SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

6 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

But by now my Spanish is good enough that I can be insistent.  And with insistence and the trick I had learned along the way, which was to walk into the office just before closing when there would be fewer people waiting, I got several of those government slugs involved who were only too happy to get this gringo satisfied and out of there so they could all go home.  I had all the required papers and they had no choice but to get to the truth of what needed to transpire because they could tell I wasn’t leaving until I got what I needed.  So this time I walked out with a new sheet with big numbers on it (a half hour after closing) with the promise that their technicians would be at my house in (you guessed it) two weeks. 

I swear that’s code for “god knows when” because so far, in my nearly two years here, it’s been my experience that with C.R. government agencies it has been a 100% no show rate requiring more insistent activity on my part to actually get accomplished even the simplest task and they always say “two weeks” the first time.

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

5 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

Then about four months ago a friend, who lives near me, told me there was a combination of RACSA and ICE equipment available for my area that could bring faster internet to me.  So off to ICE in Santa Cruz I went.  They told me to go to RACSA.  I went to RACSA (in Nicoya, remember?).  They told me to go to ICE.  Is this crazy or what?  Remember, these two entities are two branches of the same government agency!  They really do need a security guard.

By the way, as of this date, I still go to the same office to pay (although it has moved further from the office where the security guard is) and there is still no security guard in that location where all the money is!

Well, after more and varied research it finally became clear that the place I needed to start at was the ICE office, no matter what those under trained, ill informed and seemingly uncaring government employees said.  So there I was, back in the ICE office with the bored looking security guard, just before they closed for the day.  

Remember all the proof of existence I mentioned earlier in this story that these government agencies and banks require?  Well, part of that proof is called a Personeria Juredica (or something like that) which is proof that your company still exists and you’re still the president.  That document can be no older than 30 days and needs to be submitted each time you need to prove your existence to some government agency.  That requires paying an attorney $30 to provide you with an officially stamped and notarized original document which you then present to the agency.  Obviously, since nothing goes smoothly here, one is forever running to an attorney to get a new one.  The point being, ICE told me to come back when I had all the papers fresh and ready (they got to go home on time that day which was months ago).

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

4 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

Well, it is now October 1, 2008.  This story started in December 2006.  I have internet in my house finally!

Not DSL but something called RDSI.  It’s similar to DSL in that you can be on line and use your phone at the same time but it’s not quite as fast.  But it’s fast enough that I at least am not on the verge of going postal like I was yesterday.

Ok, here’s the “bring you up to speed” part.

I have had that paper with the big numbers on it posted in my window ever since the girl gave it to me.  That was in September 2007.  About six months ago I got so exhausted with the sixty minute drive down that horribly potholed dirt road to Santa Cruz to use the internet café that I finally gave in and got set up with RACSA dial-up service.  Remember the entire trauma surrounding the unavailability of modems and other crap ICE and RACSA were causing?  No one bothered to ask me what kind of computer I had.  I’m using a laptop.  Now, I’m no kind of a computer guru.  How was I to know that all lap tops come with a modem inside that works with dial-up services and there’s no need to buy another?

Well, somehow I discovered that happy fact and after more struggles with RACSA finally got my computer set up with dial-up.  But oh my god!  I haven’t experienced frustration like that since I was a young man and thought life should be frustration free.  It got so bad at times that there were literally pages of sites that I needed to use for business that when the lines were busy (I guess) would simply not load!  RACSA claims that their dial up runs at 50kps.  You can click on the RACSA icon to see what the actual speed is.  I remember one time it was 26kps.  It wasn’t just a matter of waaaaiiitting. 

Things would actually freeze up and would not load.  I would even get error messages from company’s like Google that would say something like “this is taking longer than…” and would make suggestions about how to correct the problem (yeah, like you can “correct” a government agency). 

It got to the point where if I had to do anything more than check email, which could take over an hour, not because I had so many emails but because it took so long for the new page that loads with every click of the mouse, I would make the dreaded drive to Santa Cruz so I could use the internet café for the other sites I needed to use for business. 

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

3 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

Ah ha!  I’ve figured out how to beat the system in regards to paying the bills.  If I wait until my cell phone is past due but before they cut it off (sometime after the 20th but I’m not sure of the exact date).  And if I go in after the 22nd, I can pay them both.

Meanwhile, back to the internet/modems.  It’s now September (ten months after the beginning of this ordeal) and there are still no modems in the country.  I’ve been to stores in the U.S. and they agree that if ICE offers DSL, which they do, that a modem from the U.S. most likely would not work in C.R.  And to top it off, I arrive back from Ca. and have a message from RACSA (the dial-up only internet service provider) to call them.  I do. 

I am informed that since I signed up for service in January but have not made any payments since (of course!) that I am now in arrears by about $15 and my service (which I have never had) has been terminated.  If I want service I must go to a bank, pay $15 to a certain account number; fax to RACSA the payment receipt along with proof of my existence (copy of my passport), proof of corporate existence, and a letter signed by me requesting reinstatement. 

Ya thunk a orta wait tell a got me a modem?

Well, here’s a new twist.  It’s a week later and I happened to be walking past the ICE office and noticed there were only six or eight people waiting.  So I thought I’d go in and ask about modems.  I walked up to the security guard and asked my question.  He said something, in rapid fire Spanish, the only part of which I understood was “wait here”. 

He disappears but comes back in a minute and motions me to come ahead of the people waiting and talk to the girl behind the counter.  I look around to see if I’ll be attacked.  They all look calm.  I sit down and ask if/when they will have a DSL modem.  Much to my surprise they have them!  They’ve always had them.  Now I’m confused.  It turns out that it’s the dial-up modems that no one has.  But I don’t want dial-up.  I want DSL, which is what I thought I had signed up for in January.  I get excited.  Then she prints up this notice with BIG numbers on it (like the one before).  Then she informs me that DSL is not offered in my area yet.  I ask why give me the paper with numbers on it.  She says it will alert them to install a DSL modem when they offer service in my area.  When will that be?  She has no idea.

 I find it interesting that ICE will put you on a list for a service that they have no idea when they will offer.  In the mean time, I also discover that if I have DSL I don’t need RACSA.  RACSA is only for dial-up. 

You would think this would have been explained to me in the beginning.  I guess I’ll just chalk it up to one more example of government inefficiency/don’t give a shit.

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

2 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

Speaking of security guards, here’s the clincher.  At the beginning of the month I went to the ICE payment office to pay my cell phone bill.  It seemed logical, since I now had a functioning land line, to pay both bills at the same time.  Even though I had only had the land line (functioning) for a couple weeks I figured there would be basic service charges due and I wouldn’t mind paying a small amount in advance.  But the girl behind the glass said no.  I could pay it the 22nd of the month at the earliest.  Well, it turns out I’ll be passing through Santa Cruz that day on my way to the airport to go the U.S.   I’ll just pay both then so I can get the payment synchronized.  Oh, the best laid plans…  I went in on the 22nd… she said no. 

I could pay the land line but the cell phone had not been a month yet since the last time I paid it.  And here’s where the security guard comes in.  When I walked into the office she had, literally, piles of money spread out on her desk.  There were stacks of bills with a paper band around them and loose bills.  She was counting.  She continued counting during my transaction, which took a few minutes because I thought I just didn’t understand her. 

I couldn’t believe I couldn’t pay both phone bills so I kept making her repeat herself until I finally understood that yep, I have to drive down that rough dirt road twice a month to pay separately.  In the meantime a line was forming behind me of frustrated people who looked like they were tired of being held up by stupid gringos. 

And she just kept counting these stacks of money.  And there was no security guard.  He was down the street in the office that had no money. 

Government mentality at its best.

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

1 Sep

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

I get on line to grupoice.com.  With a little assistance from one of the employees at the internet café I now have a list of modems.  I call the store in Liberia that they refer me to as being the best place to go for my modem.  The employee at the store says they don’t have any (at least ICE wasn’t lying).  Maybe in two weeks they say.  Why do I sense that “two weeks” is the standard disclaimer?   In two weeks I’ll be in Ca.   I mention to the employee at the internet café that I could just buy one there while I’m in familiar California.  He reminds me that telephone equipment in C.R. is configured slightly differently than in the U.S. and suggests that I buy my modem in C.R.   Oh yes, he is correct.  That’s why my Ca. cell phone won’t work here.  It will work in certain other countries but apparently the government here wants to be sure you are forced to use ICE.   Heaven forbid you should be able to avoid this nuisance. 

But in the meantime, I’ve also had comical experiences around opening bank accounts in C.R., so I decide to go to B.N. to inquire what it is that they require for opening an account.  It seems that in the U.S. you just give your name and S.S. number and address to the bank and you’re set.  Not in C.R.  You need a lot of serious proof of your existence. 

Now, I’ve been in this branch of B.N. before and had as long as an hour and a half wait.  But it’s the only branch in town.  I need to get my oil changed too and there’s a place close to this branch where I can do that so lets kill two birds with one stone.  It works!  The oil change is done long before I get the list of requirements to be able to open an account with B.N. (it’s different with each bank) and I can finally head for home. 

Here’s the bottom line.  The only non “I’m trying to get the internet” time I spent today was a half hour for lunch and the stop to pick up the curtains.  I pulled up in front of my house at 5pm.  Seven hours and I’m not much closer to having the internet than I was this morning.  You see why ICE needs security guards?

SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis – plumitapacifica.com

30 Aug

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 9 continued

I have never stood in so many lines with so many people who appear to be content to stand in line like they have nothing better to do.  Can you imagine the fidgeting and comments that would be flying around the room in Ca. if no matter which public place you went to there was always a line?

Anyway, I got signed up for internet service and headed off to the ICE office to get my modem.   Remember, at this point I’m thinking my phone line is right around the corner.

ICE says, in short, “you don’t have a line yet so you can’t buy a modem, come back when you have a line”.   Their office had a security guard too.

So back to today… it’s six months later and I have my land line.  I take off for the ICE office in Nicoya at 10am.  I make a brief stop to pick up some curtains I had made by the woman who made my toldo (see My Toldo).   I’m winning “la guerra de los zancudos”, by the way.   I arrive at ICE Nicoya at 11:45.   I only have about a forty five minute wait.   It’s my turn.  I tell the guy I’m just here to buy my modem.

He says they don’t have any modems.  I said “but in January this is where I had to come to buy a modem”.  He said “ah yes, in January we had modems.  Now there are no modems in the entire country.”  I’m incredulous!  But once again the security guard is ready.

But this is a good time to get as much information as I can because I want to make my forty five minute wait worthwhile.  I ask if I might be able to buy a modem in the U.S. and bring it back with me.  He says yes.  I ask “which modem”.

He tells me to go to the ICE website where there is a list of all the modems that work with their equipment.  And it turns out I also must open a bank account at Banco National so RACSA can debit my account automatically, monthly, for payment for service I don’t even receive yet.  There are other banks in C.R. but the one where I currently have an account, which is a major international bank (not government run like most of the banks in C.R.), is not authorized to handle that transaction.   As a matter of fact there is no other bank in C.R. authorized to handle that transaction.

There is a branch of B.N. in Santa Cruz.  I take off for Santa Cruz where the internet café I use is.  To make a long story short, I may be able to buy a modem from a private source.

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