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

20 May

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 25 continued

Here’s a second (and final) example.  And another lesson learned.  Not that department store shopping is necessarily a “woman’s domain” either but I have to admit I’d almost rather have a tooth pulled than have to wander through a department store trying to find a specific item.

The good news for me here is that their version of a department store is about one tenth the size of department stores in Ca.  Obviously choices/selections/variety are limited but what is most disconcerting are their displays.  In Ca. displays are generally neat and organized.

If there are towels stacked on a shelf, for example, they are all folded similarly and stacked neatly and organized by brand, size, color, etc.  If there are products in boxes the boxes appear to never have been opened so it’s reasonable to assume that whatever is inside will be complete.

Alright, let’s look around the C.R. department store.  Clothing is off the rack, sizes are mixed up, towels and other stackable items are disheveled and out of place, boxes have been opened and sometimes not even re-closed or taped back together haphazardly.  Department stores here are just generally sloppy and disorganized and for someone used to neat and orderly it can be a little disconcerting.

But sometimes I have to go in for something.  The very first time I needed to do the dreaded deed of shopping in a department store it was for things for the apartments on the first floor of my house that I rent to tourists.  The nearest department store was in Liberia, a two hour drive one way which included an hour down a very rough dirt road (see Driving – Rainy Season).  Among other things I needed cookware.  I found the set I wanted and needed.  Since I have two apartments I needed two sets.  The boxes were just as I described above, but being new to C.R. and still operating on Ca. assumptions, I opened them, gave them a cursory look, and thought both sets looked complete, bought them and drove home.

If you purchase anything, anywhere, inspect it thoroughly before you leave the store.

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