Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Global Warming - In Costa Rica?

Today on the news, reporters were talking about Global Warming and how it is going to affect Costa Rica in the coming years. What amazed me what the way they gave the news, come on, Global Warming is not going to affect Costa Rica in 2008, it has been affecting our country since several years now. All the rain, floods, tornadoes and drys we had this year are product of Global Warming, let's NO be so naive. Nature set records this year here in Costa Rica and around the world as well.

Another thing funny about this news is that the reporters talked about Global Warming like if it is something that is caused somewhere else, like if Costa Ricans has nothing to do with it and the worst part of all is that they don't alert people like if this was an emergency, because it is, I mean if we don't do something these climate problems are going to get really bad and we are going to get to the point where we cannot do anything about it. We have been polluting this world since a long time ago and now we are seeing the consequences.

The time is now, we have to stop polluting our world, stop throwing garbage everywhere, we have to recycle, categorize garbage, care more about how we maintain our cars and the kind of cars we buy, also we can do more car pooling. We have to be more conscientious about our nature.

In the Nacion newspaper you can find information about this news as well (go to http://www.nacion.com/ln_ee/2007/noviembre/27/aldea1330860.html). Here they say that 65% of our gas emissions come from transportation (cars, buses, etc.) and it is true because you can see here the oldest buses and cars in history throwing this really black smoke to our air, when you see that you just wonder "what is our government doing about this?", then you remember, "yeah! Our government has this wonderful private company doing our car revisions, RTV", but then you also remember that this system is so corrupt that it doesn't work, because if it works then you would not see those old buses and cars going around our country pollution our air.

Let's think about it, think about what you can do to help, how you can help to save our world, preserve our planet, stop this contamination, stop global warming!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okinawa Restaurant - An Example of Good Customer Service

My boyfriend and I wanted to go to dinner to the Japanese restaurant Okinawa, so last Monday we called to make a reservation for Tuesday night in the grill area.

On Tuesday, I got a call from the restaurant manager telling me that on Tuesdays the grill area is closed due to maintenance of the grill. The manager was very polite and nice, he apologized for the mistake and offered us a discount in the meal and the chance to change the reservation, but we decided to keep the reservation for Tuesday and eat in one of the other areas, specially because you can still order foods made on the grill, the only thing is that they cook them inside so you miss the show :)

When we arrived to the restaurant, the manager was very nice, he gave us another table, a very nice cozy table. We ordered and later the manager approached us with a bottle of wine, Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 30% discount on the meal. We were so pleased with the good service they gave us and very happy to see that there are restaurants in this country that actually care about their customers' satisfaction.

Okinawa became one of our favorites restaurants, they have excellent food and a great service. If you like Japanese food, we recommend it!

Okinawa is located in Curridabat San Jose, 100 meters south and 20 meters west from McDonald's (sorry for the so Costa Rican address). Its website is http://www.restauranteokinawa.com/

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Driving in Costa Rica

Have you ever driven here in Costa Rica? Well, if you have you know how terrible it is.

Driving in Costa Rica is like a race, everyone wants to be first no matter the cost. There are no signs to follow and no one cares for the friend in the other car.

Some of the very peculiar habits Costa Rican drivers have, are:
  • People love hunking the horn. If you are in a semaphore, as soon as the light turns green you will hear someone hunking the horn. Of course, they don't want to lose a millisecond of their precious time!

  • Also, if there is traffic they start hunking the horn, like if the person in the car in front is stuck there on purpose, just for pleasure.

  • No one, no one really knows how to use the circle ("rotonda"), everyone enters in the wrong lane and then try to change to the right lane in the middle of the circle ("rotonda"), causing, sometimes an accident, and if they don't at least, they scare someone.

  • People think that the yellow line aside the street is just for decoration or an invitation to "Park here for free!". You can find the smallest streets here in Costa Rica with parked cars in both sides of the street, then you wonder, "well, how can I go through?"

  • Pedestrians? Oh pedestrian don't matter here, they have the least priority. No matter if the green light for pedestrian is on, you have to be careful or you would be run over by some idiot who doesn't know that the red light means "stop"!

  • Also, if you want to be a taxi or a bus driver, you have to have the worst habits, you have to be worse than everybody else, you have to forget about any sign or driving rule your country has, even though you have passengers on your vehicle! For example, if you are a bus driver and you stopped at a bus stop than you want to be in the left lane, don't turn on your turning light, just turn, no matter if others cars are coming, they would stop because no one wants to die crashed by a bus.

  • If you see a small space ahead of you, run and take it, so you can advance faster. You might find a car coming while you are trying to advance, but who cares, the others cars will have to give you space so there is no accident.

In addition to this, you have very bad streets full of holes, no signs to guide you, no directions, no traffic police, so basically, you are on your own!

My advice is pray before you leave your house, try to be patient, be nice and do your best driving...ah and be careful!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Here in Costa Rica we have this so called "I don't care culture" where no one wants to be held responsible for anything that happens in the country. I can talk about some examples here!

When we have our president selection, a lot of people don't go to vote, but then when the new president makes mistakes they say it is a bad president even though they didn't go to vote when they have the chance to select someone else, also they blame the ones who voted for the elected president for voting for him.

We have a referendum last October, 2007 to people decide weather or not the CAFTA would be approved or not. Only 60% of the people voted. 40% of the people in Costa Rica let others to make their decisions for them, later they complain.

Our country, like many others in the world, is very contaminated. The rivers are full of garbage and toxic waste, we are losing our forests, which is one our greatest treasures here. But a lot of people don't care, they just continue throwing their garbage in the rivers and on the streets. People here don't recycle either, I know the government doesn't have specific policies to deal with recycled things, but there are some private companies that do, so taking our recycled things to them doesn't cost a thing and it helps a lot.

There have been a lot of talking about the increasing in poverty. However, we can see everyday a lot of young students dropping school. They don't study, then they don't get a good job, then they don't have a good salary, then they complain and in some cases, they even steal. I know, there are cases where the people didn't have the opportunity to study, but most of the people do, cause education is free here in Costa Rica, they just need to really want to do it and then make an effort.

Another thing I've noticed is that everyone hates rich people, but they want to be like them without hard working, they want everything for free and what I learned in this world is that if you don't study hard and don't work hard, you won't be able to have a good life with the things you need and want.

We need to start taking responsibility of our lives and the choices we make. We need to study and work hard, that is the only way we can make this country progress! We are smart people, we can do it, we just need to start!