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Content
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

A visit to the San José central market, or to those in the other cities and towns, is a worthwhile and intriguing experience. There you'll find products not offered anywhere else. Prices of natural foods are lower than what you would find in the supermarkets. For a wide variety of medicinal herbs in their natural state, the central market in San José is the place to go. Ask the person selling at the stall what herbs are good for specific ailments. Sometimes folk medicine has its merits.

The cuculmeca or levanta cobija (blanket lifter) is a herb that is believed to have aphrodisiac powers that will do away with erectile dysfunction. A big demand exists because it's considered to be the poor man's Viagra. Other stalls sell fruit and vegetable juices, prepared while you wait. Many are assigned various medicinal powers. Regarding Viagra produced by Pfizer, a March 2002 article in La Nación mentioned that 50,000 Ticos consume it making Costa Rica Central America's leading consumer of that remedy.

Clothing & Footwear

The best stores for buying reasonably priced clothing are La Gloria with several department stores, Yamuni, (two stores) and four Malls: San Pedro, Multiplaza in the Guachipelín area, Cariari along the main highway to Alajuela and Terramall on the east side of San José past Curridabat. More malls are in the construction stage. Much good clothing, especially women's underwear, comes from Colombia. Of course, on Central Avenue in San Jose you'll find many good clothing and footwear stores, but my wife and I don't buy much there because of the large crowds and difficulty in finding parking space, Cemaco is a good quality house wares store with a fine hardware department with three locations in San José plus one in Alajuela. It offers senior citizens over 62 a card which grants them 5 to 10%discounts on their purchases.

For shoes, you won't have difficulty finding places to buy them. On Central Avenue you can find three or four right next to each other. The ADOC stores sell good quality shoes at low cost. These are made in El Salvador. Good ones also come from Nicaragua, Brazil and Spain. Excellent leather boots, even Texas-style, are made in the country and many are exported. Cardenas on 3rd Avenue between Calle 24 & 26 makes good handmade boots to one's specifications. Immigrant Nicaraguans in little shops make good handmade shoes and do excellent low cost repair work. Penny Lane has established several outlets in San José.


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