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¿Que Es Eso?

Where Art Thou?

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In This Issue:

  1. Broken News: Nica Nibblin-Danny's Got the Munchies Again, Canada Day, Señora Costa Rica, Panama Canal Expanded, San Pedro Flasher
  2. Rumble Talk: Large Quake Hits Northern Area while Volcan Poaz and Volcan Turrialba Continue Spewing Ash & Steam; Whoops, I Didn't Feel That
  3. ¿Que Es Eso? Department: (Trit or Treat, Last Month's Que es Eso is Identified)
  4. Feature: TWA, Where Art Thou? (A Little Air Travel Nostalgia)
  5. Feature: Skeeter Skuttlebutt (Dealing With Picky Friends)
  6. Health Stuff: Spot o' Tea Pardner?, Pomegranate Power
  7. What's-in-a-Word: Answer to This Month's Que Es Eso, an Answer to Last Month's Que Es Eso, Cielos, Mosquito, Granada
  8. ROMEO Corner (L'Angolo - Quepos)


Wisdom of the Ages


“I don't mind getting older; it's a privilege denied to so many!” Chris Geiger, The Cancer Survivor's Club


Publisher's Corner


A GG Selfie

If you would like to read a version of the Golden Gringo Chronicles in a narrative format, as a hard-copy novel or an e-book check it out HERE


Coming Soon from GGC Publications!





Mariposa, A Love Story of Costa Rica


Five hundred years before the Spanish found the American continent, around the end of the first millennium, Native Americans lived and prospered in Central America, including the land now known as Costa Rica. Truly a natural wonderland then and now, the natives were able to employ their farming skills and prosper from the rich soils, the forests filled with game, herbs, and spices, and the lakes and two oceans rich with fish and crustaceans.


Mariposa, or butterfly, is a story about two young Native Americans, each a favored child of a chief, but of different tribes. These two tribes, historically hostile to each other, lived a few days march apart in the mountains north and east of Costa Rica’s central valley.


The two natives meet by accident, fall in love and begin to plan a life together only to be frustrated by events beyond their control. The lovers are eventually drawn to a mountain volcano which is thought by many to be the home of the gods, particularly Sib'ö, the Great Spirit, who they believe had created the world.

The story as written incorporates the classic ending of Costa Rica's Legend of Zurqui, one that reflects the beauty, mystery and spirituality that is Costa Rica. Target publication of Mariposa is September.

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

Nica Nibbling - Danny's Got the Munchies Again


Isla Bolaños (red dot)

The Chronicles has reported several times concerning Nicaragua's "annexing" of a small island in the northeast corner of Costa Rica right on the border between the two countries. The invasion happened in October 2010 almost six years ago. Costa Rica complained to the World Court in the Hague shortly after the aggression and the item, as expected, has been on their docket ever since. The court has no power to enforce any decision they make so they simply issue reprimands and hope international pressure will sway the Nicaraguans to settle the problem amicably.


The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, has said all along that he will not pay any attention to the W.C. rulings anyway.


Isla Bolaños

Now in a recent press report we learned that Ortega is eyeing another part of Costa Rica to nibble off; a tiny island in the northwest corner (i.e., the opposite coast from Isla Calero), again very near the border. The island is called Isla Bolaños. This little hidden paradise is less than one kilometer long and is located in a small bay called Bahia Salinas. The island looks to be mostly uninhabitable (see photo left) but check out that beautiful white sand beach.


Some say that Ortega's remarks about the island really belonging to Nicaragua were made only to improve his position for re-election this November. Yet what GG understands is that he is effectively president for life anyway, so let's not be so sure he's bluffing. Danny, when you get the munchies and feel like nibbling again why don't you get a bag of plátano chips like the rest of us.


It's times like these when the volume of bragging in Costa Rican conversation circles regarding not having an army declines significantly.


Canada Day


American expats here celebrated another great July 4th this year with the traditional picnic in San José among other festivities. That affair is attended, literally, by several thousand people, including a few Ticos and other visitors.


The Canadians, who are the second largest (native) English speaking group here after the gringos (see Expats in Costa Rica), also celebrate their country in July, on July 1st (they just had to be earlier, eh?). They call that day Canada Day (clever, eh?).


The population of Canada may be not much more than 10% that of the U.S. but our friends to the north suffer no lack of enthusiasm in anything they do. Take a look at the video they put out to celebrate Canada Day this year.

Hell, I even got the French right, eh!


Señora Costa Rica


Mrs. Costa Rica - Maureen Boza
(hot pink dress center) & Court

The Chronicles has routinely reported on the selection of Miss Costa Rica, with great pleasure. Somehow, GG to date has missed the fact that there is also a Mrs. Costa Rica. The 10th Annual Señora Costa Rica pageant was held in Jacó in July in which 11 ladies participated. They are wives and mothers all.


The women hailed from cities in five different provinces of Costa Rica and competed in several different events including bathing suit (damn, missed another one) and evening dress (photo right). Proceeds from the event went to a charitable organization (Fundación Pro Unidad de Cuidado Paliativo) that helps children and young people with terminal illnesses.


Well done, muchachas!


The winner of the Señora Costa Rica pageant was Maureen Boza. Mrs. Boza is from Curridabat, a barrio of San José and is the mother of two children. Maureen's comment on winning: “I feel very happy, this contest is also about inner beauty. The whole process has been very spiritual, we are all very complete women." Buena nota, Señora.


Now, as the representative of Costa Rica, Mrs. Boza will compete in the Mrs. World pageant to be held in Seoul, South Korea in October.


성공! Success! (in Korean)


Panama Canal Expanded


While Danny Ortega was buying 50 tanks costing $80 million, coveting Costa Rica's Isla Bolaños (above) and dreaming about digging a huge ditch across Nicaragua costing $50 billion to compete with the Panama Canal, that latter and famous canal just completed a nine-year major expansion costing $5.4 billion, a considerably better bargain.


A third ship lane was added to the Panama Canal that will handle most of today's super ships like the Cosco Shipping Panama shown in the photo. That ship won the lottery (literally) and was the first to pass through the expanded canal.


The CSP is stereotypically what is meant by a super freighter these days. Here are its specifications: 300 meters × 48.25 meters wide (984 feet by 158 feet); gross shipping tonnage; 93,702 tons; DWT (deadweight) 117,366 tons. For the non-nautical minded like GG, the difference between deadweight and gross tonnage, for the CSP that's 23,644 tons, is what must be allowed for fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers, and crew. My guess is that it primarily carries Chinese made goods to the States.


Eat your heart out Danny and stop spending money like a drunken sailor.


San Pedro Flasher


Living in the heat of the tropics, a person quickly comes to the understanding that the amount of clothes one wears is determined by the minimum requirements of the law and an adequate decorum for the situation in which one finds oneself.


In Quepos typically the weather is hot, humid, and often rainy (May-December). Standard wardrobe here consists of shorts, sandals, no socks. Those that wear sandals with socks give themselves away as tourists. Either that or they're nursing a foot problem. Also part of the Quepoan ensemble are a light camiseta (t-shirt) and maybe a baseball cap or other hat to block out the tropical sun. Sunglasses are recommended. African safari hats with extended neck pieces are also a tourist give away. Many locals, particularly Ticos, walk around half nude with their shirt slapped over the shoulder or pulled half way up their torso or just simply left at home.


In San José it's different. The climate is often much cooler, particularly at night and often much breezier (GG finds SJ cold and reminiscent of Philadelphia in October). The standard male wardrobe in the capital city consists of shoes, socks, long pants, thicker t-shirt or even a sweatshirt; hat and sunglasses are optional. It's colder there and they dress appropriately. If you're wearing walking shorts, which I usually do when I'm there, it gives you away; somehow they know you're from Quepos or similar environs.


Well, most Josefinos dress that way, but evidently not all. A recent press report took note of a gent walking through the San Pedro region of the city - completely nude (see photo right which has been properly adulterated for obvious reasons). This dude was walking on the street around the popular San Pedro Mall for 45 minutes before police arrested him (er...excuse me, he was detained; Costa Rican police don't arrest people, they detain them).


Hmmmm, I wonder if the dude was from the Quepos area and just forgot where he was?


¡Pura Vida!

Rumble Talk
(Shaky Happenings On or About the Pacific Rim)


On July 2 there was a strong earthquake with an epicenter near the northern town of Bijagua, some 40 kilometers northeast, as the macaw flies, from Liberia. This town is not far from the Nicaraguan border (see map left).


The seismographs registered 5.3 and there were three additional "echo" quakes ranging from 4.0 to 4.8. A 5.3 is enough to shake things up, particularly if the depth of the epicenter is shallow, which this one was at 10 kilometers (to see the depth on selected major historical earthquakes go here). There were no reports of serious injuries in the area but later damage to some two dozen homes was reported.


The national emergency commission reported: "There also were some landslides, cracks in roadways, collapsed utility poles and damage to the water systems, said the commission." The picture right shows there was considerable shakeup of local business as well.


On the other side of the earth's pressure release system, both Volcan Poaz and Volcan Turrialba continued to erupt periodically with water and steam spouts and ash plumes during most of the month. Some of the people in the central valley are more sensitive to these releases and are complaining about respiratory problems. Face masks are still popular in some areas during these episodes. Some airline flights were cancelled and, in one case, an American Airlines flight carrying 43 members of a Costa Rican youth soccer team returning home was turned back to the U.S.


Whoops, I Didn't Feel That


The press reported that a 4.3R shaker only 8.6 klicks deep occurred 15 miles north of Savegre on Sunday night, July 24 at 6 PM. Dude, that's as close to Quepos as you can get but I didn't feel that.

There's hardly ever a break in the action living on the Pacific Rim.


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


Search the Golden Gringo Chronicles Archives for Topics That Interest You


You can use our Archives to explore over 190 feature articles of the Golden Gringo Chronicles plus find Broken News items and ROMEO restaurant reviews. Enter your topic or item to search for in the Google Search Routine below and follow the links offered from the search results. Suggestion: Enter only a simple, precise and unique as possible keyword or two in order to narrow the number of references retrieved:


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Send comments, suggestions, ideas and jocular observations to GG here: gg@goldengringo.com.

¿Que Es Eso? Department
(What is This?)

I'm Cold, I'm Sweet!


I'm definitely a Costa Rican product.


You can find me at nearly all supermarkets and convenience stores in Quepos (and Costa Rica, for that matter, but usually not to the extent shown in the picture)


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




TWA, Where Art Thou?
(A Little Air Travel Nostalgia)

The "New" TWA Terminal at JFK
Great Position for Dropoff/Pickup

FoxNews, in their Fox Extra section, has been running a piece for some time now about the "old" TWA terminal at JFK Airport in New York and how it is now being made into a hotel. Well, I guess they had to do something with the building after the airline went out of business in 2001.


This terminal hit a nostalgic nerve in my psyche (or was that a sciatica pain)like the one I got when I found out Eastern Airlines was coming back into business (see Look Who's Back). And that's because I used this terminal so much back in the 1970's.


The TWA terminal at JFK was built in the 1960's in the turboprop age before commercial jets became the standard. At it's opening, this terminal was considered cutting edge in air travel. By the early 1970's most long-haul aircraft had become jets and the terminal had been retrofitted to handle them.

The only concern at the time was the handling of "Jumbo Jets" such as the 747; airlines were worried that these big jets might require the terminal to have up to four jetways per plane to get everybody on and off. Later, the airlines learned they could easily handle the big boys with one or two jetways.


Internal Open Areas
A Walking Tunnel to Gate Area

This terminal was considered "futuristic" when it opened. The main hall with its cantilevered ceiling and the wide, open spaces it created gave one a feeling of being in a space port (beam me up Scotty). and the carpeted walking tunnels that went from the main hall to the gates, which also had bench seats that I never had to use, were so popular and futuristic that they were used in several hollywood movies of the age. The new airport at Charles DeGaulle in Paris would incorporate a similar design a few years later but with moving sidewalks in the tunnels.


The bar (these were the imbibing days for GG) was on the second floor overlooking all the activity in the main hall as well as most of the gate areas and planes. TWA pioneered the concept of an airport club, especially for frequent flyers, where ticket holders could go to relax in comfort between flights. They called their club the Ambassador Club and had them in major cities everywhere, including Pittsburgh, an airport that I passed through frequently.


There was a time when, if you belonged to the Ambassador Club, which I did, drinks were free. (Oh, the gentility of it all). Back then I thought it was kool to slip into a bar stool at the Ambassador Club and order a "Perfect Manhattan (rye not bourbon, half the sweet vermouth replaced with dry vermouth) with a twist, no cherry, please". That drink was invented in New York, you know, like the name implies and that's how the real manhattan drink was originally made. The bourbon manhattan with sweet vermouth and a cherry was a Southern thing invented by the purveyors of that particular whiskey.


Between 1971 and 1979 GG took 25 (+/- 2) round trips to Europe, all but two on business and all but one through JFK airport. The first time through JFK was via Pan Am, with Eastern handling the domestic connections going to and from Ohio where I lived. That required changing terminals at JFK via taxi or shuttle bus and I quickly learned that one of the advantages of using the TWA terminal was that domestic and international flights were in the same terminal making connections easier and faster. No other airline at JFK could offer that convenience, although Pan Am and Eastern bragged about being in some kind of alliance (even then it still required circling the JFK oval to get from one airline to the other and sometimes that took over a half hour in a taxi or shuttle).


From experience during those years, I came to characterize certain airlines this way:

  1. TWA. A "marketing" airline, i.e., their focus was on the customer. They had the best equipment (clean exteriors, more richly decorated interiors, best padded seats etc.), the service people at the desk and on-board all wore tailored uniforms that made them all look like pilots but without the stripes. They were more friendly and helpful than the average airline employee (one time, after a late flight due to weather, an agent shepherded me through customs and onto the domestic connection in 20 minutes - try that today).
  2. PAN AM. A "production" airline, i.e., they got you to where you wanted to go as long as it was overseas. Minimal effort on cabin comfort.
  3. EASTERN. Essentially operated busses in the air with no emphasis on comfort. Their DC-6 shuttles were very convenient for business travel on the eastern seaboard between major cities but they could also be an adventure as they often flew the shuttles at lower altitudes (16,000 to 24,000 ft), smack in the turbulence zone.
  4. AMERICAN/UNITED. Somewhere between Pan Am and TWA in service, their size made them convenient for connection, particularly if you were going west or deep south.
  5. U.S. AIR (Allegheny). At the time, trying to grow up to be a Pan Am and their equipment showed it (including the old Pittsburgh terminal which was like entering a third world country). Also, they had the surliest service personnel back then, particularly at Pittsburgh. What they were good at was short-haul flights like Pittsburgh to Toledo or Pittsburgh to Allentown or Pittsburgh to Poughkeepsie (you get the idea). Once they went international trying to emulate Pan Am, they started losing money.

To turn the old TWA-JFK terminal into a hotel will take a cool $265,000,000 but it will offer a similar convenience to the traveler as the old terminal, namely, convenient access to the next flight for those that must stay overnight, compared to the hotels off site. For some, it will also be a trip down nostalgia lane.


Yes, amigos, GG misses the air travel of the 70's when flying was actually fun and much more comfortable. As I mentioned above, GG recently took note of the resurrection of Eastern Airlines. Perhaps, by some quirk of fate, TWA can undergo the same rebirth? I hope so.




¡Solo Bueno!  


Skeeter Skuttlebutt
(Dealing With Picky Friends)

GG has never lived where there were no mosquitoes; Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Belgium, Florida and now Costa Rica all had them. My guess is that to be totally free of these little pesks you would have to live in an igloo (but don't forget research has shown that skeeters actually "hibernate" at temperatures below 50F and come back later). Like many insects and other wildlife, the warmer and wetter the climate, the bigger and nastier these bugs, and others, can often be.


Aedus Aegypti Mosquito

A number of diseases are carried by mosquitoes, the most commonly harmful being the Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses, borne by the same skeeter, the Aedus Aegypti (photo). Zika in particular has raised it's ugly head (pun intended) this year with over one hundred cases reported in Costa Rica through the end of June. Almost two-thirds of them have occurred in the Canton of Garrabito, which borders the Canton of Quepos on the northern side less than ten miles from the town of Quepos.


Increased spread of these viruses all over the world and the need to fight them has re-energized the discussion and research concerning two questions: 1) why do these skeeters find people attractive and certain people even more so? and 2) what's to be done about controlling them and protecting we humans?


Dude, That Was a Good One

There are more than 3,500 species of mosquito in the world and 175 in the United States. The most species by state in the U.S. are found in Texas (85), then Florida (80) and the lowest in West Virginia (26). Sorry, I wasn't able to find out how many species are in Costa Rica but considering our out-of-balance biodiversity (.03% of the world's land yet as much as 10% of all living things), it's probably a goodly number.


The fact that skeeters bite to suck out your blood has been known for a long time. Even the average Joe could figure that one out by seeing the splash of blood after smashing one. The interesting thing is that only female skeeters do the blood sucking (GG shall judiciously withhold misogynistic comments here). They can extract up to three times their own body weight in blood. "Let me kiss your neck, my dear!"


Scientists postulate that the blood is used to fertilize their eggs (I have no idea what the males are doing in the meantime, I thought that was their job). A typical female can lay up to 300 eggs at a time; they appear as pond scum on stagnant water. That's why the standard effort in anti-skeeter programs is to remove small pools of stagnant water in populated areas.


So all people are targets of these critters, right? Well, it seems there is a considerable variation in just how attractive mosquitoes find some humans.

It has been known for a long time that these bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide discharged by the human body. There are other factors as well (see video left).


GG learned about the CO2 attraction personally when I consulted for a small company in Florida some years ago that invented a clever valve which produced a constant flow downstream, whether it was a gas or liquid, no matter what pressure was applied upstream. (If you're an engineer, you know that feature defies the laws of the universe, but it worked) The valve was used as part of a mosquito control contraption that issued a steady flow of carbon dioxide to the chamber to which the skeeters were attracted and where they were then neutralized electrically.


Nice Cuticare

An adult human breaths a mixture of gases (air) containing about 0.04% carbon dioxide and exhales a mixture somewhat depleted in oxygen, enriched in nitrogen and containing 4-5% CO2, a ten-fold increase in concentration. A mosquito has an organ (maxillary palp) that can detect the carbon dioxide in our breadth as much as 160 feet away. (GG can do that with cinnamon buns)


The larger we are as a person will result in larger discharges of CO2 and more attraction for the bugs, which helps explain why, on average, children get bit less often than adults. But scientists are learning that there are other things that can make a person attractive to a mosquito.


In several different studies, pregnant women have been found to attract roughly twice as many mosquito bites as others, likely a result of the unfortunate confluence of two factors: They exhale about 21 percent more carbon dioxide and are on average about 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than others.


Some of the other factors reside on the skin and include a number of compounds exuded by the body such as certain steroids, lactic acid, and cholesterol, as well as folic acid and certain bacteria. Certain skin lotions and perfumes are probably also contributing factors.


Then there's your sweat, which often contains alcohols (octenol and ethanol) and can be a factor. It has been noted that attack by skeeters increases after one beer (by the human of course) and continues to increase with successive ones. Not sure what the higher alcohol content in blood does to the skeeter (hic, bite - happy skeeter).


One of the things that's been discovered in recent years is that the victim's blood type is also a factor. Skeeters seem to first prefer dudes and dudettes with Type O. Even more interesting is the fact that, not only can they detect the presence of your blood with built-in thermal detectors, they can also detect your blood type. Howdeydodat?



Finally; what to do to reduce the chance of being bitten? There are standard and rather effective anti-skeeter sprays out there, almost all of them containing the chemical DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).


The video above suggests the good sprays contain at least 24% DEET. My limited knowledge of chemistry led me to conclude from the chemical formula for DEET (left) that it doesn't contain any super strong oxidizers, like Cl(horine) or Fl(ourine) but spraying yourself with 24% of anything in it but water still leaves me a bit suspicious.


Others suggest using more natural ingredients like Lemon Eucalyptus spray (sounds less harmful to me and I bet smells better). Personally, aceite de coco (coconut oil) works just fine for me as I've never been strongly bothered by skeeters anyway (I don't know my blood type; X?, alien?)


So if you're Type O with high cholesterol level, pregnant, on folic acid supplements, a heavy breather and just had six beers; when you're at the beach, you might want to consider soaking in the ocean rather than lounging in the chaise lounge and presenting yourself for consumption. Just a thought.


¡Pura Vida!



Health Stuff

Note: The information given in this section is offered as news reports only and does not indicate GGC confirmation of the accuracy of the treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results proffered.


Spot o' Tea, Pardner?


This belongs in the Creative Surgery Department. There is a rare condition known as FAS, Foreign Accent Syndrome, where someone undergoing a traumatic brain event, such as a stroke, comes out of it talking with a foreign accent. This is real amigos: not all FAS cases, however, result from such a traumatic event; sometimes relatively simple jaw surgery can do the trick.


Take the case of 33 year old Lisa Alamia, a born and bred Texan from Houston. She underwent surgery to correct an overbite condition and when she woke up she, and everyone around her, noticed she had developed a British accent. Lisa's heritage was strongly hispanic and the only place she had ever been outside the U.S. was to Mexico to visit relatives. To see Lisa speak, go here:



(Translating the British cartoon right: "Dosh" is an old English slang for money; "dog and bone" is an old English slang for phone)


It's not just British that pops up either. The first case recorded was with a Norwegian woman in 1941 who was wounded by shrapnel from a German bombing raid and, when she recovered, progressed from a speech impediment to speaking German (frankly, I think carpet bombing might do that to anyone). There have also been cases where woman have developed post-surgical accents in other languages: a Brit becoming French (B to F), a Gringo becoming a Scot (A to S) or how about a Brit developing a Chinese accent (B to C).


While there has been not much more that a hundred of these cases recorded so far, they keep popping up occasionally. Sometimes the accent fades with time but often the change is permanent.


Hmmmm, maybe if they get a hold of and understand the technical process, it could be used pro-actively, such as getting some of us to pronounce other languages better, you know, like Spanish?


GG did notice in researching this article that, in all the cases reported in recent times, many of them resulted from jaw or dental surgery, and of those, all but one were women.

Whoa Bob-o, this might be another good time to judiciously practice silence.

Pomegranate Power


GG does not need to be convinced that fruit is good for you because I've come to love the incredible variety of fruits available in Costa Rica, most of them straight from the farms here.




There has been folklore around the pomegranate for a long time that claimed the fruit helped slow the aging process and, in some cases, actually reverse the effect. But a recent report published the findings and results of a study conducted at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland that concludes the effect just might be real.


Here's how the article explained the aging process: "As humans age, cells increasingly struggle to recycle their powerhouses. Called mitochondria, these inner compartments are no longer able to carry out their vital function, thus accumulate in the cell. This degradation affects the health of many tissues, including muscles, which gradually weaken over the years. A buildup of dysfunctional mitochondria is also suspected of playing a role in other diseases of aging, such as Parkinson’s disease." As a gentleman of almost 73 years I can verify that description.


Now here's the good news. The scientists discovered a molecule that manages to enhance the cell’s ability to recycle the defective mitochondria; it's called Urolithin A. So, pomegranates have lots of this stuff, eh? Nope, but they do have a precursor chemical that is converted by intestinal bacteria into Urolithin A. So, if you have the right bacteria, the right intestinal fortitude (sorry, couldn't resist that). More studies will reveal the exact bacteria that is just right for you and how to get it.


It occurred to me that I've not seen pomegranates in Costa Rica like I used to see in the States, at least in our local markets. Maybe they are offered in the bigger markets in the central valley - I have a friend keeping an eye out for them just in case.



But then I found out something interesting. We have a fruit here known as granadilla, some times called passion fruit, although there are several species of those around. I first encountered this unusual fruit a few years ago when visiting the family of a Tico friend in San Isidro. He produced a few globes, scored one of them around the middle with a paring knife and sucked out the insides which looked to me like fish egg sacks. I hesitated but then tried it - schweeeet, yummers.


I found out a few days ago the the granadilla is actually a species of pomegranate (or vice-versa) only the color inside and outside are different (see photo right). We'll have to wait to see if this species also has the special molecule precursor. More to be revealed.


¡Solo Bueno!



Travel Quote of the Month


What Was That Again? Department

From a brochure of a Tokyo car-rental company: "When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor."



Answer to ¿Que Es Eso?



hyuThose little round boxes are Dos Pinos Trits. Each plastic box contains a delightful ice cream sandwich (right), two cookies layering a thick, creamy vanilla ice cream with a touch of chocolate sauce. Dos Pinos (two pines) is the largest dairy products producer in Costa Rica and a purveyor of quality ice cream as well as many other kinds of products.


"Trit" (pronounced "treet") seems to have no real meaning in Spanish but is kind of a Costa Rican word-corruption for "Treat" as it pronounces in Spanish the same as the English word. A Tico friend who runs a very good lunch stand in downtown Quepos (attached to Super Jordix) came across the picture of the case and thought of me. Why? Because he has watched me go into Super Jordix many an evening to get one of these yummy little devils on the way to the futsal to watch some futbol. You can't get away with anything in a small town, amigos.


I have to learn where the treasure trove in the picture is located as I've never seen any case in Quepos that had as many Trits as that one. They go back at least four rows so I guesstimate that that particular case has about 350 units in it. ¡Cielos! (see meaning below) That's nearly a year's supply for GG!


Last Month's Que Es Eso Identified


Last month, in this section, we showed a fish that had been found on a Costa Rican beach that no one seemed able to identify. At least that's what the local press reported. But, if you have good friends in the fishing industry who are knowledgeable in these things, you will get the answer. A good friend of GG's emailed me with this:


The fish in question is a Peristedion Barbiger, better known as a Bearded Armored Sea-Robin. The species is also called by these names: Cabro Adornado, Cocodrilo Barbudo.

I don't know about you amigos but anything with cocodrilo (crocodile) in it's name is not something I look forward to catching.




Cielo simply means heaven and cielos is heavens. As in interjection, ¡Cielos! would be used to express surprise like in Good Heavens!




The word for fly in Spanish is moska, The Spanish who, it seems, love to diminutivize everything (some of my Tico friends call GG "Bobsito") say mosquito is simply: "a little fly".




Granada is the Spanish word used for pomegranate. It's also the word used for grenade, you know, the kind used to blow things up. In keeping with the latino rules of diminutivization (throw that dude into a spelling bee), a granadilla (passion fruit) is a small grenade.



ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

L'Angolo - Quepos


Location: On the corner across the street from Dos Locos one block from the bus station.
Hours: Lunch and Dinner Six Days a Week (closed Mondays)
Parking: On-street only.
Contact: Tel.: Not Available (Just Walk In)

Reviewing ROMEOS: Anna, Brian M., Bob N., Don C., Tom O.


To Review Our Rating System and Procedure, go here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System

We last reviewed this restaurant in February of 2013.


Little has changed although the dining room has been rearranged and expanded slightly as a result. The owner-chef, a gentleman born and raised in Rome (that's Italy, not Georgia) continues to provide really good Italian food and he continues to prepare and fuss over each dish personally.


The result is worth waiting for.


The dining room is very basic with hard chairs, undecorated tables with an oilcloth, etc. (see photo left). The menu is pretty much the same offering a wide selection of Italian sandwiches, vegetarian pastas or with meat or seafood. There's also a selection of , bruchettas and pizza as well as an Italian deli with real Italian prosciutto and cheeses. Multi beni!


ON this visit, the ROMEO group gave L'Angolo a composite rating for ambiance of 2.8 sloths out of a possible 5.


As usual we ordered a variety of dishes and one ROMEO was disappointed to learn they didn't have his favorite lasagna available that night. He had it here before and found it excellent.


GG ordered a dish of spinach ravioli pescadora, a goodly portion of raviolis with spinach in both the pasta and the stuffing. Added to that were small clams in the shell, pulpo (squid) and a few shrimp, all bathed in a very Italian tasting marinara sauce. That's good eating in any language.

Other ROMEOs had pastas and bruchettas and all reported the food as tasty and ample in quantity.

Our composite average sloth rating for food came in at 4.8/5 (top 10%).

Value Index = 109


Service was attentive and friendly if not overly enthusiastic. Those of us who've lived here a while and been to L'Angolo a few times know that the delivery of food is a bit slow because, as mentioned above, the chef-owner prepares and fusses over every plate. We adjust our expectations accordingly. For service, the composite rating came in at 3.8 (top 1/3).


The Deli and Chef Working

My ravioli pescadora and a coke came in at just over 8,000 colones, about $15. Our composite rating for cost averaged 3.5 (also in the top 1/3 for lower cost).


The average rating for ambiance, food quality and service was 3.8 yielding a Value Index of 3.8/3.5 = 109 which places L'Angolo in the middle of our restaurant reviews and is similar to the rating we gave them three years ago (114).


It's nice to know that in an area where businesses start and stop often or change owners and chefs frequently there still is one place that is consistent. The ROMEO group has no difficulty recommending L'Angolo as a good place for just a great Italian sandwich or a full dinner.

Golden Gringo Chronicles Novel and E-Books Now Available!


GGC Book CoverThe story of the Golden Gringo Chronicles is also available as a hard copy novel of 192 pages available through Amazon and all major online retailers. ($9.95)


Amazon link: GGC, the Book. (Kindle Edition available)


Follow GG through the first six years of his odyssey in making the decision to retire in Costa Rica, overcoming the trials and tribulations of moving and obtaining residency there and the fun and experience of actually living in Ticoland.


Ride along with the Golden Gringo as he learns about the rich, varied culture of Costa Rica, the incredible bio diversity, the charming nature of the Costa Rican people and the ease with which a sometimes clueless ex-pat can assimilate into a small southwestern town on the Pacific coast.


Whether you are already a Costa Rican resident, someone contemplating a move here or just a traveler who enjoys different cultures, you will find the Golden Gringo Chronicles interesting, entertaining and informative about Costa Rica.


Part 1-150 Part 2-150 Part 3 Light

A narrative version of the Golden Gringo Chronicles is now also available as a trilogy of E-books in formats compatible with virtually all electronic platforms.

Part 1: (FREE!)
Leaving the Homeland

Part 2: ($3.99)
The Early Years

Part 3: ($3.99)
Becoming Tico, Maybe


Click on Part Number above for E-book sample downloads or click the price above right for purchase. (The best price is on Part 1; it's FREE)

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