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The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

Ticos Are Naturally FriendIy

Generally Latins are friendly, but in Costa Rica you'll find that the friendliness overflows. Most Costa Ricans are always ready to help and they'll go out of their way to assist you provided you're not too reserved or grouchy. Ask for an address or how to get somewhere and they'll very likely tell you how to get there even though they're not sure. Ticos don't like to say no and most of the times they'll say yes to many requests for which you might expect a no for an answer. It's no secret that they act with great suaveness and don't cut off a person's head, preferring simply to lower the floor under him with gentleness. That's especially seen in government and private offices as well as in politics.

An example of this occurred in November 1868 during the government of President Castro Madriz. It was always a custom for the president, his cabinet members, the top military echelon and the troop to attend 8 o'clock Sunday Mass (Misa de Tropa) in San José's cathedral. As was the custom, after mass the president would stand at the atrium with top hat in hand and say a few words to the public standing below. Then he would receive many compliments. In this case, when Castro Madriz returned home a few hours later, he was told that he no longer was president. The same general, who had been among those that had praised his words at church, had deposed him by taking over the military barracks without firing a shot.

Lowering the floor, however, should not indicate that Ticos are untrustworthy. It's generally a gentle act. No insults are involved and the door for reconciliation is usually left open. Costa Ricans like to settle disputes amicably a la Tica (the Tico way). Ex-president Ricardo Jiménez again showed his sense of psychological practicality when he stated that "enemies should not be treated too harshly as they might become future friends and allies, while friends, should be treated with caution as they might become future enemies." Good at creating some expressions, which in time became popular, Jiménez came up with one which recognized the power and influence of women over men when he remarked that 'two tits pull harder than 100 oxcarts'.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.