This is my first post on My Costa Rican Diary.  But first let me introduce myself.  My name is Zadik Shapiro.  I retired in February after thirty years as a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, California.  While I have lived most of the last 38 years in San Francisco, for the past six years I lived in Pittsburg a suburb of the city.  I am divorced and I moved to Costa Rica by myself.  I am currently living in Sarchi, a small town in Alajuela Province which is located in the Central Valley.  I am renting a one room cabin in the middle of a coffee field.  Sarchi is known for wooden souvenirs and furniture.

I came to Costa Rica on a tourist visa.  Well there is no real visa, but they stamped my passport going through customs.  It is a 90 day renewable permit to stay in the country which means that I have to leave the country every ninety days and return. Not bad–I can go to Nicaragua or I can visit friends and family in the U. S.  I plan to become a pensionado.  For that I need a pension of at least a thousand dollars a month (my Social Security) be in good standing with US law enforcement etc.  It requires all sorts of paper work–some to be completed in the United States and some to be completed in Costa Rica.  Prior to coming I got a copy of my birth certificate and a statement from the Pittsburg Police Department.  It will happen eventually but it will take some time.  Once I become a pensionado I can come and go as I please.

Costa Rica places a number of restrictions on those with tourist visas and I will be glad to become a pensionado.  For example, with a tourist visa I cannot get the internet in my name.  It’s in my landlord’s name.  Prior to my arrival someone, perhaps the landlord, forgot to pay the bill therefore I had to wait a month to get it reconnected.  I had planned to begin this blog as soon as I got here with my day to day impressions of Costa Rican life and the adventures of an ex-patriot.  But now I have been here for a month and a half and in future posts I will elaborate on the life of an American in Costa Rica.  The blog can be found at http://mycostaricandiary.com  I hope that you will travel along with me on this adventure by reading the blog and by commenting on my posts.







  1. Rochel says:

    I am looking forward to reading your blog. Hopefully the Internet access will continue so the blog will continue! Michael’s friend, Jack, commented yesterday that he miles sed your law blog.

  2. Marc Shapiro says:

    Glad to see you got things up and running. I haven’t checked for posts here in quite a while, since, at first you didn’t have any. It looks like I picked the right day to check again.

  3. Jack Segal says:

    Jack Segal. Writing from Davison, Michigan; where we do not need to drink Flint, Michigan water. Glad to see that you have an electronic connection again. I sent you an email earlier, today; perhaps with this you would not be checking your account.

    An LA bar replaced a men’s bathroom mirror with a TV screen. It played a video with an individual serving prison time for a dui murder charge speaking to bar patrons as to why he was in prison. It is interesting to see how the patrons, too drunk to realize that they are not speaking to a live person, react. I don’t know where, or if, you can access internet video. It can be googled by:
    “Man in the Mirror Sends Shocking Anti-Drunk Driving Message”.
    The second picture you will see when you scroll down, showing a young man with a blue shirt and wearing glasses in the mirror, is the point where you need to push on the play arrow in the picture.

    The commentary says that the individuals in the bathrooms were advised that they were being filmed. Presumably, someone will attempt to argue that they therefore gave consent. Seems pretty weak to me, since the film makers knew that the patrons were drunk and lacked the ability to give knowledgeable consent. After all, they were successful in convincing the patrons that they were speaking to a live person in a mirror.

    Enjoy your mosquitoes.

  4. Jack Segal says:

    Does living in a coffee field bring make memories of South Bay and living next to a sugar cane field? Will they allow you to harvest beans in you spare time to pick up a few colones?

  5. Jack Segal says:

    Be sure that when spreading the word about your website that you make clear that others should enter the entire URL, beginning with http//… If I try to access this on my cell phone and use just “mycostaricandiary” I get a “generic” site that is not yours.

  6. Zadik Shapiro says:

    There are similarities to South Bay. While both South Bay and Sarchi have mosquitoes South Bay had a lot more. But don’t worry Sarchi has plenty of other insects.

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