose) and the reply was that very few were virgins in the city with the percentage being somewhat higher in the countryside.

I have not been to a Latin American country in a while. The feel about this place is that it is mostly Spanish ethnically and not Latino in the US sense of the word. Hence, if you have a European face, you kind of get treated like you do in Spain which is -you are expected to dress, talk and behave local. A bit refreshing after SE Asia where they expect you to speak English and act foreign and are shocked daily if you want to act local ( which is the way it should be).
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Postby ladislav » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:13 pm

Image

Today I decided to go down to the beach from the highland capital which took me one hour and a half. The road was a typical two lane highway very similar to those you see in Mexico. The descent was a steady slope from about 4500 ' down to the sea level. It all looked very much like coming down from Baguio in the Philippines except that the road was straight and the descent was very gradual. On both sides, I could see bumpy hills covered with savanna-like vegetation- trees with wide and spread out crowns and some brush. There were lots of billboards everywhere, and then the road got wider because there were toll stations there with as many as 8 lanes, and then it would narrow down back again into the two-lane highway.

Image

I saw some plantations and rivers and then there were some strange birds around- they looked like crows or kites, and then my eye caught the sliver of the sea and there were all these fishing boats at anchor. There were all these lagoons alongside the sea with blue albatrosses circling above them.

Image

Eventually we pulled into the bus terminal. The ticket one way was some $5. Not bad. The bus was comfortable, but not air conditioned. There is not much air-conditioning in Costa Rica because most population centers are in the highlands.

Anyway, the coastal area looked a lot like the Subic Bay in the Philippines but wider. The beach was expansive and the sand was brown, and you did not need to pay to get in, but if you wanted to use the chaise-longues with an umbrella, they were 6 dollars for half day.

Image

Image

The coastal town looked very similar to what you see in Mexico. Kind of spread out. There were restaurants on the beach and bars and all that.

I expected to see a Copacabana with all these pretty Latinas, but did not see even one. There were more men than women and the women were wives or GFs of the men.

The beach was dirty with plastic bags and cans lying all around. I went swimming and then when I came out I was approached by one older guy who told me he was an alcoholic and he needed a drink. I invited him and then another alkie tagged along, and three of us had a booze-out.

I also bought some local shaved ice with syrup and dry milk ( $6) and then some street food- cassava with pork and spicy salad in vinegar water- all mixed and put into a plastic bag- also six bucks. Now, this was 2-5 times more expensive than the Philippine food or even Saudi food but the portions were huge and they tasted great. The pork was tender and all the other ingredients were finger-licking delicious.

Anyway, the water was warm but brown and I did not enjoy swimming at all. The only good thing was that the bottom was sandy and there were no sharp rocks as in the Philippines.

Also, even though there is a bus schedule, they only leave once the number of passengers is big enough to justify the trip so it means they can be as late as they wish.

[img]http://www.1-costaricalink.com/costa_rica_pictures/san_jose_puntarenas_bus_picture/images/san_jose_puntarenas_bus_picture_1b.jpg
[/img]

Anyway, this beach day has been nothing to speak of except that overall the people were friendly and nice and everyone looked happy.

Most people here look Spanish as in- from Spain so you do not have the spicy black-Indian-Euro mixture you see in Venezuela or Puerto Rico. They also dress as modestly as Americans. Both men and women look plain and there is little make up on girls.

To be continued.
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:04 pm

Just came back to Ohio. A taxi from the airport was $56 - in Costa Rica it was $32, in the Philippines it was $8-12.

My last day in Costa Rica I spent touring the jungle by boat. 52% of the country is national parks - they are clean and people can only go in there on special tours. Unlike Thailand or the Phils, these do not sell their wood for chopsticks to the Japanese. Their resources are untouchable.

I saw crocodiles, basilisks, iguanas, bats, turtles, caimans and all kinds of birds in their natural habitat. Finally reached the Atlantic and touched its waves with my hands after a 30 year break.

Also went through banana plantations - the gov't pays banana workers $800 a month plus gives them a house to live in. Not bad.

There were some other interesting things I saw in Costa Rica - the immigration does not put an exist stamp in your passport- they just look at it and then you walk out.

I also saw an "ATM room" in the downtown area- a huge "hall" lined up with many many ATM machines- it was awesome. Probably to make sure that people don't stand in line too long. Also, some ATM booths of some banks get locked for the night and some can be opened by sliding your US ATM card through the locks.

Went to a Chinese and Japanese restaurants and the food sucked. It was not real Japanese or Chinese food. Typical of many 3d world countries- they can't afford native cooks so they improvise- but the prices were very high nonetheless. Local pizza was great though.

Coming back through Charlotte was nice- the immigration was very friendly, the customs just waved me through. I also noticed that all the passengers except one black guy were as WASP as it gets- not even one with dark hair. No wonder people in Latin America do not think of US as a melting pot. They just see blond Aryans visit them.

Will I be going back? Perhaps. I felt very much at peace in CR.
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Postby OutWest » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:23 pm

ladislav wrote:Have been talking to different girls at malls and in parks and yes, you can chat them up and they are like totally unafraid of you. Have not tried talking to them at bus stops but I think it would be OK. I did not ask them for their number but I am sure you can score those easily.

You can talk to strangers here. Went to a nightclub and just started talking to a guy sitting next to me and we talked for over an hour. No ice barrier among guys here.

The people here do not have any desire to go and live in the US: their country is prosperous, they have jobs, they go to school, and unemployment is rare. Foreigners who come here usually stay with their GFs here ( which is a trend that is starting to happen in the Philippines as well).

Yesterday I went to a night club which was a bit less expensive and was really well decked out- a huge interior and an enormous stage with three dance poles and there was a trap door in the stage itself and it would rise and the girls would come out seemingly up from the stage floor itself.

They danced one by one and would strip and then sit with guys. But there were some 7 girls and maybe 50 guys inside and there were no foreigners there. The cover charge was $12 consumable- two drinks. I talked with the strippers and they were nice and humble and there was no ice barrier.

The Internet seems to be fast, cellphone services are also good- you can buy a Sim card on the street, pop it in and call the world. There is no such thing as overseas callings/domestic calling- it is just 'calling'. In the US you buy a prepaid phone like Tracfone but you cannot call the Philippines from it whereas I was calling the Philippines yesterday from a cellphone card that I bought on the street here.

This country is not so polluted/overpopulated and there are all these national parks everywhere and the cities are well laid out and very pretty. The Philippine cities are not as pretty and are polluted. Thai cities are ugly.

While the numbers of girls are not so large, p4p is legal and still cheaper than the USA. If you have $50-100, you can get laid on the same night. Which is not cheap but also not bad. And cops won't be knocking on your door arresting you for soliciting and other nonsense.

The food is very good. In the Philippines, food is an eternal problem and agreed by many to be inedible while here it is a gobble fest for me.

There are lots and lots of birds here- tropical ones - even in the city, and they sing and shriek and what not. There are no roosters crowing as in the Philippines and not many sparrows around.

Visas are either cheap or free. You just hop across the border and come back every three months.

As far as romance goes, there is apparently no foreigner here who wants a GF and who cannot find one.

It is not as cheap as the Philippines but it is at least half the price of the US. And it is only 3-4 hours from the US. You can fly home over a weekend and come back.

There is no linguo-racial complex here. Like what you have in Asia with people running away from you, avoiding you, people looking like they are trying to shit a watermelon when they talk to you or demonstratively answer in English when you speak in their language. People talk to you in Spanish and expect you to respond in it. Spanish is the international language here. Also, they do not know if you are a foreigner or not because a Costa Rican can be of many colors and races. And also, you do not have people here sticking fingers at you and pointing you out to their friends as they would an animal. Something that some ill mannered Asians are wont to do,

Also, they do not seem to always be trying to scheme to cheat you as they do in the Philippines/Thailand daily.

But as far as the beauty of the girls go, I was talking to my Filipina ex maid on Skype and even she was prettier than most girls here. Filipinas just have the Asian skin which is taut and rubbery and can't be beat.


Stay a while Lad and you will experience Ticos as the most shameless swindlers in LA.
When you on occasion see an actual pretty girl in Costa Rica, the correct thing to ask her is what part
of Colombia she is from. Stay long enough and you will learn to hate the placed to the bone. Panama is better, as are
many locations in Latin America. Parts of Mexico are also far better for that matter, without the Tico attitude.

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Postby ladislav » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:35 am

Outwest, thanks a lot for the advice. Unlike other people here, I do bow to the wisdom and experience of those who had lived in countries before me.

Having said that, taxi drivers had change, and did not ask me for money on top of the fare, whereas in the Philippines they almost never have change and almost always ask for money on top of the fare. That says something already.

What is the Tico attitude by the way? And how does it affect expats?
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
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