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 24 continued
But I had the weirdest experience one Good Friday/Easter weekend. Here is this major metropolitan area that is constantly bustling. Streets crowded, sidewalks crowded, noisy, vendors shouting out to attract you, stores with music blaring to attract you (which turns me off so bad I refuse to go in them even if they have what I want), and I decide to come down to visit friends over Easter.
I had to take the bus on Thursday (see Taking the Bus for that fun story) because there are no buses running on Good Friday. (Actually, nothing runs on Good Friday… the country completely shuts down.)
I arrived in time to check in to my hotel, have dinner, wander up and down Avenida Central, which is a street that for several blocks was turned into a pedestrian walkway and is lined with good stuff including a good sized book store, and then to bed in anticipation of dinner with my friends the next night.
I awake on Friday (Good Friday) get dressed, leave the hotel to go to a favorite breakfast restaurant and step out into a literal ghost town! The place is locked up tight!
Nothing is open! No cars on the street, no people crowded on the sidewalks! Spooky! I start walking towards Gran Hotel Costa Rica, which is a beautiful old hotel built in 1907 and renovated in recent years, thinking that at least Mac Donald’s on Avenida Central, which is right behind the hotel, will surely be open (not). On the way, however, is the main Catholic cathedral. There were the T.V. cameras, a crowd of maybe 200 people, a marching band, some public officials and a bunch of clergy.
I had arrived just in time to witness a re-inaction of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Quite interesting this Catholic stuff. After the re-inaction, which included a mock whipping of the Jesus character who then reappeared looking bloodied and with his crown of thorns but he was not nailed up on the cross, thank goodness, the whole procession took off walking slowly to drums beating and the band playing somber sounding music with about half the crowd following. I have no idea of the route it took.
But it turned out that hotel C.R. had a nice buffet set up so I had a leisurely breakfast and headed back to my hotel in time to see the procession coming up what is normally a four lane street with five or six lanes of cars, buses and trucks crowded into it. I guess they were headed back to the cathedral. I was glad I was going the other direction.