99 Bottles of Pilsen on the wall — 99 Reasons why I Love Costa Rica.
One of the things you will notice, if you spend some time here in Playas del Coco, is that there are a tremendous amount of people from Wisconsin who live, retire, vacation and snowbird here.
Maybe it is because the weather is so horrible there, or maybe it is because they just love to drink beer, but it seems a bundle of them have chosen the land of PURA VIDA to call their home. There is even the one and only PACKER bar in all of Latin America right here in the middle of town, Coconutz, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite places to hang out. Earlier this year, there was a huge game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, as the Wisconsin Badgers took on the LSU Tigers.
So it just made sense that a whole bundle of these Cheese heads were going to make the trek up north for this colossal sporting event. And do you think I would miss out on the fun? No way Jose, I was in like Flynn. About 50 of us loaded up on a school bus from Appleton on the day of the game, and consumed like animals the entire way to the stadium. As you can imagine, the energy was amazing, and the crowd was rocking.
When it was all over, the Badgers had defeated the superior LSU team and the city went nuts!!! There were people partying like it was 1999 and it took hours to get everyone back on the bus and headed home to the hotels. This was where I wanted to cut my wrist. You see, there is always that ONE guy, who just has to lead the choir, and he started singing the most obnoxious song, ever written in the history of mankind: the 99 Bottle songs, and it seemed to go on for an eternity.
So in remembrance of that torturous 2 hour bus ride, and also in Celebration of my 99th Newsletter, I bring to you MY list of the 99 REASONS WHY I LOVE AND LIVE IN COSTA RICA.
- Ninety Nine Bottles of Pilsen on the wall, Ninety Nine Bottles of Pilsen…. Take one down pass it around: Costa Rica is 99% green. It is almost totally carbon free, and the most environmentally protective country in the world and most of it still looks like it did when the dinosaurs walked the earth. You have to love and respect somewhere, which places nature above money. This haven will blow you away.
- Hiking. There are so many spectacular places to hike; National Parks, volcanoes and mountains that the scenery seems to go on and on forever. You could spend eternity clunking around this little paradise and never see all there is to see; there is an endless supply of “secret spots.”
- The Leatherback Turtles are in jeopardy of extinction around the world, due to mankind’s growth and poaching. Yet Costa Rica is one of the leaders in protecting these iconic creatures with dozens of Sanctuaries and Conservation programs. Take some time and volunteer; you can make a difference.
- The one constant you always hear is how terrible the roads are in the interior of Costa Rica, yet personally, I love it. Maybe I am just an adventurer, but I find it super cool to bounce down a river bed that they actually call a highway, give it a number, and put it on the map. There are some great ATV tours here by the way.
- Almost every single day, as I am driving to my office, there is a man and his son, riding in an oxen cart, taking their produce to market. They don’t have a care in the world and why should they?
- The Nicaraguan People, who make up the majority of the labor force, are some of the most gentle, loving human beings, I have ever come across. My maid and my care taker, SING while they mop floors and swing machetes. They have become like family to me.
- I remember once, coming in for a landing, and looking out the window. It seemed like the entire province was on fire, as they were burning the fields. But the gold, known as sugar cane, is what makes everything taste so good. Just try a glass of Coke and it will remind you of when you were a child, pulling that No Deposit No Return bottle out of the machine and popping the top on the metal opener.
- One of the most unique towns in the world: Sarchi. Almost every single person that lives in this pueblo is a furniture maker. There are dozens of stores selling handmade beds, tables and rocking chairs, that you want to buy it ALL.
- The Cost of Living in Costa Rica is a fraction of what I used to pay to live at the beach in California or Florida. What continuously impresses me is how the Costa Ricans live such a fulfilling life, without all the luxuries and materialistic BS that we feel is so important in North America. They have taught me that the simple things in life are much more important than possessions.
- Let me make this perfectly clear: this is NOT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA or CANADA. That is why we moved here and that is why we continue to live here. Please do not come here, and expect this to be like it is back at home and want to change this utopia to everything you had before. If you want that, STAY THERE. We won’t miss you, I promise.
- Horseback riding on the beach, which seems to be every person’s romantic fantasy, makes for a great afternoon. There are some very remote Playas where you might be the only people galloping down the sand.
- Soccer. What? You ask. Soccer? You don’t like Soccer, you make fun of it all the time, and I can hear everyone saying now. Well, I am slowly coming around. Although I do love the NFL and NHL first, I get a real kick out of how serious they take this sport down here. When the teams are playing every single bar is packed and everyone is wearing the colors of their favorite team. But when the National Team is playing, like in the COPA or WORLD CUP; look out.You do not want to have a heart attack on that particular day as every single Costa Rican is watching the game. They all have on their blue, white and red, and the entire country comes to a halt as they cheer on their heroes. You just have to love how passionate they are about their country. It isn’t even the sport that I really like, as much as watching how excited they get when it is on. And when they win? WOW! God Bless Costa Rica! TICOS!
- Everybody walks. As you have probably read, the Costa Ricans have some of the longest life expectancy on this earth, and there are Blue Zones all over where many people live to be over 100 years old. Walking is the best exercise and I would imagine this has a lot to do with why they live so long. There is something very special about seeing a family, all dressed up, walking to church on Sunday.
- Respect and Camaraderie for your fellow man, is something that is instilled in the Ticos from a very young age. They very rarely judge people and are always there to help a person in need. If you get a flat tire here, the odds are 4 or 5 people will stop to help you change it.
- I love the bakeries here and especially the bread. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh “hot out of the oven” loaf first thing in the morning.
- So many countries have given up their currency and gone to the dollar, but not here. They are so proud of their Colone, as it gives them such a sense of independence. They have their own money and their own identity. PURA VIDA.
- One of the reasons I always hated to go to Mexico, was because the street vendors, were like timeshare salesmen. They were relentless, and NEVER took NO for an answer. They would continuously hound you, and hammer on you, spoiling your relaxing day at the beach. You can’t walk down the street there without every store shouting out, and trying to pull and lure you into to shop. But the vendors here are very polite. They show you their goods, and ask you if you want to buy, and if you say NO, they smile. “Have a great day” they say, and down the road they go.But I also have to be honest with you, they have some incredible stuff. Handmade jewelry and wood items, and the street foods are rocking! I have more trinkets than Grandma’s house. I love that there is almost no begging at all; the Ticos are way too much dignity to ask for handouts. They would rather work for their money. They might climb a tree, and cut down some coconuts and then sell them on the beach; or put on a glow in the dark vest, and help you park your car for tips. There is no welfare and there is no unemployment; everybody works.
- There are so many holidays you wonder when anyone has time to work. But heh; who wants to work anyway? They celebrate just about every single excuse they can, and let me tell you, it is a blast.
- All the children dress up in their traditional costumes, the marching bands come out in full force, and people build floats that will blow your mind. I love the parades on holidays; I surely don’t need a kick in the butt to wander down town and drink a cold Pilsen.
- With the US election this year, I was reminded again, WHY I left and moved to CR. The anger and the bantering were almost too much to take. And the really sad part is how many Americans have damaged their relationships with friends and family over an election. I have actually had friends; some that I have known for decades delete me on Facebook because we don’t see eye to eye on Politics. HOW PATHETIC. I couldn’t imagine deleting someone or refusing to speak to someone because they voted differently than I, but that is where my old country has gone. It just shows how small minded and shallow these people are. So glad I live here.During Costa Rica’s election, everyone comes out and supports their candidate. They wave the flags of their political party, and put bumper stickers on their car, but as soon as it is over, they go back to life. No one complains about the President or says horrible things. They support whoever wins, as this is their country. They respect those rights of each person to vote as they choose, and they all come together for the goodness and sake of Costa Rica. How impressive, I must say.
- As my good friend Danny says “We catch fish! We aren’t out here burning up gasoline.” The deep sea fishing in the Papagayo is some of the best in the world. There are dozens of great catch that you can reel in and cook up that night. And if catch and release sport fishing is your thing, some of the largest and most powerful Marlin and Sailfish are biting. It makes for a trip that you will never forget.
- You gotta love a country where there is a Fried Chicken place on every single corner. Colonel Sanders would be honored. I didn’t say it was healthy, but it sure is finger lickin’ good.
- There is a famous saying in Costa Rica. “The only thing consistent is the inconsistency.” You will never be bored here that is for sure. Every day is an adventure, and you never quite know what to expect. Unlike North America, where it is the same old same old every single day, this is cluster nutt. Learn to embrace it, and love it. Life is short; don’t get worked up over stupid things.
- Seventy Six Bottles of Pilsen on the wall, Seventy Six Bottles of Pilsen… take one down pass it around; Big Guanacaste trees!!! So beautiful and massive; they will take your breath away.
- There was a time, when I first moved here, where I would have made fun of a man for saying he likes butterflies; seriously. But after visiting half a dozen butterfly farms and living out in the country for so many years, they have changed my attitude. There are thousands of these gorgeous flying machines, everywhere, every day. It is also quite entertaining to watch my dogs try to eat one out of the air.
- I scream, you scream we all scream for Ice Cream; and when you taste the Helado in Costa Rica you will never go back to Haagen-Dazs again. Ben and Jerry; you ain’t got a prayer.
- Although I do not surf, Costa Rica has some of the tallest surf waves in the Western Hemisphere; second only to the North Shore of Hawaii. So grab your boards and come on down. Personally, I love spending a day with a Pilsen in my hand and my toes in the sand, scoping out all the hot surfer chicks. Thank God for bikinis.
- If you read my last newsletter, you will know that we have a very large variety of excellent restaurants. Most people’s biggest fear is that they won’t have anywhere to eat. Well, you can put that notion to sleep. There are 72 to choose from here in our little area.
- Everybody knows I am an old 80s rock n roller, so you would think that my mind is closed. But I have come to really enjoy the Latin Music that echoes from all corners of the country. Although I may not always understand the words, the beat and the romantic sounds are easy to absorb; and everybody is always smiling and dancing.
- The Golfo de Papagayo, is the large body of water that is just off the coastline of Guanacaste. Tucked in the back of this huge mass of ocean, are the beaches that make up our little Shangri-la. Matapalo; Playa Ocotal: Playas del Coco; Playa Hermosa; Playa Panama and Bahia Culebra are some of the most pristine shorelines you will ever encounter. The water is super calm, almost like a big lake, so it is very enjoyable for everyone.Nothing makes me happier than spending a day on the water or relaxing at the beach. From the moment I first set foot here in the year 2000, I was sold. People ask me all the time; how long did it take you to adjust. Less than 30 minutes I tell them. Just a couple Pilsens at the beach, and I was hook, line and sinker.
- If I didn’t mention the women, I would be lying to you. The Ticas are some of the most attractive ladies on earth, and definitely some of the sweetest. They are always smiling and always friendly, and they make you feel like you are more than welcome in their country. I could easily have put this in the Top Ten.
- Believe it or not, Costa Rica has some delicious chocolate. A good chunk of this country harvests Cocoa and they turn it into some yummy stuff. Sorry Switzerland.
- I was never a big horse person, until I moved to Guanacaste and experienced my first TOPE, or Horse Parade. What an event! Thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of participants click clock down the main drags of towns. It is a party like you has never seen, and I encourage you to stick around for one. Everyone dresses in their best cowboy gear and consumes as much Pilsen as humanly possible. I mean what could possibly go wrong; drunken people and 1000 pound animals?
- They start to pave a road, get half of it finished and then disappear. Don’t try to figure it out, just go with the flow and appreciate the paved side when you are on it.
- I am surely not the most religious man that has ever blessed the presence of this planet, but you have to love a country where everyone believes in God. There is something very warm and wonderful about the Faith that Costa Rica carries in their heart. HE is definitely watching over and protecting the land of Pura Vida.
- Every time I gaze out my back terrace and across the farmland beyond, I see the largest Melon field in Guanacaste. Until you taste the Watermelon and Cantaloupes that grow in these fields, you had no idea that such sweetness could exist on your taste buds. I could live on these alone. And they make outstanding smoothies.Come over and try my Watermelon Banana Margarita, it is spiritual. Costa Rica is also famous for their Pineapple; the juiciest anywhere! They sell them on the side of the road, just about everywhere you go. If you are visiting the higher altitudes, DEFINITELY stop and pick up a carton of Strawberries. They are bigger than golf balls. WOW!
- How about a Full Wash and Detail of your truck for ten bucks!!!!
- Costa Rica is famous for their electrical storms; they are a site to see that is for sure. Hundreds of lightning flashes shoot across the sky. It is especially impressive when it is out over the ocean at night. Of course it can suck if it hits your house; ask me.
- NFL Football is super cheap. Now I know what you are thinking; how can that be? You see the local satellite company, SKY, is the sister of DIRECT TV. They have the NFL package that gives you EVERY SINGLE game, EVERY SINGLE week, just like back home. But because it is in Costa Rica, and they are trying to promote the sport, it is a fraction of what it costs back home.I can just see the executives in the NY office. “LOOK how popular the game is becoming in Latin America boss. Our marketing plan is working.” What they don’t realize is that the Costa Ricans are not watching the sport. All these new sign ups, are just us Ex Pats blowing out of the rat race and enjoying our GIANTS and COWBOYS while floating on a raft in paradise. I sure hope they never figure it out.
- Have you ever flown over the trees like Superman, at 50 MPH? Or swung over a gorge like Indiana Jones? There are hundreds of Zip Lines or Canopy Tours all over this amazing country. I have tried about 20 and my goal is to someday check everyone off the list.
- The Vibe. Everyone is so relaxed and so chill. Why stress out man?
- One of the first things that all my clients tell me is that they made more friends in the first 6 months here, than they did in 20 years back in North America. One of the biggest concerns new people have, is that they will be lonely. It is the exact opposite. Everyone goes out of their way to make the new guy feel welcome and to introduce them to others. Your biggest problem will be that you won’t have enough hours in your day for all of your social activities.
- The craziness of this place is what I adore, really. It is a Gong Show every day here, and it fascinates me. You see it all here, from entire families riding on a scooter, to a guy walking his pet farm animals. I am not joking, there is a man in Sardinal who has 6 or 7 goats, and he walks them on leashes like they are dogs. Hilarious; I love it.
- What could possibly be cooler, than an entire town driving around in golf carts? I have a CD player in mine.
- Fresh Fish Ceviche every single day for lunch, with some Tabasco sauce and a cold Pilsen. Grilled Mahi Mahi, Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Wahoo and Grouper for dinner, just caught that morning at 10 am. Sign me up.
- Sunday is family day, and no matter what you think is important, they are not going to show up to fix your A/C. Super special.
- On just about every corner of every town is a farmers market, with the freshest vegetables Mother Nature has ever produced. They have succulent tomatoes; they explode in your mouth. You can buy bags of vegetables for a couple of bucks and make the most incredible salads you could imagine. But nothing is perfect.According to my neighbor Jerry, the corn on the cob in Costa Rica sucks. He tells me every time how awesome their corn is in Ontario Canada. Well, I will take 85 degrees and bad cob any day over great kernels in the frozen tundra with the arctic cold. I will just buy it in a can then, thank you very much. Pass the green beans please. Vegans; you will love this place.
- Every February the trade winds blow through this part of Costa Rica, they are called the Papagayos, and they can get whipping. There is nothing like the sound of the howling gusts, as it tears past your house, you almost expect the Wicked Witch to fly past on a broom. Many a sailor follows these gales around the globe, and we see some of the most stupendous sailing yachts imaginable anchor in our bays. These huge schooners, costs tens of millions of dollars, and they are a site to see, let me tell you. Makes you want to get up and work a few extra hours that day.
- 51% of Costa Rica is a rain forest and it has the largest percentage of protected land in the world. Over 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity is packed into this little country. Put this into perspective. If the world was a football field, Costa Rica is about the size of a quarter in the middle of it all. Now take every living creature, plant, animal, etc. that is inside the 5 yard line and squeeze it down and shove it into that quarter. That is how much biodiversity is here! Super Cool! Wanna see some stuff? This is the place.
- Fifty Bottles of Pilsen on the wall, Fifty Bottles of Pilsen… Take one down pass it around: We have GREAT internet at the beach. Better than most US cities.
- I hate bugs; despise bugs. That is why I live in Guanacaste. Because of the dry season, we have almost no bugs at all, unlike the rest of Costa Rica, where some of them look like small Pterodactyls.
- The Papagayo Bay is home to over 25 species of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, and they are here for almost 8 months a year. Personally I have seen some that are over 60 feet long. UNBELIEVABLE. You don’t have to go far to see them either. Just jump on a boat, and head out of the bay. Sometimes, if you are lucky, they will come right in close to shore; and you can see them breaching while having a Pilsen at a beach bar.
- One of the first things you will notice now is that there are almost no street dogs; and the few that are here, are actually in pretty good shape and probably have a home. You see we started a rescue organization a decade ago called CARE and we have since, relocated, neutered and spayed over 4000 animals!!!!! Please give these people a big round of applause. Just like the people here, the animals are very relaxed and non-aggressive. They are the most loving creatures you will ever meet; you just want to take every one of them home. Wait a minute: I think I did. LOL
- Everywhere you go in Costa Rica, there are Farmacias. There is a Doctor on call in every one, so you don’t have to hunt one down when you are feeling blue. Just go to your local drug store and tell them your problem. They will diagnose it, and give you the medicine right there on the spot. Many times, they just give you a big shot in the ass, of some super hybrid concoction that knocks the virus out almost immediately; they could never do this back home. OH, and by the way, almost all drugs are over the counter here, so you don’t need prescriptions. Just stock up!!!
- I once did an experiment at one of my parties, and didn’t tell anyone ahead of time. I hired a videographer and had him set up in one of my rooms. I went around the party, randomly grabbing people and shoving them behind the closed door. There was no prepared set of questions, we just told people to tell us their story. Almost every single person, amazingly, said the same thing. “This place is so serene; it just felt like HOME the second I stepped off the plane, and I never wanted to go back.” It is true; this is an enchanting place.
99 Reasons Why I Love Costa Rica
Article/Property ID Number 9105
- I get asked all the time: What is the most important thing you need if you are going to live in Costa Rica? You would think I would say “Hospital” as we are one of the only areas in the country with state of art facilities. But my answer is always the same: Grocery Stores. You do not realize how important a good grocery store is, until you don’t have one.Most of Costa Rica is very remote, and they have no North American shopping, just little markets. Let me tell you; you cannot live on beans and rice alone. But we have 5 awesome grocery stores, and they stock almost all of the products that you are accustomed to back home. Thank the Lord for the Auto Mercado and Super Luperon.
- Health and Vet Care. Costa Rica is famous for its health care, considered some of the best in the world. And here in the Papagayo area, we have 3 world class hospitals. My clients are not getting any younger, so knowing there is a CIMA hospital just a few minutes away, can be the difference between life and death. I had a very complicated back surgery here, so I can attest to the quality of the care at a fraction of what it costs back home.I pay less every year for top of the line Medical Insurance, than my old policy cost me every two months. Having a small brigade of rescue dogs, it seems one of them is always injured, sick or limping, so it is imperative that I have great veterinary care. The Vets in the country are so caring and so attentive, and they will nurture your babies back every single time. Their fees are a fraction of what it would cost in North America, and most of them make house calls too. THANK YOU Sharine Alice for always being there!
- If you have ever read my newsletters, you know how much I love a good pedicure. There is nothing better than a gorgeous young woman rubbing your feet. Oh yes there is: how about a Mani and Pedi for $18.
- Less than a 90 minute drive from the beach, are some of the most relaxing and rejuvenating mud baths in the world. As you lather this stuff up, and then decompress in a Thermal Sauna, the wholesome, natural ingredients go to work removing all the toxins and stress from your body. You will feel like a new person when you are finished; and it makes for great photo ops too.
- You CAN make a difference in Costa Rica. There are about a dozen charitable organizations right here at the beach, where you can donate your time, energy and money, and the country and the people are truly thankful. Save the monkeys or save the ocean: build a church or build a school; the ability to give back is endless. Please come here and help us make a difference.
- As I am writing this, there are about 40 parrots in my tree, and I can hear a troop of Howler Monkeys just around the bend. The nature, wild and animal life here is overwhelming. You will not believe how many thousands of creatures you see every single day, and the fauna will take your breath away. I never get tired of the beauty of this inspiring Eden, and I try really hard never to take it for granted. Having lived most of my life in a concrete jungle, this is one of the last remaining frontiers. Check it out.
- The first time I saw this, I could not believe my eyes; grown men, entering a ring with a charging bull, to prove their toughness. The Toros as it is called is a bull fight of sorts, or more like a bull run, except it is in a very tight piece of real estate and the people lose, not the bull. No bull ever dies, but a few morons have. Grab another Pilsen and enjoy the show, as there is nothing like a flying human being to raise the crowd to its feet.
- As my surrogate little brother David says “Gallo Pinto is rocket fuel, man.” There is no better way to start your day than a plate of black beans and rice. It is the staple of their diet here, and it is on almost every platter of typical food. They prepare it differently, depending on the meal, and everyone has their own secret recipes, but you can never tire of this stuff; it is SO good.
- Over the last decade, hundreds of young families, Tico and Gringo, have relocated to the beaches; Many of them bringing small children of all ages. Actually, more than half my clients now, are younger, not retirees, coming here for better quality of life for their kids, and opportunities for themselves. In the last few years, many bi-lingual private schools have opened here at the beach, making it much easier to adjust. Even though I don’t have any hijos, these schools have allowed these young entrepreneurs to relocate to paradise and supply the community with all the services and needs we desire.
- Have you ever looked up at the sky at night, back in the United States of America? You can’t see anything. Between all the city lights, and all the smog, you wouldn’t even know there are any stars in the universe. But tilt your head skyward here, and prepare to be blown away. You can see MILLIONS of them, every single evening; and the moon shines brighter here than anywhere on this earth, I truly believe. One of my most enjoyable pastimes is a Pilsen in hand, kicked back in my chaise lounge, absorbed in the beauty of the night. This is actually how I spent New Year’s Eve; why are you not here?
- I could easily put this Number One on the list, but I don’t want to sound like a total alcoholic. RUM. Latin America has some of the tastiest that Pirates have ever put to their lips. There is Ron Flor de Cana; Ron Centenario; Ron Zacapa; just to name a few; and at a fraction of what this stuff costs back home. Rum in Spanish is Ron. My good buddy Don once had me rolling on the floor. “This Ronnie guy makes some great stuff!!!”
- You can’t mention rum, without limes, and these zesty green dudes grow right here in paradise. The citrus and fruit in this country will floor you, and I have a dozen trees growing right in my back yard; think about how cool it is to just pluck it from your own stock. Oranges, Grapefruits, Bananas, Mangos, Papayas, just to name a few, but the most unique of all is the Limon Mandarina. It is a hybrid mix of Limes and Mandarin oranges, that blast flavor into your drink. They look like a lime with leprosy, as they have ugly white dots all over them, but do you a favor; buy a bag. They go perfect in anything clear; 7-Up, Club Soda, VODKA; and make a great addition as a garlic sauce on your fish. Squeeze away.
- Well, since I am on a roll with alcohol, I might as well keep going. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I like to drink, and our little area has some of the best bars you could ever stumble out of. Thursday night is ladies night at Zi Lounge; Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid. The greatest shot every invented, started right here in our area too; the Chili Guaro. It is a spicy, little injection that you just can’t get enough of. SANDBAR in Hermosa is my personal favorite; make your way over to check it out.
- I have been a certified scuba diver for 25 years, and I have dived all over the Caribbean and Central America. I understand, how people new to the sport, will talk about visibility, and how the PACIFICO OCEAN doesn’t have the best. True. But there is so much more to diving than being able to see 75 feet. You see, after you have dived a few dozen times, the site of an Angel Fish and a pretty reef gets BORING!Most of the islands, and places like Belize, have beautiful crystal clear water, but nothing else. NO MARINE LIFE. That is what makes the Papagayo so astounding. I have seen Whale Sharks and Manta Rays as big as cars. Eels, sharks and turtles are everywhere; as well as octopus, sting rays and dozens of species of fish. Besides, there is a very good chance that you will also encounter some of the hundreds of dolphins, porpoises, whales and even Orcas that migrate through our seas. Sure beats pretty flowering sea urchins and rock formations.
- During the green season, from May to November, you can almost set your watch to it; the romantic afternoon showers. Around 2:45 PM you can see the clouds coming in, and feel the humidity rising, and then BAM: a torrential downpour. It lasts about 2 hours, and brings the temperature down about 10-15 degrees. It is exhilarating and refreshing, and a great excuse to take a break from the heat. Try hanging in a hammock with a cold Pilsen in your hand and you will know exactly what I am talking about; ROMANCE.
- This place is like CHEERS: everybody knows you. It is such a remarkable feeling, to walk into any restaurant, bar, grocery store or professional office, and everyone says “Heh Mike.” They hand you a cold Pilsen beer before you even get to your table, and hugs and kisses on the cheek abound. It is truly very special warmth that flows through your veins.
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