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Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators

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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

Procrastination Delays Faster Development

Many people believe, as does a friend of mine, that if a job is done too quickly, the persons for whom it is done will consider it's too easy to perform and therefore much can't be charged for it. According to many, something done too fast loses value. That's why to get things done when you need them, or not too long later, you generally have to prod the doer and keep at it.

In a poll taken in November 2001 by the firm Demoscopía for the daily La Nación, the 1200 Ticos interviewed expressed the good and the bad about the Costa Rican nature and behaviour. While many said their countrymen were hard workers, friendly, solidaristic, hospitable, and peaceful, others considered them to be deceitful, conformists, irresponsible, hypocritical and lazy. I recall that at one time in the 1950s, when the country had to make a big import shipment of rice from Nicaragua, one of the sacks had a note on it: "Vagabond Ticos, get to work". The note was of no surprise to Ticos who feel other Central Americans envy them because of their better developed country.

In previous pages I mentioned the expression "a la Tica" (doing things the Tico way). Julio Rodriguez, a very prestigious journalist of La Nación, in one of his excellent columns, expanded on this expression and wrote: "it's a style, a mentality, a dimension of our culture and psychology which should worry us". And I'll add, it's an attitude of letting things fix themselves without much effort and of not giving serious national problems the attention they require for their solution. Doing things "a la Tica" could hurt the country in the future if events such as globalization and international competition in trade are continued to be taken lightly by much of the population.

In March 2002, the government took a hand at trying to lessen the problem of procrastination, at least in its own and the semi-autonomous state offices, by issuing the so-called Citizen's Protection Decree. It's designed to protect citizens from an excess of requirements and administrative procedures. One of its provisions is that an institution must complete its review of any paperwork within the time limit specified by the decree. Generally it's one calendar month. If not, the citizen can assume his or her application or permit is approved. Any official who doesn't comply with the new roles could lose his or her job. Ex-president Miguel Angel Rodriguez Echeverría, on one occasion while still in office, showed his true knowledge of his fellow countrymen when he said that "when a Tico says yes, he means maybe, and when he says maybe, he means no. Ticos don't like to say no outright". This is another case of wanting to get along well with everyone and hurting no one.

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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.