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In This Issue:

1. Broken News: 1. The Cédula is No Longer Sexy; 2. Plan to Fix Manuel Antonio National Park; 3. Venezuela Status; 4. Another Year for Chepito; 5. New Tax Law - Salient Points

2. Rumble and Weather Talk: 1. The Weather Word is Seco (Dry); 2. Volcan Poas Remains Active

3. Feature: Profiles in Quepos Series: Dr. Moisés Fallas Warhmann (Small Town Boy Makes Good and Does Good)

4. ¿Que Es Eso? Department: That Patient Looks a Little Wooden, What's He Breathing?

5. Feature: Snack Tales (Adventures in Medical Care and Hospital Food at Your Feet)

6. Health Stuff: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

7. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group.

8. What's-in-a-Word: 1. Answer to Que Es Eso; 2. Etymology of Hospital

9. ROMEO Corner: Azulëo, Hotel Teva, Manuel Antonio

Wisdom of the Ages


The Golden Gringo and the entire staff at GGC Publications wish you and yours every blessing and good wish for the Easter and Passover Holidays.

 

 

¡Happy Easter and Passover Amigos!

 


Broken News
(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

Cédula No Longer Sexy

 

GG's Sexy Cedula (Red Line Leads to "Sexo"
The New Cédula - No Sexo Here Baby

It seems that you can't pick up a newspaper or receive an electronic one these days without there being some article or story regarding sexual shenanigans by government figures or known personalities. Running along side this is the crusade for civil rights pursued by the LGBTQ community which includes taking the emphasis off gender. It seems the latter group won a concession along the lines of gender in Costa Rica recently.

 

Most of you know that the primary official residency document for an expat in Costa Rica is a plastic card called a cédula (said-doo-la). If you didn't know, now you do. Up until now the card always indicated "M" or "F" under Sexo (i.e., gender). By the way that field doesn't accept "Y" (YES) as an option.

 

But now the new cédulas are leaving this space blank although I understand that upon application you still have to indicate the traditional answer in order to get your application processed.

 

GG is hoping and planning to get a new cédula late this year as a result of applying for dual citizenship here. I guess that will be the time I get neutered.

 

Plan to Fix Manuel Antonio National Park

 

For some years now Manuel Antonio National Park has enjoyed the title of being the most visited of all the parks in Costa Rica. The last published figure for annual attendance was close to 500,000 in 2017.

 

This kind of popularity has taken its toll on the park, particularly in terms of visitor services such as slow entrance processing as well as overtaxing sanitary services and waste water treatment. A new plan by the government seeks to improve the situation by 1) limiting ingress to 1,700 daily during peak periods, 2) adding more sanitary facilities, 3) constructing a new wastewater treatment plant and 4) reducing lines at the entrance by adding a new ticket service that allows buying tickets online.

 

Good plan, let's see it implemented amigos.

 

Venezuela Status

 

Most observers see the tension that is building in the country leading to more and more chaos but they can't predict any resolution as long as the current president (the one supposedly elected last year - Nicolás Maduro) has control of the military. Here's a brief history of Venezuela in recent years:

 

Over the last few years more than three million Venezuelans (about 10% of the total population) have migrated from the country to countries bordering Venezuela and also to the United States and Spain as shown on the graph to the left.

 

Columbia has taken in the most at over 1,000,000. It was a frequent topic of discussion among the locals in Cartagena when I visited there last October. Columbia has been generous in its welcoming of the immigrants.

 

Let's pray the Venezuelan problem will come to a resolution soon and hopefully it will not be in the form of a blood bath.

 

Another Year for Chepito

 

Back in April 2013 the Chronicles wrote an article about a Costa Rican gentleman and phenomenon known as Chepito, a name in Spanish having the connotation of "God will multiply". This is an apt name for this gent who recently celebrated his 119th birthday; his Costa Rican birth certificate dates him at March 10, 1900.

 

Chepito at His 119th

Chepito has been living in a nursing home in San José (Santa Ana) for twenty five years during which time he has required hospitalization only once. During his stay at the home Chepito took to spending his birthday dancing! (see photo right of Chepito dancing at his 119th birthday).

 

Unfortunately, due to a long period in his life where he was indigent and couldn't supply enough records about that period to satisfy Guinness, Chepito is still not recognized as the oldest living person in the world (that might change if he outlives Guinness). That honor goes to a Japanese lady named Kane Tanaka who at this writing is 116 years, 69 days.

 

Happy Birthday Chepito! (née José Uriel de Los Ángeles Delgado Corrales). Salud amigo!

 

New Tax Law - Salient Points

 

Politicians love to obscure the facts when those facts are not flattering to them. Costa Rica politicians are no exception to the rule; take the new tax laws for example.

 

Costa Rican Deficit as % of GDP

The budget for Costa Rica has been operating for the last 30 years at a deficit, with the exception of a couple of years around 2006-7. The obscuration in explaining the size of the deficit comes when the figure is always expressed as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product which is the aggregate of demand for all goods and services, also known in Latin America as PIB). Latest projections place Costa Rica's likely deficit at over 7% of GDP for 2019, almost another record.

 

Seven percent doesn't seem that big a deal, does it?

 

If you go to the trouble of looking up both the GDP and the federal budget and converting that to an operating deficit, you will find that the budget deficit this year is over 50% of expenditures (might be as much as 58%). So over fifty percent of what the government is spending must be financed by new debt! Try that on your household budget. This despite the Costa Rican Constitution in Article XIII, Chapter 1, Article 176 which states: "The ordinary budget of the Republic encompasses all probable revenues and all authorized expenditures of the public administration during the fiscal year. In no case may the amount of budgetary expenditures exceed that of probable revenues." So, they have had a balanced budget amendment all along. How did you get around that amigos?

 

The new tax law (#9635, called the Law to Strengthen Public Finances or "plan fiscal") is an attempt to both realize a higher percentage of compliance in paying taxes and to broaden the items, particularly services, over which that tax is applied. It also requires all S.A.'s (Sociedad Anonima, the Latin term equivalent to a corporation) to register and file a tax return. The sales tax is replaced with a V.A.T. system, which is easier for tax authorities to find tax truants by following products and services through the maize. Of course being able to "follow" the trail will likely require a new explosion in bureaucratic clerks to do the searching and following.

 

In addition, the "canasta basica" or basic basket of some 30 grocery items heretofore untaxed has been reduced by 14 items which will now be taxed at the 13% VAT rate. The items added to taxable include: "strawberries, lard, tuna in water, tuna in olive oil, crustaceans, light custard (natilla), celery, brown sugar, broccoli, chickpeas, granadilla, whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, and zucchini". I guess the thinking goes that poor people don't eat these and if you eat celery you must be well off.

 

Astute observers also point out that the new registration process takes away the "Anonima" part of S.A. (Sociedad Anonima) because of all the disclosures required. Maybe we could rename them S.T. (Sociedad Transparente).

 

Abel Pacheco

Another way to approach this problem might be to simply read the chart above more carefully. Notice that between 2002 and 2006 the deficit was drastically reduced from more than 4% of GDP to basically a balanced budget.

 

The president at the time was Señor Abel Pacheco de la Espriella. This gent, representing the PUSC (Social Christian Unity Party), ran on a platform of "free market reforms and to institute an austerity". Looks like he made progress and might be an example to emulate. 

 

Perhaps it's time to learn the lessons of the past amigos.

 

¡Pura Vida!

Rumble and Weather Talk

 

The Weather Word is Seco (Dry)

 

Guanacaste National Park in April

We're into the hottest and driest two months of the year (March-April). The rainy season normally ends around mid-December and typically doesn't return until early May.

 

This year is no exception; we've had only a few very light showers in the middle of a few nights since the season began on schedule. In our northern provinces like Guanacaste the landscape turns brown at this time and stays that way until the return of the rains. Then, as a friend in southern Nicaragua who experiences the same weather once said, "When the rains come it's like someone took a huge paint brush and painted the hills green again".

 

Terraba-Sierpe Wetlands (X Marks the Spot)
Aerial View of the Terraba-Sierpe Wetlands

Costa Rica is routinely beset with a variety of wind patterns which one would expect in a country whose narrowest point coast to coast is only about 75 miles and at its widest point about 170 miles. Winds sweep in from both the Pacific and the Caribbean and often are amplified by the Cordillera Central (central mountain range). These winds can and do cause prairie-like fires in the northern areas, sometimes from natural causes like lightning and sometimes from human causes.

 

This year we've also had a serious fire in some of our most beautiful wet areas, for example, in an area about 1-1/2 hours by car south of Quepos known as the Terraba-Sierpe Wetlands. On Saturday, March 9, supported by strong winds and accumulated dried up vegetation, over 250 hectares (625 acres) burned before the fire burned itself out.

 

This fire was attributed to a farmer on the border of the wetlands park burning his farm waste that got out of control. It represented the 50th wildfire reported this season to SINAC (the National System of Conservation Areas) who are responsible for managing and administrating the nation's national parks, conservation areas, and other protected natural areas.

 

Poas Stays Active

 

On the rumble front, Volcan Poas stubbornly refuses to quit issuing gases, steam, smoke and ashes. On Monday, the volcano, located north of the main airport in Alejuela Province, had several eruptions. So far there have been reports that ash fallout has occurred only within the national park.

 

Let's keep it that way big Po.

 

¡Solo Bueno!


Check Out Recent Earthquakes Around the World Posted by the U.S. Geodetic Survey: Recent Quakes

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Profiles in Quepos Series


Dr. Moisés Fallas Wahrmann, FACP

(Small Town Boy Makes Good and Does Good)

 

Ever since GG achieved official resident status in Costa Rica (I received my first cédula June 18, 2012) I have been qualified to be part of the National Health System which is part of the Social Security Administration here. This unit is more affectionately called the "Caja" (cah-hah). Up until somewhere in 2016 I was well taken care of, both for basic problems and even a bout of congestive heart failure, by a gent named Dr. Mojarro both privately and later as my Caja doctor. Doctor Mojarro retired from the Caja in 2016.

 

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Dr. Moisés Fallas Wahrmann

Enter Dr. Fallas (pronounced in Spanish as fi-ahs) into my life, a younger dude who took up the Caja reins from Dr. Mojarro and has been my Caja doctor for the last two years or so.

 

Lucky him (and luckier for me); he got to see me through two serious infections in as many years. First (February 2018) there was that nasty infection from a rock-punctured leg at a time I thought I was mad-mountain bob. That landed me for a week in Quepos hospital being pumped full of antibiotics that killed the infection but required two more months to get my digestive system back in order.

 

The second infection (February 2019 - Februaries have not been good to me lately) was pneumonia which just happened to have been accompanied by a serious case of sciatica (more on this in the second feature article below). It took five days in the hospital trying to kill that bug which, a few weeks later, is now almost gone. At least it's gone enough so that I can focus on getting over the sciatica attack and for that I'm now visiting a physiotherapist recommended by Dr. Fallas.

 

So I've come to know Señor Dr. Fallas pretty well in the last couple of years and I thought Chronicles readers might like to meet him via this medium.

 

In His Metropolitano Office

Like many doctors here, Dr. Fallas runs two offices, one for the Caja based at Quepos hospital and one for private practice. As well as his Caja duties, he is associated with Hospital Metropolitano and has his private practice office at the Metropolitano facility at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos where I visited him recently for this interview.

 

Not being familiar with the designation FACP I asked him: "What does the FACP stand for at the end of your title?" "Fellow of the American College of Physicians" says he. "Why do you feel that's important?". "A Fellow of the American College of Physicians is a very important recognition because the ACP is the largest association in the world in Internal Medicine and recognition as a Fellow is only made to people who meet several academic criteria practicing in the specialty; it is a certificate of quality and a scientific upgrade for patient care". I didn't know that; congratulations amigo.

 

"Where did your second family name come from; Wahrmann is German isn't it?" He stiffened up and chuckled: "I look German, don't I?" Then he told me how his grandfather Wahrmann came to Costa Rica from Jamaica where there was a strong German presence in the English colony, a presence that developed in the 1830's as a result of immigration from Europe during a labor shortage on the island. After migrating from Jamaica to Ticoland, grandpop Wahrmann married a Tica, had four children including the doc's mom. The lineage continued when Moisés was born November 15, 1978 in Quepos (that makes him 40 years old at this writing).

 

One of the interesting tidbits that Dr. Fallas offered was that he was born at home in Quepos in a house that was part of several buildings that included a movie theater and a restaurant (Miramar). That complex has since been razed and the site is now the barren corner across from the Malecón that houses the Quepos Feria or open fresh market on the weekends. Being born there, one can't get much more Quepos than that.

 

U.I.A. Campus San José

Señor Fallas graduated from high school in 1995 (yuk, yuk GG was already 52), having attended part of his high school in San Ramón and more in Quepos. Here is his education path since high school:

Basically, the good doctor can't get the Quepos out of himself.

 

Family Fallas - Wife Andrea
Kids Lucia and Sebastian (Nice Tat Moisés)
Sunset on M.A. Beach
Cap'n Fallas - Up, Up and Away

You would think a busy young doctor would have his hands full just keeping up with his two practices but Dr. Fallas is a very active person.

 

After med school he eventually married his wife Andrea who happens to be a nutritionist and who also works with Hospital Metropolitano. They currently have two children, Sebastian(6) and Lucia (1-1/2). With the family expanding, the Fallases decided to build a new home on the outskirts of Quepos (still in the canton or county of Quepos) which they are enjoying very much these days.

 

So Doc, "Do you have a hobby?" He laughed and smiled and said: "I don't know why I have so many hobbies!"

 

Remind Me Not to Argue
About the Bill

GG learned he's active in cross-fit physical training (he built a gym addition on his new home for he and his wife), surfing (Dominical and Manuel Antonio), karate (3rd degree black belt), scuba diving and guitar.

 

In addition he has been taking flying lessons with a goal of getting a single engine license (when I heard that I made him promise me he would take me up for a ride when he gets his license).

 

Whew! Talk about busy.

 

On a personal level I have nothing but praise for this gentleman. I was impressed at the outset of our relationship because he was cautious and careful.

 

At that time I had been on a four month cycle for doctor visits but he noticed I was on Warfarina (Coumadin). He put me on a monthly schedule with regular testing (INR) to make sure I was achieving the narrow range of blood levels needed to make this chemical effective but not harmful (don't forget this stuff is basically rat poison in milligram quantities). After he satisfied himself that the proper level was being maintained, I went back to a 3-4 times per year visit schedule (at least until the pneumonia hit). A neighbor and friend of mine who is my age and also has him for her doctor put it succinctly: "He's just very smart!".

 

Nuff said.

 

After seeing his dedication to healthy living I understood the emphasis he places on Medicine Interna Deportiva (Sport). It's not just about medicine, although that is very important. This is a man who came from and returned to the quiet little town of Quepos with a dedication to his profession and a belief in helping people stay healthy and enjoy life; and he practices what he preaches in his own life.

 

What better performance could be given than personal example?

 

¡Solo Bueno!


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¿Que es Eso? Department (¿What is That?)

 

 

Did I Look That Sickly in the Hospital?

 

That Dude Looks a Little Wooden to me.

 

What's the Mask All About?

 

Answer in What's-in-a-Word section below.

 

 

 

¡Pura Vida!


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Snack Tales
(Adventures in Medical Care and Hospital Food at Your Feet)

 

GG started this latest health drama in late February when I developed a lung situation that I thought was bronchitis. It occurred about the same time that an old friend, Señor Sciatica, re-emerged in my left leg to make me all but immobile. For you young, perfect bodies out there, the simplest definition of sciatica is "any  painful  disorder  extending  from  the  hip  down  the  back of the  thigh  and  surrounding  area". In my case it resulted from distended discs pressing against the sciatic nerve which the Golden One personally achieved by falling on icy sidewalks twice in Pennsylvania in the 1970's.

 

Which problem to tackle first, the lungs or the leg?

I held the sciatica problem off with a couple of visits to a chiropractor which helped a bit but didn't solve the problem, nor the lack of mobility.

 

Of course It was quite embarrassing to recall that I had been given some daily exercises a few years before at the Quepos Hospital Physical Rehab Department to strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve. Later, having felt good for a while, I stopped doing them because I didn't think I needed them anymore (good thinking is not one of my fortes). You betcha I'm doing them daily now.

 

The lung problem won the struggle to be the dominant ailment on it's own because it worsened faster. A few days later I knew the lung problem was still getting worse after feeling my chest deepen with congestion. I finally decided to go to the ER where I got a nebulization treatment which seemed to clear the lungs a bit.

You remember nebulization, don't you? That's where you get to breath oxygen mixed with a medicine vapor containing assorted chemicals, which by trans-toxic substitution (OK, I made that term up), are supposed to force out the bad chemicals and other residual products that you have carefully absorbed over 40 years of diligent cigarette and cigar smoking.

The ER people did just as I suspected, they nebulized me, but the ER doc said he'd also like to see a rayos-x of the offended area. He pronounced the x-ray free of pneumonia and I went on my way.

A few days later the congestion had worsened once again so I returned to the ER. A different doc came to a different conclusion this time - his x-ray didn't show pneumonia but something different and potentially hazardous. When I diplomatically suggested (which wasn't easy) that the other Dr. that took the original x-ray a week earlier found no pneumonia, this new doc simply smiled and pushed me towards the x-ray department.

 

Afterwards the ER doc dumped me back into the main ER room for another nebulization (that five syllable word always sounds better in Spanish, neh-boo-lih-sah-ci-o-nes having been expanded by 40% to the legally required seven versus five syllables in the process). The doc suggested I stay a few days with them in the hospital. Having run out of arguments, I obliged.

So, late on Wednesday afternoon February 27, I got my room, a small ward with space for five beds but having only three at that time as well as my being the only occupant (schweeeet). I had arrived too late for dinner and at about 9 o'clock a snack was served. It was then I remembered my six day visit to subject hospital about the same time last year, namely February 2018, for treatment to cure an infected leg that I punctured falling off a mountain trail. And then I remembered the food.

 

The next morning I was visited by Dr. Fallas, the subject of the Quepos Profile above, while he was making his early rounds and who is also my assigned personal physician in the Caja (national health system).

 

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The Medical World at My Feet (Doc Fallas Left, Section Head, Dr. Fabian Umaña Right)
gty
Expanded A-Team

While watching the staff, including Dr. Fallas, I noticed a nostalgic difference in the modern mode of operation. In the old days your doctor would come in with his stethoscope slung around his neck. The modern doctor still has that trusty instrument available but also wheels in a small cart on which is perched his laptop. He's tied directly into the hospital's wifi computer system and also into the country-wide Caja system.

 

From his standing perch he can schedule tests in the hospital as well as virtually anywhere in the country like the echo-cardiogram I had a couple of days later in Puntarenas. He can order up medications directly from the pharmacy, review testing results like x-rays and cardiograms and minimize paper flow while being on top of things.

 

Doc Fallas was accompanied by Dr. Fabian Umaña, the Medico Veranos section head doctor (the section where I was ensconced) as shown in the photo above right. I referred to the two of them as my "A-Team". A few times, as needed, the dynamic duo was augmented by additional doctors and specialists and med students all coming with their own puters (the expanded A-Team).

 

Now let's talk about the food.

Quepos Hospital is on a three hour feeding and snack cycle: 6am - breakfast, 9 am - snack, 12 pm - lunch, 3 pm - snack, 6 pm - dinner, 9 pm - snack. Now that sounds like a lot of food until you see and taste it. Each serving is less than an adult portion especially for those like myself who are much larger than an adult portion.

My first try at La Cuisine de Château QH was the snack at 9 pm on Wednesday - a small red apple (at least the flavor couldn't be altered) and a half cup of coffee. My major thought was that you have to go a long and heretical way to dilute Costa Rican coffee to that inconsistency. I suppose that I could take solace in that their would be no overeating that night.

Breakfast on Thursday was a small bowl containing 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of Gallo Pinto (that's a "taste" amount at most Quepos restaurants). They held back the Lizano sauce. Along side the pinto was about a three ounce dollop of natilla (plain yogurt). They held held back the seconds on that too.

It's Lunch, It Really is!

When lunch showed up, the plain and simple theme continued. A small platter with several compartments contained 1) a small bowl with what I call OCSC* (Olla de Carne sin Carne),  2) a small chicken leg without skin,  3) several pieces of the same squash used in the OCSC,  4) a piece of cooked ripe plantain about two inches long and 5) a section containing about two ounces of plain white, boiled and unseasoned rice as well as an equal amount of boiled black beans.

*Olla de Carne (literally, "pot of meat"), our readers might want to know, was a staple among the farming class here for many decades past and is now a traditional dish in many households and can also be found in many restaurants. Olla de Carne might be thought of as Costa Rica's version of Pot au Feu. OCSC or Olla de Carne sin Carne is simply Olla de Carne without the meat.

 

CAS

Along with the meal came a medium sized water glass two-thirds filled with a juice. I would like to report what juice it was as I know and love most of the fresh fruit juices here, but I couldn't place this one. I later thought that it was possibly a highly diluted version, like the coffee, of CAS.

 

The afternoon snack on Thursday was another apple.

 

Dinner Thursday: It looked suspiciously close to a rework of the lunch except it had a second and different mysterious fruit drink.

 

Snack Thursday night: A small packet of saltines plus more lunch drink.

 

Breakfast Friday: Small bowl of gallo pinto+, but the natilla had been replaced with a small piece of meat, about two bites-full.

 

Lunch Friday: Similar to Thursday but the chicken had been replaced by a small amount of shredded beef; dessert was 1/3 of a large banana that seemed like it had been fried in butter (naw, must have been margarine).

 

Dinner Friday: Similar rework of lunch, like Thursday.

 

Snack Friday night: Two pieces of wheat bread (common supermarket spongy variety) glued together by a very thin layer of refried black beans.

 

Breakfast Saturday: Back to gp+ natilla.

 

OK, that's enough, I think you get the routine. While I didn't expect haute cuisine or one of those creative specialties one can find at half a dozen good restaurants in the area (like Puerto Escondido, Emilio's or "Z"), or a large casado with every meal, I simply had forgotten how plain hospital food can be. The purpose, of course, is to keep you alive while you're getting better and basically to nourish you while avoiding any spice or additive that might interact with various medicines. The objective is not to tweak your culinary pleasure synapses but to just keep you alive.

 

So I can report, when it comes to food, that Quepos Hospital is following in a long line of ancient hospital tradition. It may never get a Michelin star (or a bent fork for that matter) for ambiance and cuisine but the good news is that treatment by the medical staff was careful, competent and helpful.

 

Gracias amigos.

 

¡Solo Bueno!

 

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Health Stuff

Note: The information given in this section is offered as news information only and does not indicate GGC confirmation or denial of the accuracy of the treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results nor validity of the conclusions proffered. (How's that for a disclaimer amigos?)

 

 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

 

A couple of editions ago I promised to complete the reading of a book called Grain Brain (by Dr. David Perlmutter) which purports a connection between carbohydrates and mind-aging problems like Alzheimer's, Dementia and even Parkinson's Disease. That review got interrupted this past month as GG spent a lot of time recovering from pneumonia and sciatica as described above. I promise to do better this coming month and delve into what Perlmutter suggests as dietary supplements and changes in diet.

 

¡Pura Vida!

 

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Travel Quote of the Month



¡Solo Bueno!


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GGC Bookshelf

drfGGC Publications Group is the parent organization that publishes the Golden Gringo Chronicles as well as a number of books and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and Costa Rica. The GGC Bookshelf also includes works from a number of other authors that belong to the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group in which GGC has been a founding member.

 

Here are the books currently on our bookshelf:

 

jio uio
The Chronicles as a Narrative

Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español Small Business Guide
Read More Read More Leer más aquí Read More
Overcoming Drinking Making Time Count Spiritual Love Connection Murder or Suicide?
Read More Read More Read More Read More
There's Room for
More on the QMA Writers Group Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica World War II True Story  
Read More Read More Read More  

 

All of the above books are available on Amazon.com and the "Read More" links above will lead you to them. You can find more detail on all of them on our GGC Publications Page.

 

GGC Publications also offers some accessories and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and with Costa Rican themes, to wit

 

T-Shirts:

 

der

 

a. Golden Gringo Chronicles with Logo,

b. Official Golden Gringo with Monkey on Banana Hammock,

c. ¡Quepo en Quepos! ("I Fit In Quepos!") with Photo of Quepos,

d. Wanna Monkey Around? - Come on Down! with Photo of White Face Monkey,

e. It's OK to be Slothful with photo of Three-Toed Sloth.

 

The t-shirts are available in several colors, styles and sizes. See them all HERE.

 

Coffee Mugs:

 

a. Golden Gringo, b. Wanna Monkey Around?, c. It's OK to be Slothfulgty

See them all HERE:

What's life without a great cup of Costa Rican coffee? And it tastes even better in a Golden Gringo Chronicles mug!

 

¡Solo Bueno!

 




What's-in-a-Word
"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn"
Benjamin Franklin

Answer to Que Es Eso?

 

The dude in the picture in the Que Es Eso section above is a dummy in case you didn't figure that out (OK, hold the relational comments about GG and the dummy). The mask I got to use in Quepos hospital was closer to the one pictured at the left and was connected to the hospital oxygen system wall outlet.

 

A nebulizer changes the liquid medicine into fine droplets (in aerosol or mist form) that are inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask. The oxygen flow picks up vapor from the liquid compartment below the mask (blue). Nebulizers can be used to deliver bronchodilator (airway-opening) medications such as Albuterol, Xopenex or Pulmicort (steroid); I'm not sure which one I got.

 

I received this treatment 3-4 times per day and it was often followed within minutes by the appropriate hacking and coughing to loosen the stuff in the chest. I used a smaller, portable version of a nebulizer (inhaler) for a couple of weeks after leaving the hospital.

 

Etymology of Hospital

 

The word dates from the mid-thirteenth century, "shelter for the needy," from French hospital, ospital or "hostel, shelter, lodging" (Modern French hôpital), from Late Latin hospitale "guest-house, inn". From the 15th century in English it gives the sense of "charitable institution to house and maintain the needy" or "institution for sick or wounded people". The same word, contracted, is hostel and hotel.

 

¡Pura Vida!

 

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ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Azulëo, Eco-Lodge Teva, Manuel Antonio

 

Location: Main road heading to to Manuel Antonio beach, 50 meters beyond Verona Beach Club.

Hours: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Monday through Sunday

Parking: Plenty at the hotel but situated on a steep incline (set your parking brake).

Contact: Facebook: Tevacostarica

 

Reviewing ROMEOS: Anita M., Bob N., Del B., Glen N., Jerry C., Julia S.

 

To Review Our Rating System Go Here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System

 

The hotel's explanation of the restaurant name Azulëo: "Our name was inspired by the Spanish word azulejo, which is a type of ceramic tile common in Costa Rica that has its origins in the Moroccan design aesthetic that inspired architectural masterpieces such as the Alhambra in Granada, Spain."

 

The dining room is spartan, clean and fresh and open to the atmosphere as shown in the photo above although the view from the dining room is not inspiring; it's mostly of other hotel buildings. There were several more tables in the room than shown in the photo including our large square table with an azulejo top that could easily seat our 6 people. The chairs were stereotypical Costa Rica hardwood, attractive but not comfortable for those with sensitive backs like GG. The composite score for ambiance came in at 3.7/5.0 sloths.

 

The restaurant carries the Moroccan theme throughout the menu. There are cous-cous, baba ganoush, hummus and other mixtures that go well dipped into with pita bread. There were various "Tagines" and "Kaftas" which seemed to refer to main platters of food seasoned with Middle-Eastern and North African spices. Since we were there at noon, we were given a brunch menu but I asked for a dinner menu and secured approval from our waitress to order dinner which she in turn secured approval from the kitchen.

 

GG ordered a lamb meatball kafta which came as a small frying pan containing about a dozen small meatballs in a sauce which I found a bit too spicy (hot) for my palate. I should have asked more questions about that before ordering but the lamb balls were quite tasty. An order of french fries (extra) with a light dusting of spice was also tasty.

 

jui
Baba Ganoush

Other ROMEOs went for more brunch options, ordering falafel, baba ganoush, a chicken tagine, brunch size order of the lamb kafta and even a chicken schnitzel (yup, if was just like it sounds). There was a little mumbling about the portion size being a little small.

 

Composite score for food quality came in at 4.0/5.0 sloths.

gty.9
$$$.8
Value Index = 99

 

We were served by a rather bright and cheerful waitress who did her best to try and keep things organized and was the one who went to bat for us in the kitchen to make sure we could order from the dinner menu (extra points from me for that). The composite score for service came in at 4.0 giving an overall rating for ambiance, food quality and service of 3.9.

 

As usual GG ordered the more expensive stuff and the bill for the lamb kafta, side order of fries and a lemon/ginger-ale machilado came in at about 17,000 colones or about $28, not low for the amount of food involved. The composite rating for cost was calculated to be 3.95 yielding a Value Index = 3.9/3.95x100= 99 placing it in the lower third of our ratings in our value index table.

 

Restaurant Azulëo offers an interesting break in the routine for restaurant style in the area but be prepared to pay full fare. Brunch, rather than dinner, is a more economical way of approaching this restaurant.

 

¡Pura Vida!

 

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