We have been doing some exploring of the neighbourhood on our daily walks……….. We are perched on the hillside overlooking downtown San Jose, which means lots of hills! It also means a lot of high end luxurious homes with fantastic views, both of San Jose and the surrounding countryside.
These houses range from ultra-modern to classic villas and range from dazzling white to vivid burnt orange, bougainvillea cascades in exuberant colour against palm trees and spiky huge agaves. Every place is different and also the same!
Every single one is hidden by high walls or fences each topped with razor wire, entrance is obtained through huge motorized gates with and without security guards. All windows and doors have bars or additional gates and all of course have a built in security system.
It appears the price of success in this country is that you live the remainder of your days behind bars…….. not something we are really interested in doing.
Which is why we very amused yesterday, we passed a property tucked away behind a high graffiti covered wall with Si Vende (For Sale) plastered in bold lettering on it. The gates were in disrepair , the side gate missing with the opening protected with strands of barbed wire. Of course we had to go and have a peek to see what was beyond……… a large empty lot with a impressive view of San Jose and nearby hills.
While admiring the view a voice piped up behind us, we turn to see a immaculately dressed man, addressing us from his SUV ………. turns out he was the agent with the listing for that property! What are the chances of the real estate agent driving by at that precise moment???
He regaled us with what a wonderful location it is and we could build up to 5 properties on it, only up to 3 stories though, the owner was relocating etc. etc. etc. A very pleasant charming man, however Freddie my man there is no way we would live here!
We long ago established that we are not big city folks; add to that the outrageous prices here! Outrageous, compared to the rest of Central America anyway…….. actually very similar or even more than what we would pay back in Canada.
The main reason though is all those bars and miles of razor wire, is it really necessary or just because that’s the way it has always been? Seems to us there is two societies here, the haves and the have not’s and they appear to be hurtling rapidly away from each other.