Tamarindo – The Fleecing Of Gringos
This was my last post from Tamarindo, Costa Rica for the next while as I decided to move to Whistler, British Columbia for the next year. I am planning to come back here both in the short term and long term.
Those of you who know me know that I don’t pull any punches and call it the way it is. While the surfing here is second to none, sometimes I feel like a second class person. It’s because of the gringo tax. Here are some examples.
Alamo car rental – prices rose 100% from September to December’s high season “because of the tourists.” So my SUV rental went from $50 a day to $100. Okay fine. Supply and demand. But come on? I live here.
Economy Car rental – they tried to charge me extra insurance even though the website clearly stated one price of $10 a day, they wanted $30 a day. I was told insurance on all cars is mandatory in Costa Rica. Bullshit. My Jeep doesn’t have insurance nor is it legally required to have insurance. I got on the phone with the owner, told him to fuck himself and ended up not paying the ‘insurance’.
Shopping – a blond friend of mine walked into a small grocery store near Avellanas. Two beers and two bags of chips cost $8.00. WTF??? I walked in the next day and purchased the same items. It cost me and my darker skin $4.00.
Water – When the government took over the water service here last year, my bill went from $5 a month to close to $100. Seems I was not alone. A lot of bitching, phone calling and dropping in unannounced at their offices and it is back down to $16. No reason nor explanation ever given. And no refund.
Electrical bill – When we moved to Tamarindo, our electrical bill was about $100 a month. Now it is over $300. That’s right. In four years it has gone up that much. That’s about the average salary for a Tico. Do you think they look at where I live and give me a ‘special rate’? You bet they do.
It is what it is. Don’t even get me started on the road to Langosta! Or how when you take your car in to be serviced they swap out your new car battery and replace it with an old one!