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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Coast of Riches: Living in Costa Rica - Page 2

Written by Jonathan Hiltz
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As the skies over Canada inevitably turn a light shade of gray, and the windowpanes are slowly conquered by an opaque frost, the urge to join the flocks of birds and head south for a few months becomes apparent. Having experienced over thirty Canadian winters prompted me to question, why do we live in such frigid temperatures when there are perfectly decent, warmer countries that exist a few hours away?  This led to a year’s worth of research on international investment properties and the discovery of Costa Rica.


A point to note about Costa Rica is that it generally has two seasons.  The ‘dry’ season, from December to May, is when everything resembles a breathtaking Caribbean Island, sunny and hot with a nice breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean.  And the rainy or ‘green’ season from June to November, which is beautiful in its own way.  During the green season the country experiences significant rainfall; in some areas every day for at least three hours and this makes the surrounding foliage, forests and jungles a very lush green.Coast of Riches: Living in Costa Rica


The rain also tends to cool off temperatures a bit.  In the area we purchased, it can be one of the hottest parts of the country in the dry season, so the rain gives our neighborhood some much needed relief from the fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk temperatures it normally experiences.


Costa Rica has a rugged, untouched landscape in many areas and with this comes large animals and insects.  My wife is normally a favorite dish for all of our six-legged, five-eyed, winged little friends; but after spending over a week near the rainforests, there were some bites on her that even we couldn’t recognize.


A good example of one such beast in the area is known as the Langosta, which is basically a giant grasshopper that can get up to lengths the size of one’s forearm.  It’s specifically categorized as a locust and has thorns on its legs, which allow itself to cling to many surfaces.  The third time we stayed in Costa Rica, what I thought was initially a harmless grasshopper, flew into a supermarket and attached itself to my shorts.  As I flung my shopping bags (containing eggs) at it, in an almost paralyzing fear, I witnessed the fact that no matter where one goes on this planet it’s easy to quickly become the butt of a joke.  As four to six Tico’s laughed and I heard words like Mui loco (very crazy), I realized two things: the Costa Ricans do not fear this pest and both the groceries and jokes were at my expense.


That evening as my wife and I headed back to our condo, I told her of my misadventures with the “insect that ate New York”.  In an almost pathetic irony, two more of these monsters had attached themselves to our building as we slowly approached the front door.  These winged-giants fluttered down in Stephanie’s general direction and we both spinelessly ran down the open hallway.  When we reached the ground floor, it was obvious that the 80-year-old security guard had watched the whole ordeal and nearly had a stroke, he was laughing so hard.


Coast of Riches: Living in Costa RicaOther than these minor inconveniences, Costa Rica is a complete 180 degree turn from the life we know in the big city, and with that new direction comes a lot of wonderful adventures, experiences and perspective on enjoying the moment rather than working for the next one.  I for one look forward to spending as much time as possible in our new, tropical home.

Coast of Riches: Living in Costa Rica

©Jonathan Hiltz

(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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