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9 Jaw dropping ways to make things work in Costa Rica

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solutionIf you’re planning to move to Costa Rica, you better learn how to make things work.

If you were born and raised in a developed country, you are used to going to the store and just buy a replacement for whatever is broken or defective.

Ticos (someone born and raised in Costa Rica), no matter if they have money or not, might not find it available or can’t afford it.

They try to find a way to make things work, one way or the other. And if you are an ex-pat, you better learn how to make things work in Costa Rica, out of sheer survival.

The fact that the Costa Rican government taxes everything that is imported makes it not only more expensive. It is also very well possible you won’t find a replacement available. You have a real good chance that you can’t get any spare parts either because the model is not current or the importer went under.

This might happen to you with the office printer you don’t use too often, kitchen appliances, and tools. You’ll find it’s even worse with floor tiles, kitchen and bathroom faucets, accessories, and household articles.  Before you know it, everything falls apart and you won’t be able to find a replacement spare part, so you have to make things work. Unless you buy new again.

You’d be surprised how good Ticos are at inventing ways to make things work and even in finding weird solutions to a problem or a shortage. The locals call it a MacGyver, I call it survival and a different lifestyle.

Check out 9 different jaw-dropping ways that show how Ticos make things work that will make your jaw drop:

9 Ways to make things work

1.The Restroom

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
No time to ask for the restroom, what now?

2. Soap Dispenser

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
The hand soap supplier didn’t show this week

3. Bus Stop

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
How can we make the bus stop more comfortable? (photo courtesy: Solo en Costa Rica)

4. Coffee Maker

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
The coffee maker went bust, what now? (photo courtesy of Solo en Costa Rica)

5. Headlights

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
I can’t find a car dealership that sells the headlight of my car, what now? (photo courtesy of Varas Extrañas en Tiquicia)

6. Bridge

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
The bridge is down and the river is too deep, can you help?

7. Carport

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
My car doesn’t fit in the carport and nobody uses the sidewalk anyway.

8. Pricesmart

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
In Costa Rica, we have a PriceSmart greeter too

9. Shelf Space

9 Jaw dropping ways to find a solution
The rents are much too high for us and look at all this available shelf space!

Bad solutions

Not every solution Ticos come up with is a smart one. I have seen cars turn around or drive in reverse on the freeway because they missed their exit.

The other day a driver parked his car on the yellow line right in front of the San Jose fire department. During an emergency,  the fire trucks couldn’t get out for 10 minutes until the driver showed up. The driver was mad that they disturbed him in his diligence; he thought his solution for a parking problem was not an issue.

You will find lots of Ticos who will stop in a no-parking zone, on a roundabout, or at a bus-stop to talk on their cellphone. They don’t want to get caught driving while talking on the phone, go figure…

Will you be able to adjust to this different lifestyle and accept that you’ll have to make things work the Tico way? We’d love to have you become part of “the happiest people on the planet” and sell or rent you a property in the Central Valley, contact us now.


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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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