Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: Fake Cuban (Nicaraguan) cigars sold on Tamarindo beach—$10
Back in 2010, Rush Limbaugh said he would move to Costa Rica in five years if some of President Obama’s policies were ever implemented. It’s now 2016, and I still can’t find Rush anywhere around the neighborhood.
One of the best things about living in Costa Rica is being removed from the political climate of any given presidential election. However, we do still have news channels that, for better or for worse, broadcast all the latest political events. The more I watch, the more it becomes apparent that they rarely report any happy stories, only hours of repeated headlines and opinions that lead to heated arguments, making me want to cancel my cable subscription. It’s as if the sky is falling.
This bizarre phenomenon occurs every four years. And every four years people threaten that they will be moving to Costa Rica. I’m not sure why they use this as a threat. Rarely people threaten to visit Costa Rica. In fact, the people coming off the airplane aren’t threatening at all. They are the most excited people you’ll ever meet.
When you are removed from a political season, you tend to spend more time on the happier side of life. Not that politics should be ignored, it’s just that when it starts consuming someone’s entire existence, they end up becoming that person yelling so loud spittle comes out the sides of his or her mouth. And if you are that person, it’s okay. I think I can help. Especially if you’re the one threatening to move to Costa Rica if—insert political candidate—wins.
You will be welcome here. Costa Ricans and expats are some of the friendliest people I meet, but they’ll be somewhat confused by your spittle. In fact, I rarely see a Costa Rican spittle; it’s as rare as Rodrigo my repairman showing up on time. They have their own issues with their political system, but when it’s all said and done, they give them the patented Tico shrug. This shrug is also accompanied by a forty-five-degree head tilt, followed by them saying, “Pura Vida!” All of it adds up to one meaning… eh, my life is still great. I like this gesture; it’s the same one I get from a teller when she explains the bank ran out of money.
This slower pace of life, combined with an insatiable need to enjoy oneself, makes it easier to see through the foggy lens of a heated political debate. It’s understandable that you need to be heard. Take the howler monkey, the loudest land animal on the planet. You hear them in the morning, howling away across the canopy like they’re contesting a city council race. They need to be heard and acknowledged as well, but even they know when to give it a rest by taking a siesta the rest of the day, coming alive again by late afternoon. Balance seems to be what makes nature tick, and we are wired the same way.
The animals that really have it all figured out are the sloths. Rarely a peep out of them. Their maximum ground velocity is six feet per minute, which is about the speed of my husband when I ask him to unload our dishwasher.
A sloth sleeps fifteen hours a day, urinating and defecating once a week. This provides them plenty more time to do what they love… which is more sleeping. It’s an admirable trait. Maybe people should limit their news to what they can gather off their cell phones while urinating and defecating. Just enough time to get the facts because let’s face it, most of these political opinions belong in the crapper anyway.
Soon it will all come to an end, and we will move on with our lives. Until then, I’ll try to stay on the happier side of life and not obsess about the things I just can’t control. I’ll smile at the teller after learning I can’t withdraw any money from the bank. I’ll give Rodrigo a cold glass of water when he shows up three days late. I’ll even try not to yell at Rob while watching him take seven hours to unload the dishwasher.
I’ve learned that the quality of my life is directly proportional to how grateful I am. In fact, there is much to be grateful for as long as you are pointed in the right direction. This has not been an easy transformation for me. I’m the person who once mistook a kinkajou for a burglar. My natural tendency is to think the sky is falling.
But that hasn’t happened here yet, and today the horizon is full of fluffy clouds, pelicans, and a single white egret. Perhaps news channels should broadcast a little more of that every day, and there might be a little less spittle in the world.
I’m still looking for Rush Limbaugh on the beaches in Costa Rica. If he is here, I probably didn’t recognize him because instead of screaming his head off, he’s chilling in a hammock while smoking a cigar. He’s no longer watching the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and finally seeing people for what we really are… one giant, dysfunctional family.
So vote for your guy and vote with your conscience. As for Rush Limbaugh and me, I’m glad we decided to #VoteCostaRica!