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.