What do you DO all day in Costa Rica?

I get this question a lot, especially from friends up in the States. I wonder what goes through their minds when they picture me in Costa Rica. I suppose some must picture me lying in a hammock, under a palm tree on the beach, strumming my guitar, singing Jimmy Buffet songs while drinking a beer or something in a hollowed-out pineapple with a little umbrella on top. If that is the picture you want to hold dear to your heart, then please read no further.

Lately, I have been making a concerted effort to get up before noon. I am succeeding beyond my wildest dreams, often opening my eyes before 9 am.

Those who know me well know how bizarre this is. Anyway, I start my day with a little food and coffee. Then I settle into my recliner chair, put my laptop in my lap and see what’s up on internet. I check my email, then the local news in English. My Spanish isn’t quite up to totally understanding the local papers in Spanish. Then I look at facebook to see if anybody has anything interesting happening.

At this point I have nicely frittered away an hour or so. 15 to go. At this point, I usually begin work on one of my projects, unless I have some errands to run. Right now I’m doing this blog, some videos and assorted other projects. I have finally got most all of my computer and music gear running on my laptop, where I can sit in my recliner and do most anything I can imagine involving music or writing or whatever.

Lunch time comes, I eat, then depending on how much I have gotten done or how much needs doing, I’ll continue the writing or music or video OR I may decide to take a little nap. What happens next is variable. I have a lot of friends who may want my help with something or are able to help me with something I need. I may have a visitor. Some days are busy, some not. Most are busier than I really prefer. I may go for a walk or I may not. The sun goes down around 6 pm all year round. After dark I usually venture out to get something to eat, maybe around 7. After that I may continue on some of my projects or listen to internet radio (Mike Malloy being a favorite) or I may play some spider solitaire while listening to music. At 10:30, David Letterman comes on and I usually watch at least until his first guest comes out. If it’s some actor or actress, I usually tune out then and start to read. I read until I get sleepy, usually around 1 am, then sleep till next morning (with a break scheduled out of consideration of my 61 year old prostate gland).

If I want a break from all that, I can always head down to ‘the gulch’ and have a beer with the other old geezers, or go to the bookstore, or whatever. I haven’t been doing much drinking lately and especially don’t like to drink before sundown. Other gringos here make drinking their main recreation. If you want to talk to one, it’s best to catch them early, as many will be close to incoherent at some point in their drinking day.

If I want to get out of San Jose, there are a number of day trips I can take. If I get really ambitious I can pack a few things and go spend the night somewhere like the tropical beach that seems to come to most minds when picturing Costa Rica. Maybe I can find a guy playing Jimmy Buffet songs! (wonder if these guys know any Zeppelin?)

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  1. Jim & Carol says:

    I know some Jimmy Buffett songs …

  2. No. Cal. Refugee says:

    Somehow, Jim, I KNEW you would.

  3. Seems to me there is room for an hour of time for the hammock. Enjoy your blog no. cal.

  4. Fantastic article and I know exactly how you feel about getting asked all the time from peeps back home…”what is it you do all day in Costa Rica?”

    …loved the article and hey while your at it…check out my blog on life in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica for a Canadian expat.

    Pura vida!

  5. Jackie Rae says:

    Good article. I wondered what you did all day. Glad to hear you’re getting up early. I’m doing that too and I really like having the morning to do things. How can I check out your blog? JR

  6. I like to walk up to the Sportsman in the morning, meet with the guys – exchange some stories then head out to my favorite MP – after a relaxing seccion I like to grab some Pizza at one of the local pizza places in the gulch, then take a short nap, now it’s time for another walk to the Sportsman for happy hour, then I take that stroll through Morazan Park on my way to the Del Rey, there I meet with friends tell some more stories until it’s time to go to the Key Largo, a few beers a little dancing and it’s time for bed – sounds like my perfect day.

  7. Exmiamiboy says:

    Great article….my days are kinds like Cubadaves. Except taking and picking up the kids in between. Oh some gambling sessions thrown in there..