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

22 Dec

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 20 continued

Ok, I went to Nicoya.  At the INS office, as I walked in the door, there stood a security guard.  It was a large office with several windows for attendants, some of which were actually occupied by attendants and some (two) with customers.

I showed the security guard my papers and he directed me to a window with an attendant that wasn’t occupied.  I thought “hallelujah, I don’t have to wait in a line”.  I went to the unoccupied, and bored looking, attendant and showed him my papers.

He pointed to the two windows that were occupied and told me to wait my turn (already I was beginning to understand why they need a security guard).

After about fifteen minutes I began making comments loud enough for the attendants to hear about how happy I was that CAFTA had passed so that someday there would be competition in the insurance industry in C.R. and how disgusting government run businesses and agencies are.  Finally, one of the occupied agents excused himself from the people he was helping, called a woman over to one of the unoccupied windows and motioned for me to come to her window.

She looked over my papers, which included the cops report, then asked me for my passport.   I went out to my car, where my Franklin planner was hidden, and retrieved my passport and took it to her.   She reviewed all the papers again, excused herself while she made a copy of my passport then came back and asked me for my vehicle registration.   Of course I’m thinking, what the f…, why didn’t she ask me for that when she asked me for my passport.  Oh well, back out to the car and back to her.

Here’s where it got comical.  She once again reviews everything, made a copy of the registration and then asked me if a date one week later would be convenient for an appointment.  I’m thinking, what do I need an appointment for?  I finally understood that it was an appointment to get my car inspected again for repairs.  The damage to my car was so minimal I didn’t want to do anything.  I never intended to have any repairs.  It was just a scratch about an eight of an inch wide by about 3 inches long.  Do you think I could convince her that I didn’t want a repair?  She got so frustrated by my insistence that I didn’t want a repair that she pulled the guy, who brought her over but was still helping the other people, off his window to come get involved.

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

20 Dec

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 20 continued

Now, in Ca, if you’re in a minor fender bender, you exchange information and go on your way.   The involved party’s call their insurance company’s and after that it’s mostly the insurance company’s talking to each other.  Of course the “victims” have to hassle all the details in regards to repairs but there’s no way to avoid that in any country. 

Ok, after waiting an hour and a half, I called INS to ask why the inspector had not yet arrived.  This time I got a different “barely able to speak English” person who, after many “please hold while I check something” comments, finally said the inspector was on the way to my house, which is an hour from where the accident occurred.  I made some comments about stupidity and handed my phone back to Jimmy (his status had been elevated enough by then to be removed from the “victim” category).  Once again I heard him give an excellent description of our location and an hour later the inspector arrived.

Another hour later after taking photos from every imaginable angle of both cars (the damage was hardly perceptible on my bumper and besides I’m not about to hassle something so minor) and multiple copies of reports for both of us with multiple signatures the inspector says now the police have to come to make a report!  A half hour later two cops show up and proceed to measure the distance from the corner to where I’m parked, then the length of my car, then the distance to where he parked, then the length of his car (maybe that’s why they sent two cops, one for each end of the tape measure), then multiple copies of reports for both of us with multiple signatures.  My god, what would it be like if you were in a serious accident?

Then the cops hand me my copy of their report and leave and the inspector hands me my copies of that report and tells me I have five days to present my copies to the INS office.  There is an INS office in Sta. Cruz so I ask if that’s where I need to go (you would think “yes”, but by now I know better).  No, I must either go to Liberia or Nicoya.

Aren’t you glad in Ca. insurance is not a government monopoly?

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

19 Dec

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 20 continued

Well, if you drive enough miles, no matter how hard you pray, Murphy will have his way with you and on June 9, 2008 he did with me.

I’m parallel parking my car on Santa Cruz’s main street, which is a comfortably two car wide one way street, but people park on both sides of it creating a treacherously narrow little passageway that you can only slowly thread your way through.  And drivers here ride your bumper making it difficult to parallel park and so just as I was cutting it to swing in close to the curb, which left my left front bumper out in the street, some guy tried to squeeze by and in so doing his car touched my bumper which put a little scrape mark on his rear quarter panel.  Whose fault was it?  Who knows? 

Some people say it was his fault because he should have waited for me to finish parking rather than trying to squeeze by.  I just decided that it wasn’t worth arguing about in a language I’m not fluent enough in to conduct a good argument.

He went a little further down the street to park and survey the damage to his car and I walked up and said I had INS.  With relief in his voice, he said he was glad I did because he didn’t.  I wasn’t surprised because at the prices they charge there is no way the average tico can afford it.  Remember, this is the country where less than 50% of the people even have a car. 

I get a signal on my cell phone in Sta. Cruz so I called INS and once again I ask for an English speaker but this time it’s a “barely able to”.  But between my “victim” and me we got all the information handled that the INS agent asked for over the phone. 

Part of that information was my personal info including where my house is (Playa Junquillal) and where the accident did happen and where the vehicles are now located.  To answer the “vehicles located now” question I handed the phone to him.  Since there are no addresses or even street signs in C.R. I felt more confident letting a native speaker answer that.  Giving/receiving directions here even amuses the ticos.   As I listened to him describe the location he was very clear, precise and included all the landmarks that one would need to find us.   The INS person said an inspector would arrive in an hour and DO NOT move either vehicle.

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

18 Dec

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 20 continued

This involves the “Murphy’s Law” story and is further proof that Murphy lives in Costa Rica. 

I had a flat as I was leaving my house for Nicoya.  I needed to get to Nicoya for some brief business which was to occur at 6:30pm and would be returning home so rather than wait for the flat to be repaired, thus risking being late for my meeting in Nicoya, I left the tire at my friendly repair place to be picked up on my way back home or the next day. 

Well, as Murphy would have it, about 3 miles from Nicoya… bang… another flat and by now it was pitch black nighttime with traffic whizzing by on this narrow, no shoulders road.  I pulled up into what looked like a never used driveway (I could see a house with lights on through the trees) and with feelings of trepidation I called the emergency road assistance number my insurance agent had given me. (Murphy could have been nastier because my cell phone actually, surprisingly, received a signal at my location).  I asked for an English speaker and actually got one and, to shorten the story, one of those big flat bed trucks showed up from Nicoya about an hour and a half later.  Of course I never made the appointment but was at least able to call and reschedule. 

The next challenge was getting the tire repaired and getting back home.  Too late.  By the time the truck got my car loaded on and we were in Nicoya any place that could fix a flat was closed.  We left the car at a well lighted 24 hr. gas station which was right across the street from a tire repair place and I called a cab to get to a hotel for the night. 

The next challenge was getting back home by 9am the next morning to meet the guys who said they would be there at that time to repair my broken garage door.  As a side note, they did show up just a few minutes after 9 which was also a welcome surprise considering the fact that often it’s days after “mañana” when they finally do show up, usually unannounced.  It was a $750 repair so I figured they’d be on time.  But Nicoya is a little over an hour from my house and the tire repair place didn’t open until 7.  I know how everyone crowds into all the business’s early in this country so I made sure I drove my car across the street at 6:30 to be first in line.  I barely beat the next guy!  But I was first and there was a soda next door (that’s a very small family type eatery) so I had my favorite breakfast of eggs scrambled with ham, onions, chiles dulce (sweet red peppers), tomatoes and gallo pinto on the side (a mix of rice and beans with onions, cilantro, chiles dulce) while my tire was being repaired and made it home before 9am.

Ok, all that was interesting but now for the story that puts the punctuation mark after “Incompetence Naturally Stupid”.  Have you ever driven in a non-English speaking country?  Did you pray that you wouldn’t get in a wreck? 

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

16 Dec

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 19 continued

Then it was back to COSEVY and by that time I didn’t give a rip who saw me with her so, much to her discomfort, I walked into the office with her and sat down and pretended to ignore her while she pretended to ignore me as she went from office to office where at each office she got special attention (fun to watch the guys light up as she would walk in).

But she walked out with a shiny plastic license and we were back at my place by 2pm.

Chapter 20

INS and A MINOR ACCIDENT

INS is Costa Rica’s government run insurance company.  Don’t ask me what those letters stand for.  Maybe… Incompetence Naturally Stupid.  It’s another example of government inefficiency.  But at the present time it’s the only choice.  Therefore both my house and car are insured through the government’s questionable agency.

Thank goodness CAFTA passed.  That’s the free trade agreement with the U.S. and some of the Caribbean and other Central American countries.  One of the points of the agreement was that C.R. must open its government monopolies on insurance and telephones/communications.  If you’ve read Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet you’ll understand my anticipation of other service providers entering the market.

Now for the reasons why other insurance company’s would be welcomed here by many other people also.  We all know that competition usually brings with it two advantages over monopolies.  Lower prices and better service.  My car insurance costs the same here as it does in Ca. but the coverage is way less.  For example, to keep the rate down to what I pay in Ca, my car, which has a value in C.R of about $25,000, is only allowed a pay out of $10,000 if stolen and has no coverage on items stolen from inside it.  And forget about medical.  And it has a sizeable deductible which not only applies to my car but the other guys car as well.

As for service, that’s commensurate with the price/coverage scenario.  At least there is one small point of good news though.  The coverage includes something like the Auto Club.  I’ve had the opportunity to use it once and because my need occurred on the main paved road from Santa Cruz to Nicoya, a distance of about 20 miles, it was actually pretty good. 

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

15 Dec

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 19 continued

Enter the head cop again.  He said he would arrange it so that she wouldn’t have to take the driving test and to just make another appointment to go through all the other steps of the process and he would see to it that she got her license.  The taxi driver also took pity on her and only charged her one way.  What the heck, he had to drive back to Nicoya, where she lives, anyway.

Now it’s my turn.  How do I know all these details?  When her appointment to take the phantom driving test and complete all the steps came up I was in C.R. and offered to take her to COSEVY.  I wish I could have taken photos of all the people and steps involved (except the taxi driver) but cameras are not allowed in any banks, or the special office at the airport, or COSEVY. 

But you talk about a comedy of errors!  It actually got worse than steps 7, 8 & 9 are.  It just so happened that the day of her phantom driving test appointment, which was scheduled for 8am, ICE shut down all electrical power in the Liberia area to make major changes… at 8am!  I dropped her off at 8am at COSEVY (she didn’t want to be seen with a “male friend” for obvious reasons) and went to a restaurant to have coffee.  The plan was that she would call me to come get her when she was ready but of course at that point we didn’t know ICE (short for “Murphy” I think) would be throwing a monkey wrench into the cogs.

A little over an hour later she calls, I think she’s done, and I go get her.  Nope, she’s not done.  First we needed go to the recommended bank which turned out to be closed when we got there because the power was down.  So then after she called the head cop, who told us where a different bank that was on generator power, we went there and of course the line was out the door.  Then comes the saga of the guy that has to follow us to the airport office to hand walk her through that process, whom we had to stop at COSEVY for so she could tell him she was ready.  I wished I could have taken his photo when he saw that she was with a “male friend”.

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

13 Dec

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 19 continued

As it was for her:

She failed the written test by a small margin but she’s exceedingly cute and sexy looking and is forever being hit on by ticos and gringos of all ages and marital status (especially the ticos, who are notorious philanderers).  And as luck would have it, the head cop happened to be there that day.

So she’s back to square one but when the cop said he would take special exception to her plight and help her and then turned the picture of his wife and family over, that was on his desk, after she asked him if that was his wife and family, she had a sense that some strings might get pulled (other than the ones on her bikini panties).

Somehow he set it up so that when she finally got back there to take the written test again she had no trouble passing it.  She explained it to me but there were too many technical words for my Spanish to handle so I pretended like I understood.  After all, it was only important that she passed!

But then she had to get her scooter to COSEVY to take the driving test.   I happened to be in Ca. during that appointment but it turned out the only way she could get it there was to hire a taxi/pickup truck and for $70 one way haul it there.  $70 might not sound like a lot to you but when your income is less than $300 a month it’s a lot.  

Her plan was to drive it home after passing and going through steps 7, 8 & 9.

She got the scooter to COSEVY only to be told that the system was down and that she would have to come back another day!  By the way, COSEVY has armed security guards too.  There’s no cash in the building but… frustration!

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