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by Mark Klempner

My wife and I moved to Costa Rica from New York, one month before 9/11. No, we didn’t know it was coming, although the stolen election of 2000 and the subsequent extreme makeover of the White House and Congress had left us a little queasy. When we visited the town of Monteverde, and not only clicked with the people and environment, but were both offered jobs as well, we felt it might be a good time for us to leave the Disunited States of America.

     Having been in Costa Rica now for more than five years, it’s always a trip –in more ways than one– to return to the U.S. The longer I live as an expatriate, the greater is my culture shock upon encountering my native land. I know from past visits that being both an insider and an outsider can cause certain familiar things to seem bizarre. But this recent book tour in which I spent a week in each of the power centers, New York City, and Washington DC, left me feeling more than ever like a stranger in a strange land.

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