Gringos – that’s what we are and, despite our best efforts, it show’s. Through the things we use on a day to day basis and in the clothes we wear, we can’t hide the fact that we are; Non-Tico, North American, Gringos. In preparing to move here, we tried really hard to sell the majority of our stuff before we came; in fact, all that was left of 18 married years of accumulating “stuff” was 9 suitcases, packed to the gills, that traveled with us to Costa Rica. Not surprising, a few of the things we brought accentuates our Gringo-ness.

DFW to SJO - Everything we brought to CR was in these 9 bags.

DFW to SJO – Everything we brought to CR was in these 9 bags.


The EX copy copyThe Executioner

This is not your everyday tennis racket – no, this one is electrified – ELECTRIFIED, and useful on those pesky bugs that the wife is mortified of, and it has a name – it is The Executioner. One might think that such a “hands off” bug killing device would preclude one (me) from having to be the bug murderer; one would be wrong. I am learning to live with with the guilt. We purchased on but I am sure it is available anywhere quality bug killing devices or “As Seen on TV” products are sold. By the way – this thing works extremely well, runs on 2 AA batteries and has a nice, crisp, report when it zaps a bug. Only $19.99 but buy within the next 10 minutes….


How to blend in to tico cultureShorts – Really clothes in general but Shorts in particular

The most telling feature of the Gringo species is their clothing. You may see a Tico with an Aéropostale shirt on, ok, you will see many Ticos with Aéropostale shirts on, but it is more than a graphic T-shirt that gives us away. It’s the whole package; the fabric choice, the colors, and it is the shorts. It would be one thing if we lived near the beach and wearing shorts would be the norm, but we live up in the hills, in coffee-farm land, and no-one, except Gringos, wear shorts. Some Gringos wear long pants; not me – never, ever, ever…I spent most of my life living in Texas and having to endure its endless Summers, and now that I get to enjoy endless Spring, here in Grecia, I just can’t imagine defiling myself by wearing pants. If it’s not clear, by my 6’3″ height and shade-of-ghost whiteness, that I am not a Tico, then by-god let the shorts give me away…and the sports sunglasses, and the headband (yes, a headband, OK), and the watch and …you get the picture


GinsuGinsu Knife Set

I already know what you’re thinking, “They still make Ginsu knives?”. The short answer is yes and the advertising dollars Ginsu Knives spent decades ago are still paying off. Call it a testament to TV marketing, we bought the knife-set that never needs sharpening, that was from an infomercial 30 years ago, that can shave metal off of a hammer. We wanted a knife set that we didn’t have to worry about and would be sharp enough to slice a tomato into nice, uniform, slices without creating salsa; a knife that would allow me to julienne fries like a chef.- and the infomercial showed me how it could all be done with the Ginsu. All I can say is – I am a sucker, whether in Dallas, TX or Grecia, Costa Rica – I am a Gringo Sucker. It’s a good thing that everything Jen cooks, meat wise, is very tender because the Ginsu knife is perfect for a sucker, it sucks.


005 AppleThe i’s Have it

We brought with us from the States the entire iEverything suite of products from Apple; (2)iPhones, iPad, iPod – touch and classic, a MacBook Pro and MacBook Air – enough electronic gadgetry for a small town, and we had downsized. It all started with the iPod years ago as I found that iTunes was great for helping enable my music addiction. Then my PC laptop contracted swine flu and I bought another and another. Finally, reading that MACs’ operating system contracted fewer viruses than PC’s, and that we would have no problem with usage in Costa Rica, we took the proceeds from the sale of our home and used the money as a downpayment on the MacBooks. We had already had iPhones and luckily they were the variety that had a SIM card and could be used here. Adding to our list of iProduct was the iPad, for our reading pleasure and for Words with Friends, of course and  the iPod Touch….I am still not sure why we have that.


Hula GirlThe Weighted Hula Hoop

I know, I know…I  K N O W. “A WHAT?” Well, to be frank, it is what the name implies – a Hula Hoop that has weight added to it. You remember the Hula Hoop, the children’s toy from the 70’s – well this is it, but modified with added weight. You gyrate your hips to Hip Hop music and  because you bought a Hula Hoop with ADDED weight, you get a better workout. You may be thinking, “How the hell did you get that on the plane?” Well, we bought with-in the 10 minute time frame that was left on the infomercial, because of this, we were awarded the upgraded, tear-down, model. That’s right – we now own, and have in Costa Rica, a Weighted, Travel, Hula Hoop. Actually, we bought it at Dick’s Sporting Goods – I just didn’t want to admit that we bought a travel, weighted, Hula Hoop on purpose and the upgrade angle somehow made it less sad – I know it doesn’t.


As I assimilate into the culture of our new home, I am not sure I will ever completely shed my Gringo-ness, nor whether it is completely necessary to do so. Maybe I can tone it down just a bit though. As I was writing this post I couldn’t help but think that there just may be a correlation between “As Seen on TV” products and iProducts, and those things that make us stand out as Gringos. Hmmm, Ya Think?

Hasta Pronto,




Why we Chose to Live in Grecia, Costa Rica
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