Costa Rica or BustCosta Rica Costa of Living Update: Cost to get my oven fixed—I don’t know, the repairman never came back

This was the temperature one morning in New Jersey. It was also the temperature when I decided to help my parents by shoveling their driveway.

It was then that I felt a sharp pain and proceeded to get a Charlie Horse in my butt. I wasn’t aware this could even happen. But there I was, frozen in pain next to their Nissan Sentra. It would have made the perfect Christmas card.

When I was finally able to stumble my way back into the house, my mother instantly went into motherly mode by yelling at me for not wearing boots.

I died a little inside that day. I am happy to be back in Costa Rica and looking forward to blogging more and getting my third book out. As for my oven… I think it’s dead for good. But I’ll take a broken oven over shoveling snow any day.

About Nadine Hays Pisani

Nadine is the author of the best-selling series, Happier Than A Billionaire. Join her as she navigates living as an expat in the sometimes confusing, always beautiful, country of Costa Rica.
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16 Responses to COSTA RICA OR BUST

  1. Nancy says:

    We are planning a trip to chek out Costa Rica to live half the year. I am reading your first book and I love it! So funny!

    I haven’t seen anything in your book about squatters taking over homes owned by Americans when they are gone, and the courts awarding it to them. Do you ever write about this? Is this urban legend, Costa Rica style? Would love to know about this before we decide on this country!

    Thank you for sharing your adventures! They are wonderful!

    • Nadine says:

      I think the squatters are a problem when you own a strip of land for many years and never around to care for it. It’s not a wise idea to be absent for years, it’s always important to check on your property no matter where you live. I never heard squatting to be a problem with any of my friends who own propety.

  2. Denise T says:

    Hi Nadine, I just finished your first book. I also saw your Buffet interview on your site here. I’ve dreamt about living in Costa Rica for many years now. Before my son was born and we both worked full-time, hubby & I would vacation in the tropics regularly.

    I’m a Rahway, NJ girl (50 y/o girl now) who moved out to western NJ 10 yrs ago. I know the places you mention growing up in and can really relate to your parent and childhood situations and sometimes your hubby-wife issues. Good God we’d have a lot to talk about. I still have a brother living in Linden but my older relatives that lived there have passed on.

    I appreciate your humorous stories of life down there. I wonder if in the next book I’ll read about you folks maybe making some native friends. It’s worrying to hear that almost every interaction with native workers (excluding farm stand folks) banks, bureaus, etc are negative. I wonder if I could handle people being so dishonest and expecting bribes all the time, or if I could adjust. I have a bit of a hangup with expecting people to treat me fairly as I would treat them. I guess you need to live the life awhile to see if you can adapt to it.

    Will read your next book soon. Keep on writing, you’re interesting and have a way with a story.
    Best, Denise T.

    • Nadine says:

      I think my interactions were pretty funny. If you can imagine not knowing a language and expecting the person to understand our ridiculous charades, I’m surprised we haven’t been thrown out of the country. For the most part, everyone has been great. They showed more patience for me than for people who don’t know the language in my own country.

      Not knowing the language is quite the obstacle and even though I made Tico friends, many of those interactions were limited. I would never… ever… impose on someone. It’s very hard for people to understand my broken Spanish, and I’ve been at enough gathers where they don’t understand me or I don’t understand them. It does not make for a fun evening, in fact, it’s stressful for everyone. I think it’s important when people move that they don’t think everyone is going to invite them over for dinner. Take your time and be humble, it goes a long way.

      The more I learn Spanish, the more I can converse and more friends I make. All this has been a great learning experience. It was the first time in my life that it was me who didn’t understand the language and relied on the kindness of strangers for assistance.

  3. Dennis Macaulay says:

    My wife and I just bought a lot in South Pacific area above Dominical – to build on in a couple of years! We are finishing out a final two years of dental practice – we don’t hate it quite as much as you guys did your chiropractic practices, but we are so looking forward to moving to Costa Rica and retiring and your books are a wonderful accompaniment to our “journey”. We’ll look forward to running into you maybe someday! Keep up the good work – your writing style is TERRIFIC – absolutely unique and wonderful and we will enjoying following you the rest of our lives I’m sure!
    Many thanks for your efforts – and Rob’s too, of course.
    Dennis and Dorothy – see you in two years!

  4. Barbara Tors says:

    You need a whole house protector on your power supply into the house. We and my neighbors have had similar problems with appliances. We had a whole house surge protector installed when we built our house. However, we found out later from a good electrician that it was installed incorrectly. Of course, we immediately had that problem fixed. I promise you that if you install one, you will not find your dishwashers, ovens, air conditioners etc. suddenly and inexplicably dying on you. I hope this helps…. I am living in Guanacaste and luckily we haven’t lost our stove yet!

    • Nadine says:

      I’ll let the landlords know. When I lived in Grecia, it was really difficult. The lightning would always hit the mountain and zap everything. We told the landlord but she wouldn’t do anything about it. Oh well, it’s good to know for when we build.

  5. shellb says:

    Please don’t find this weird…but based on your two books I doubt you will…but I just adore you and your writing. Serendipitously found your first book….read while in costa Rica…and now reading the second. Love them both. All words, messages, thoughts I need to read/hear.

    Admire your humor, outlook, and way of facing ‘fear’ head on.

    Keep up the great. Inspiring and appreciated.

    Michelle b

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks really nice of you to say Shelb. It’s been such an incredible journey. I am not the type of person to just pick up and do something like this, and I think that’s what has connected so many people to it. I’m just a girl from Jersey who was tired. Just so tired of the rat race. So like any smart girl from Jersey, I ran like hell!

  6. Laura says:

    Yay, I can’t wait for the third book. SO excited to read the next one.

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks Laura, Rob is reading through it now. There are a couple parts about him that he hasn’t got to yet. Hmm…. I’ll let you know if I’m still married.

  7. Ann Ellison says:

    I always enjoy your blogs and definitely looking forward to your third book.

  8. jenlarson79 says:

    My car showed -18 when I got into work this morning (in Minnesota), so Costa Rica sounds dreamy right now! Glad to hear you’re working on a third book – can’t wait for it!

    • Nadine says:

      Oh boy, that sounds just plain awful. It looks like most of the country again is getting hit pretty hard. I don’t miss the snow and ice one bit! Pretty to look out the window, dreadful to shovel and get to work.

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