Having lived here now for almost 11 years, I’ve heard my fair share of really stupid questions. And I’m talking about the ones that make you take a double-take. Come again?

Coming in at the fifth spot is the classic, “how big is the island of Costa Rica?

Sandwiched between Panama to the south and the Tico favorites, Nicaragua to the north, Costa Rica is actually part of the Americas – Central America. So yeah…drive your car down if you want. Don’t really though…some of those countries in between can get a bit sketchy to say the least.

The fourth spot is more common than I’d like to admit, “why don’t Costa Ricans just speak English like the rest of the world?

Seriously? I usually vomit a little in my mouth at the arrogance of this statement/question then I reference Wikipedia stats that state 5.85% of the world speaks Spanish compared to 5.52% who speak English. Ya…who’s your daddy now?

Third spot is a real doozy, “should we pack our own bulk supply of ketchup to get us through because we heard their ketchup is nasty?

Costa Rica has come along way over the years. With the introduction of electricity and the wheel, the Ticos have really come along nicely. And yes…they have Heinz ketchup in almost every store in the country. In fact almost every thing you’re used to buying in a grocery store at home can be bought here. For the most part.

Number two is not really all that common but still makes me giggle when I hear it. “on what beach can I buy a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home with pool for $150,000? Oh…and that’s Canadian dollars by the way.

Not sure how this dumb ass rumor began where foreigners, primarily Canadian, come here expecting to land their dream home on a secluded beach for a song. When I first got here you could find them for around $400k but that was 11 years ago. Now you’re lucky to find one at all and if you do you can expect to pay around $1 million and up.

And the number one most stupid question gringos ask about Costa Rica happened while I was at the docks in Puntarenas where the cruise ships arrive…

excuse me sir could you tell us what the altitude is here?

Not sure about you but the last time I got off an ocean liner I was at sea level.

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