Wednesday 28 September 2022

The Gringo Bubble

The Gringo Bubble can be difficult to pop. But the shell can be cast off!

Paying the bills

Latest

Diplomatic slip? President Chaves congratulates Italian political party

QCOSTARICA - Experts in international relations consider unconventional  Costa...

Costa Rica legislators reject global income tax

QCOSTARICA - The Treasury Affairs Legislative Committee rejected a...

Therapeutic abortion: how accessible is it for women in Costa Rica?

QCOSTARICA - In Costa Rica, therapeutic abortion is allowed...

Best Things To Do in Costa Rica

Stunning beaches, lush rainforests, mountains with waterfalls, and charming...

Retirement Calculator for Married Couples

The sooner you make a retirement plan, the better...

State of alert lowered due to decrease in the influence of hurricane IAN

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica has decreased the state of...

Cuba legalizes gay marriage

Q24N - Cubans approved in a referendum with 66.87%...

Dollar Exchange

¢636.31 Buy

¢641.26 Sell

28 September 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

Paying the bills

Share

The recent trend in expat living is the Gringo Bubble, creating an insulating layer of US culture. So many expats and foreign tourists never have a true Costa Rican experience. Living here for years, they might never eat at a Costa Rican restaurant or learn much Spanish beyond “pura vida” and other simple phrases.

Not that they should be judged too harshly. The parts of the country advertised and pushed on foreigners are pockets of US culture – a counterfeit Florida bringing the comforts of home.

The Costa Rican experience has become a dinner at Applebee’s after watching the latest US blockbuster, surrounded by other foreigners and served by friendly Costa Ricans hoping to practice their English. Economic imperialism has supplanted so much of what is Costa Rica with so much of what is the US.

- Advertisement -

The Gringo Bubble can be difficult to pop. Costa Ricans form tight-knit communities of friends and family early in life, lacking the need to form new friendships the way transient foreigners do. And foreigners themselves might fear speaking in Spanish, focusing on the mistakes they might commit, forgetting the friendships and experiences they might make. Others flee upon facing culture shock, taking refuge in the sanctuary of the malls and Tony Romas of Escazu.

But the shell can be cast off, broken through with a little effort and with a daily choice to try something out of that warm comfort zone. It means replacing a trip to the movies with a trip to a local theatre or even the festivals of independent Costa Rican films. It means looking for a small, locally owned restaurant or cafeteria instead of the foreign chain. It might mean occasionally leaving foreign friends at home, creating an expectation of meeting new people.

And anyone who embarks on this often frightening and always exhausting journey will be rewarded with a more fulfilling Costa Rican experience.

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Avatar photo
Jeff Lile
Jeff Lile is a dual US and Costa Rican citizen. A teacher and a writer, he fell in love with Costa Rica and his Costa Rican wife 13 years ago.

Related Articles

I still love Costa Rica… even after they chased me out

A little over a year ago, my wife and I “escaped”...

Why do digital nomads choose Costa Rica to work?

EXPAT FOCUS - Raúl Reeves's life took a turn with the...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.