SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise

23 Mar

This is the continuation of a series of blogs 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

chapter 17 continued

It’s known here that ticos are very resourceful.  Drunk or otherwise they find ways to keep their vehicles running (good news or bad news?).  But this next event tops the list.  In the states if someone gets in a wreck, their car is undriveable and blocking a major artery it’s only a matter of time until the police show up and soon after a tow truck.  Well, you’ve read my description of narrow bridges which are literally only one car wide.  There usually (but not always) will be a sign on both sides of the bridge warning drivers of that fact and indicating that they are to yield the right of way.

The unwritten rule is that the first vehicle to approach the bridge from either side has the right of way and any vehicles(s) on the other side pull over before entering onto the bridge and wait for their turn to cross.   The good news is that most of these narrow bridges have a sign on one side indicating that vehicles on that side must yield to allow the oncoming vehicle to pass first.

In My Toldo I describe one such bridge where the pavement ends and the dreaded dirt road starts.  It was at this bridge that as I approached from the paved side there was a line of a dozen or so cars stopped on my side.  This is out in the country so that “many cars” are a lot and as it turned out there were about the same amount on the dirt side as well.  I stopped in line and decided to get out and walk up to see what had caused this unusual situation.  There on the bridge was the damndest sight I’ve ever seen not involving any human injuries.  Some Tico in an SUV had hit his brakes too late and had gone sideways into the railing about twenty feet into the bridge.  The impact had torn his bumper off, which was hanging over the side of the bridge, and crumpled the rest of the parts into his left front tire making it impossible to move the vehicle.  Now, what would you do if faced with the fact that you have just made the only road to several populated areas impassable and you know there will be no police or tow trucks to the rescue?  Hope that with any luck an eighteen wheeler with a humongous tow chain will come along?

That is exactly what occurred and as I approached the scene the big truck was using the chain to pull the various parts of the car away from the tire.  In about twenty minutes he had the crumpled parts pulled away enough so that the wheel was able to be turned and the guy was able to back his car off the bridge.  Someone pulled his bumper out of the bridge railing and he parked off to the side, where he probably should have to begin with, so traffic could pass.  I’m sure he was sober by then.  I hope he had his cell phone with him because he wasn’t getting much sympathy, only a few snickers, as all the cars that had been backed up began to continue on their merry way (it’s mid December and this country party’s till mid January.  Another reason to love it).

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