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Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?


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#1 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 10:57 AM

Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?
A safe and sensible place to live?
=======================================

A friend here in HK is planning a trip to Costa Rica with friends, and suggested that we join them.

Her daughter was there recently, and she raved about it as a place to live. And she has provided us with links describing the merits of the country and suggested that we take a look at them.

Posted Image
San Jose - capital city of Costa Rica

Perhaps others have been there, or know someone who has - Or maybe you would like to help us research the merits of the place.

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Geography
Area: 51,100 sq. km (19,730 sq. mi.) about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
Cities: Capital--San Jose (greater metropolitan area pop. 2.1 million, the greater metropolitan area as defined by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy includes the cities of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia). Other major cities outside the San Jose capital area--Puntarenas, Limon, and Liberia.
Terrain: A rugged, central range separates the eastern and western coastal plains.
Climate: Mild in the central highlands, tropical and subtropical in coastal areas.

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Costa Rican(s).
Population (2010): 4.516 million.
Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 1.347%.
Ethnic groups: European and some mestizo 94%, African origin 3%, Chinese 1%, Amerindian 1%, other 1%.
Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical Protestant 13.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%.
Languages: Spanish, with a southwestern Caribbean Creole dialect of English spoken around the Limon area.

Economy
GDP (2010): $38.27 billion.
GDP PPP (2009 est.): $48.19 billion.
Inflation (2010 est.): 6.9%.
Real growth rate (2010 est.): 3.6%.
Per capita income: (2009) $6,900; (2010 est., PPP) $10,569.
Unemployment (2010 est.): 6.7%.
Currency: Costa Rica Colon (CRC).

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, forest products, fisheries products.
Agriculture (6.5% of GDP): Products--bananas, pineapples, coffee, beef, sugar, rice, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, corn, beans, potatoes, timber.
Industry (25.5% of GDP): Types--electronic components, medical equipment, textiles and apparel, tires, food processing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.
Commerce, tourism, and services (68% of GDP): Hotels, restaurants, tourist services, banks, and insurance.

Trade (2010 est.):
Exports--$10.01 billion: integrated circuits, medical equipment, bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, textiles, electronic components, medical equipment.
Major markets (2009)--U.S. 32.61%, Netherlands 12.82%, China 11.81%, Mexico 4.2%.
Imports--$13.32 billion: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum. Major suppliers (2009)--U.S. 44.72%, Mexico 7.65%, Venezuela 5.56%, China 5.15%, Japan 4.36%

/more data: http://www.state.gov...ei/bgn/2019.htm

== == == ==
CR- Six Links :
=============
1/ http://www.ticotimes.com - - - : Current News of the Country
2/ http://www.welovecostarica.com/
3/ http://www.propertie...cawithlove.html
4/ http://www.boomersoffshore.com
5/ http://unitedbiofuelsofamerica.org/
6/ http://internationalliving.com/
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#2 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:35 PM

MAP and VIEW OF DOWNTOWN
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Larger image of map: http://www.govisitco...ityDowntown.pdf

Posted Image
A sophisticated Metropolis ? (Is that what you are looking for?)

Some are screaming its praises
Posted Image
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#3 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:45 PM

Sustainable Tourism - a goal of the Country

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From its stunning coastline, to its verdant rainforests and superb mountains, Costa Rica’s astounding beauty has made it the most sought after vacation destination. Millions of visitors from all around the world come to this tropical paradise every year and relish in its wondrous beauty.

Recognized worldwide for its diverse topography and complex cultural mosaic, Costa Rica has become a model for environment friendly practices and ecotourism sustainability. Tourism revenues of the country surpass those generated by all the other local commodities. Costa Ricans are now more aware of the long-term benefits of ecotourism and the peaceful retreats of the region proffer environmental awareness and sustainable tourism.

Costa Rica values its conservation culture. The government along with the private sector has been working hard to preserve the country’s natural resources. More and more significance is being given to eco-tourism and Costa Rica has truly become an eco-paradise.

The major organizations responsible for instigating sustainable tourism along with the Government of Costa Rica are the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, Ministry of Environment and the National Chamber of Tourism. Under their umbrella the hotels and lodges in Costa Rica are assessed and evaluated for sustainability and eco-friendly policies.

/more: http://www.govisitco...ity/default.asp

(2)
As of October 2007, Costa Rica lead Latin America in certified sustainable tourism operations with 68 businesses certified by Certification for Sustainable Tourism, up from 51 in 2006. In all, Latin America now has 167 businesses certified by independent sustainable tourism certification programs. All are listed in the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartGuide to Sustainable Travel in the Americas.

/more: http://www.treehugge...a_rica_lead.php

Posted Image
(3)
According to Ypartnership/Yankelovich Inc.’s 2009 National Travel Monitor, an astounding 44% of travelers said naturalistic travel activities were their primary purpose for travel, and 10% of leisure travelers went on an all-inclusive vacation – both statistics indicating a significant increase from previous years. Now, Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa delivers the ideal choice for both.

With all-inclusive rates starting at $129* per person per night, Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa is the epitome of “Pura Vida” – the local phrase often used to represent the joyfulness of living. At the resort, guests will “live” the ultimate all-inclusive eco-experience with superior accommodation, exquisite dining and seemingly limitless activities, complemented by the natural surroundings of this ecological paradise

/more: http://spa.me/hilton...sive-experience
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#4 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 01:12 PM

SAN Promotes climate-friendly agriculture

Over the past two decades, the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) has worked for biodiversity conservation and human development through the development of social and environmental standards. Since 1992, more than 700 certificates have been awarded to approximately 80,000 farms in 27 countries that have met the SAN standards. These farms cover over 700,000 hectares and include more than 20 different crops.

Throughout this time, the SAN has addressed critical sustainable agriculture topics through new initiatives that aim to expand the reach of agricultural best practices for producers throughout the world. Today, the SAN continues the work of strengthening its sustainable agriculture standard, promoting the implementation of climate-friendly best practices that improve the adaptive capacity of ecosystems and rural communities while contributing to the reduction of agricultural emissions. The first result of this initiative is the development of a "Climate Module" that adds voluntary criteria specific to climate change mitigation and adaptation to the SAN’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard.

/more: http://sanstandards.org/sitio/
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#5 d2thdr

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 01:21 PM

Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?
A safe and sensible place to live?


Safe- depends on where you are. There are numerous places all over the world, which are safe. There are pockets of safe areas everywhere.

Sensible? Tax purposes perhaps? If not why would Costa Rica be sensible, it is a so called developing world country - poor country.
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#6 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 01:23 PM

Safe- depends on where you are. There are numerous places all over the world, which are safe. There are pockets of safe areas everywhere.

Sensible? Tax purposes perhaps? If not why would Costa Rica be sensible, it is a so called developing world country - poor country.


Less room to fall when the global economy slides.
And it seems that they can feed themselves

Sea Levels?
Maybe not so safe, if the sea level rises, or if future tsunamis get bigger, as I expect to happen.

Posted Image

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), sea levels have been rising about 3 mm per year since 1993 – totalling a 200 mm increase (7.87 inches) in global averaged sea level since 1870.

This Google Map mashup shows how the world will look if it is effected by sea level rises. Unlike other sea-level rise maps that we have seen built on Google Maps this map lets you enter your own levels of rise to see its effect on the world.

/more: http://googlemapsman...evel-rises.html

Costa Rica : http://globalfloodmap.org/Costa_Rica
Fares better than Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong on the above map

Here's the DATA that I pulled off the map:
(I wanted to see how many people would be displaced by a 1,000 inch rise in sealevels):

Location--- : Elevation : Elev.later : Pop. : Homeless
========
London, UK : 0,827 in : - 0,173 : 7.4mn : 100%
New York -- : 0,079 in : - 0,921 : 8.0mn : 100%
Boston ----- : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 589 k : 100%
Detroit ------ : 7,126 in : +6,126 : 951 K : 000%
Denver ----- : 62,913 in : 61,913 : 554 k : 000%
SanFranCA : 2,362 in : +1,362 : 732 k : 000%
Washtn DC : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 552 k : 100%
SanJoseCR: 45,157 in : 44,157 : 335 k : 000%
Sant'g.Chile: 20,197 in : 19,197 : 4.8mn : 000%
Singapore- : 0,039 in : - 0,961 : 3.5mn : 100%
Tokyo, Jap : 0,591 in : - 0,409 : 8.3mn : 100%
Kowloon HK: 1,024 in : +0,024 : 2.0mn : 42 %
Kuala L. MY: 2,441 in : +1,441 : 1.4mn : 000%
Christch.NZ : 0,276 in : -0,724 : 364 k : 100%

The 83 foot rise in sealevel wipes out: London, NY, Boston Washington; plus: Tokyo, Singapore, Christchurch NZ, and half of Kowloon/HK. 100 foot waves have been seen in the oceans in recent years, so perhaps this is not so crazy. And the thread about Remote Viewer, Lyn Buchanan, may give some further credence to this risk, if you have any faith in RV techniques which puport to examine possible future timelines.
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#7 50sQuiff

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:03 PM

I know people that travel to San Jose for work occasionally. Apparently the streets are so unsafe after dark that travel by taxi is mandatory. Everything I've heard about the city sounds absolutely hellish, violent and downright frightening. No doubt there is some beautiful coast and countryside, but that's insufficient compensation.
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#8 LauraB

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:09 PM

And she has provided us with links describing the merits of the country and suggested that we take a look at them.


My big regret work-wise, many years ago. I was offered the CR long stay research trip...& didn't go :(
Very dodgy fauna (even worse than Oz) is one DEmerit.
How is your colloquial Spanish? - I like to mix it with the locals wherever I go.

My own preference, after a recent Caribbean trip, is for minor English speaking islands.

#9 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 03:15 PM

My big regret work-wise, many years ago. I was offered the CR long stay research trip...& didn't go :(
Very dodgy fauna (even worse than Oz) is one DEmerit.
How is your colloquial Spanish? - I like to mix it with the locals wherever I go.

My own preference, after a recent Caribbean trip, is for minor English speaking islands.

Not far enough above sea level to suit my tastes.

Hong Kong actually fares - not so bad, provided you live on the peak or a higher elevation of Kowloon.
But if a flood knocks out the transport, you may survive a tsunami, but have no food in a city with many hungry survivors.
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#10 John Doe

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 03:39 PM

There was a documentary on UK TV several years ago about a London family that went to build a house and live on a small island they bought there.

"Get A New Life": Costa Rica

It was horrific, their island was invaded by locals (who didn't agree with the island being sold to outsiders), they got kidnapped by drug dealers (managed to escape, but with quite bad burns), then the husband died (asthma)!

Turns out the wife (an ex porn star) had been scr**ing the builders etc and also quickly cosied up with the layer they were using.

This was not a made up story, but who knows the real truth of their experiences.

It’s probably a great place to live if you try to fit in.
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#11 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 04:35 PM

I know people that travel to San Jose for work occasionally. Apparently the streets are so unsafe after dark that travel by taxi is mandatory. Everything I've heard about the city sounds absolutely hellish, violent and downright frightening. No doubt there is some beautiful coast and countryside, but that's insufficient compensation.

You could say the same about Capetown, SA - a place I visit every year, and was in at the beginning of February.

Even with the problem of "safety at night" in much of the city, it could be a nice place to live. It might even be somewhere in my top 25 places, if I thought them through.

In fact, the photos above of San Jose do look a little like Capetown, but there is not Table Mountain, and no sea coast in the immediate vicinity.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#12 00timebandit00

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:35 PM

I've heard really good things about CR. There is a raw food guy who was building a sustainable community over there and also raved about it.

In Sovereign Man Simon has mentioned it several times. There was a link from his ezine to a video called "breaking free" which had stories of
people who moved to CR as a permanent lifestyle change. Fascinating. I agree with the idea of having alternative countries to flee to should
the need arise so CR sounds like a good back up to me.

Suggest you ask Simon his opinion about CR as he is a permanent traveller so very knowledgeable on benefits/downsides of any country.

#13 John Doe

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:12 PM

You could say the same about Capetown, SA - a place I visit every year, and was in at the beginning of February.

Even with the problem of "safety at night" in much of the city, it could be a nice place to live. It might even be somewhere in my top 25 places, if I thought them through.

In fact, the photos above of San Jose do look a little like Capetown, but there is not Table Mountain, and no sea coast in the immediate vicinity.

We were there some years back.

Lovely city and scenery (even saw the "table cloth", the weather event where the cloud sits on top of Table Mountain and looks like, well, a table cloth) but the poverty in the surrounding areas was horrendous. From first seeing it coming in from the airport, with the old guard towers where the soldiers used to keep watch then the >£1M flats by the harbours (with the nice little canals running through) the rich poor divide was really brought home. I felt bad.

The "Group 4 Armed Response" signs on nearly every walled and gated home was a bit worrying as well.

We visited some of the townships. I asked one of the locals why they didn't "rise up"! "What are we going to do", he said, "burn our shacks? then what"?

I couldn't answer.

Would you really like to live there? Give me Copenhagen any day. Safe - friendly - caring - and much more fair.
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#14 John Doe

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:45 PM

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), sea levels have been rising about 3 mm per year since 1993 – totalling a 200 mm increase (7.87 inches) in global averaged sea level since 1870.

Sorry Dr B, but does WMO says the change has been a constant 3mm/year since 1870?

Just that you can't extrapolate a trend back to 1870 from data only collected since 1993.
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#15 DrBubb

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:43 PM

... >£1M flats by the harbours (with the nice little canals running through) the rich poor divide was really brought home. I felt bad.
The "Group 4 Armed Response" signs on nearly every walled and gated home was a bit worrying as well.
We visited some of the townships. I asked one of the locals why they didn't "rise up"! "What are we going to do", he said, "burn our shacks? then what"?

I couldn't answer.

Would you really like to live there? Give me Copenhagen any day. Safe - friendly - caring - and much more fair.

You want the answer?
Go watch a film called "Kingdom of Heaven", ( soundtrack ) and you may find the answer to why they should not "rise up", and how you can find a balanced life in such a place - it isn't by sitting in a "£1M flat by the harbour" eating doritos and drinking diet coke.

In the apocalyptic world we are headed into, I think you need to be in a country that grows most of its own food, is not too "complex", and is not too exposed to the floods and other "earth changes" that may continue to hit with increasing frequency.

Copenhagen is a lovely place, and Danish people are friendly and happy. But it is too close to sea level. Most of the country could find itself underwater if the flooding and tsunamis become bad enough.

As it happens, I spoke briefly with Gonzalo Lira about this last night, and he speaks highly of Santiago and its environs as a place to weather hard times. Perhaps I will move to CR or Chile and spend a year learning to speak Spanish. My partner is willing to make a visit, especially if we can go along with one of her oldest friends.

Sorry Dr B, but does WMO says the change has been a constant 3mm/year since 1870?
Just that you can't extrapolate a trend back to 1870 from data only collected since 1993.

Location--- : Elevation : Elev.later : Pop. : Homeless
========
Denver ----- : 62,913 in : 61,913 : 554 k : 000%
Washtn DC : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 552 k : 100%
Copenhagen* 0,630 in :
SanJoseCR: 45,157 in : 44,157 : 335 k : 000%
Sant'g.Chile: 20,197 in : 19,197 : 4.8mn : 000%.

*I used nearby Tastrup, since Copenhagen was not in the database for some reason
= = =

There is too much evidence from psychics and other sources that the risks of rising water levels are real for me to ignore this in considering alternative places to live.

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#16 G0ldfinger

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:02 AM

As it happens, I spoke briefly with Gonzalo Lira about this last night, and he speaks highly of Santiago and its environs as a place to weather hard times. Perhaps I will move to CR or Chile and spend a year learning to speak Spanish. My partner is willing to make a visit, especially if we can go along with one of her oldest friends.

What about Doug Casey's Argentinian Estanza de Bonanza, or whatever the name was? You wouldn't like that? At least on the web it looked really nice.
You can't tax deflation.
“Currency Induced Cost-Push Hyperinflation” vs “Demand-Pull (non-hyper) Inflation.”
The "no income --> no inflation"-thesis is as wrong as the "price control --> inflation control"-thesis.
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#17 G0ldfinger

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:08 AM

The problem with moving a lot around is always friends and family. If it wasn't so far, I'd possibly consider Australia, or NZ, although in NZ I would only want to live far from volcanoes and in an absolutely quake proof house.

I like it very much where I live right now, and I think the place is very well positioned for gloomier times ahead (also far enough above sea level). A natural catastrophe would be truly a Black Swan here, as there are no known dangers really (as long as you stay far enough above the local river, of course). Well, the nuclear power plant is some 17 miles (27 km) away, but at least the wind hardly ever blows from that direction. <_<
You can't tax deflation.
“Currency Induced Cost-Push Hyperinflation” vs “Demand-Pull (non-hyper) Inflation.”
The "no income --> no inflation"-thesis is as wrong as the "price control --> inflation control"-thesis.
Don't TRADE gold! You might lose your shirt in the biggest bull run ever. That would be embarassing. © possibly by Swampy
Posted Image
Gold, silver, property, currencies, commodities charts.

#18 DrBubb

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:49 AM

The problem with moving a lot around is always friends and family. If it wasn't so far, I'd possibly consider Australia, or NZ, although in NZ I would only want to live far from volcanoes and in an absolutely quake proof house.

I like it very much where I live right now, and I think the place is very well positioned for gloomier times ahead (also far enough above sea level). A natural catastrophe would be truly a Black Swan here, as there are no known dangers really (as long as you stay far enough above the local river, of course). Well, the nuclear power plant is some 17 miles (27 km) away, but at least the wind hardly ever blows from that direction. <_<

Actually Gonzalo wondered why I did not look closely at NZ, since it is so much closer to Hong Kong - And maybe I shall.

But as you say, it is also in the Ring of Fire, on the edge of a plate I believe and earthquakes are an issue.

Germany may be a good place. But a German friend of mine who lives in HK, said he thought it would be overrun by other Europeans when the water runs out in Spain and other countries to the south.

In fact, there is no perfectly safe place, and you have to live with some risks, wherever you are.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#19 Cuthbert Calculus

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:07 AM

I know Costa Rica well, in fact I was there about six months ago with my kids and we had one of the holidays of a lifetime.

Fantastic climate, amazing natural geography, stunning beaches, amazing rain forest, in fact I was watchig a volcano erupt and receiving texts about the Icelandic volcano at the same time. Bizarre.

It is highly Americanized. the US army isvery present. As are NASA (!). And there are a lot of Americans who go there to have their teeth whitened, for plastic surgery or to enjoy the pleasures of women young eneough to be the daughters (or grand daughters). Or all three.

As with all of central America it is highly dependent on the car.

property is expensive. In fact the country is not as cheap as its neighbours but quite a long chalk.

Sit on the beach and watch the global economy unravel online. Maybe. But there are a lot of very poor people there. At what point do they rise up and revolt against the very rich , both indiginous and from overseas who have come there to retire?

But anyone's life will be considerably better for two weeks in Costa Rica.

And while you there, you can take in a mine visit to Ascot ...

#20 DrBubb

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:05 AM

Thanks for the comment. I recall you were there.

As with all of central America it is highly dependent on the car.
property is expensive. In fact the country is not as cheap as its neighbours but quite a long chalk.

I don't see any rail tracks on the city map, and I noticed that they import petroleum, so CR must share the US addiction to imported oil.

Our friend's friend has been thinking of buying land in the mountains and growing his own food, I believe.
The sort of neighbors he may have, and his relationship with them will be terribly important, I believe.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix




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