Archive | September, 2013

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

23 Sep

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 6 continued

But back to construction.  The other interesting experience I’m having, which I’m told is also common here, is that I’ve been in my place for six months and it is still not finished!  There literally is less than two days work to do on the place but they just don’t show up to do it and when they do, they do two things and then leave.  Very inefficient.

Well, another month has slipped by.  I saw my main contractor, Mario, the other day.  He said he would come by early the next morning.  He didn’t, but he sent the electrician who arrived about 10am.  I reminded him of what needed to be done by him.  He said his workers would arrive in the pm to do it.  They didn’t.  It’s now the next week so I’ll call.

The other “architect/contractor”, Carlos, also came last week finally, a month after he said he would.  He and his worker spent the day.  Got almost everything done that he is responsible for and said he’d be back the next day to finish up.  I haven’t seen him since.  I’ll call him too.

Although it’s not much comfort, my story is not unusual here.  As a matter of fact I’ve quit telling it because every person I tell it to says “oh yeah, you think that’s bad, well listen to mine”.  People ask me if I’ve made the final payment.  I have to Mario, which was obviously a mistake but when I made it the few little things that needed to be finished up seemed small enough that I was sure he’d have them done in a week.  Whew!  We’re almost into the 8th month.  On the other hand, I haven’t made the final payment to Carlos, the other architect who is doing cabinets etc., yet.  We’re almost into the 8th month too.

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

21 Sep

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 6 continued

All it takes is the right attitude.  I think I mentioned in one of these journaling’s that I have come up with a more descriptive way of uttering the name of this country.  Not just Costa Rica but Costa Rica the Country Where Your Plans Don’t Matter.  Because no matter what your plans are they will get changed the moment you attempt to pursue them.  You will meet with frustrations that are difficult to describe to those of you who have not attempted to accomplish anything in C.R.  Therefore… attitude becomes the critical factor if you want to have fun, as I am.  Never before in my life has the expression “you may not be able to control that which is acting upon you but you can control how you act in relation to it” been more relevant to my existence than it is in C.R.

There is a word which you will hear uttered frequently here, “tranquillo”.  Of course the translation is “tranquil” but here tranquillo takes on a greatly expanded meaning from tranquil.  Thank goodness for the training from all the material I’ve been exposed to through my business dealings.  It takes more than just a “positive attitude” as a concept.  It takes putting that attitude into practice in the most frustrating of circumstances, when really you’d like to strangle someone.  The problem is that generally you wouldn’t be able to strangle just one person.  The refusal to accept responsibility permeates the culture and is evidenced at all levels, especially when it comes to anything government related.

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

20 Sep

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

This country has a lot of Mario’s, Maria’s, Juan’s, Jorge’s and Jose’s and it seems like the rest have names I have to make them spell and for sure can’t remember.

I’d like to test one of these people that can speak before a large audience and play back all their names at the end of their speech.  If they could do it here I’d be impressed.

I think my only dissatisfaction with Mario is that he didn’t save me from myself.  (The architect could have too but what do you expect from a flake.)  In typical tico fashion I think he presented his objection to a decision I made in the usually soft tico way and when I stood firm he let it go and built it the way I said.  I’m referring to the roof.  I’ve visited C.R. in almost every month of the year over the last five years and have never seen it rain in monsoon fashion even once during the rainy season.  Especially in the part of C.R. where I am which is noted as the driest part.

So since I like to BBQ a lot, and of course the BBQ is out on the deck, and there is often a lot of smoke rising from it, and since I have open beam ceilings which slope upward from the deck into the house, I instructed Mario to stop the roof short of overhanging the deck completely to allow smoke to rise without entering the house.  Stupid!  Because the house is just brand new and the first rain of the season must have been the monsoon type I still haven’t seen.  I happened to be in Ca. that week (thank goodness).  Because when I first saw my guard/caretaker couple (see My Security guard) upon returning to C.R. their eyes were as big as saucers as they described the flood they had to contend with in my house.

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

19 Sep

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 6 continued

As it turned out, I’m not sure mine should have been licensed to begin with.  She was referred to me by my contractor (a fact for which he apologized later).  I don’t hold it against him because the referral came after his satisfaction with her performance but before his utter disgust with her performance about the same time I was struggling with her.  You know the expression “cut your loses”?  When you’ve already paid half the total price up front as a deposit to get someone started (which is the standard practice here) you have a tendency to hang in there thinking it’s just got to get better.  It got worse.

Enter the contractor.  He actually did a great job!  I only wish he would have acted like the “general” like I was expecting.  Maybe my first clue should have been when he referred me to the guy who does all the cabinet work and installs kitchens and bathrooms. Because, as he informed me after I accepted what I thought was a complete bid, he doesn’t do closets, cabinets, kitchens and bathrooms.  Carlos, the guy doing all that stuff, is also an “architect” (not licensed) but is doing a good job (not finished yet so that may be another chapter) and seems genuinely interested in my satisfaction.  The contractors name is Mario (so I don’t have to keep typing “contractor”) and since I would not hesitate to refer him as a builder I’m comfortable using his name.

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

18 Sep

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 6

MY CONTRACTOR

That’s the other word (see Attorneys) that conjures up about as wide a variety of feelings and definitions as most any other word I know. Another is “architect”.  I’ll start there.

In Ca. your architect is involved in the design and engineering, the builder builds it, the municipality sends out inspectors at various intervals and ultimately it’s finished.

C.R. has a very interesting system in regards to the construction industry.  By law, in order to get building permits, you must involve a registered architect.  In brief, here is how the system works.  The architect is also responsible for doing the engineering, submitting the plans to the local municipal authorities, paying the various fees, inspecting as the construction progress’s and signing off on each inspection and the completed project.

Now wait a minute… let me run that by again.  The architect engineers it and then inspects it and signs off on the inspection?  Isn’t that like asking the rat to guard the cheese?  I had to ask the question twice because I thought I heard wrong.  After I was assured that’s how it works I said “well what happens if the architect is less than ________ (you fill in the blank) and the place collapses?”  The answer?  This is equally incredulous.  (S)he could loose their license.  Well woopdydoo!

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

12 Sep

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 5 continued

What a project that was!  The guy still wouldn’t reply to my requests and neither would he reply to the requests of the new attorney.  Finally, prior to one of my trips here, I sent him an email specifying a date and time that I would come to his office to personally collect everything.  I never did see the guy, even the day I went to his office specifically to get all the books and other elements.  But no matter because I really didn’t want to see him anyway.

I take everything to my new attorney and I’m thinking “why do I need two corporations. Why not roll everything into one?”  Now that I have everything assembled in one place I ask her to give me the details of the two corporations because I might as well roll the one I just bought into the one the other attorney formed.  After all, I gave it its name and I like the name.  Much to my surprise, dismay, chagrin (you pick the expletive) she informs me of the following: the corporation I have purchased shows me as the president, chairman, etc. and I own all the shares of stock.

The corporation the other attorney formed shows me as the president, somebody else as chairman, etc. and his wife and somebody else (names I’m not familiar with) as the major stock holders.  Guess I won’t be rolling them together!

Need I say more?

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

11 Sep

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 5

ATTORNEYS

Now, that’s an interesting word.  It conjures up about as wide a variety of feelings and definitions as most any other word I know.  Then there’s the word “contractor”… ditto.

In C.R. you don’t really get a “general contractor” the way we think of one in the states. But more on that later (see My Contractor).

Let’s start with the purchase of the property, which is where an attorney will at some point be necessary.  After you’ve dealt with the shock of discovering that prostitution is accepted in C.R. and that the term is appropriate for more than the gorgeous creatures you see in some of the more well known watering holes here, you hope your attorney doesn’t fall into that category.  Some do, some don’t.  It’s another area requiring extreme caution (a little luck is helpful too).  But, the advice you’ll get is that the preferred way of purchasing a property is by forming a C.R. corporation and it buys the property.

I was referred to an attorney (by a realtor, hint hint) who was very proud to show me the newspaper article that listed him as one of the top 10 attorneys in the country.  Sounded good to me.  So he formed a corporation for me and I went off looking for property.  But after he seemed to disappear, meaning he stopped replying to my emails for several months, I asked my friend Al if he knew another.  He did and I contracted her (she’s beautiful, also) to handle the transaction when I finally found the lot I would buy.  Since the lot I bought was already in a corporation I now owned two corporations.  I asked her if we could roll them together and she said yes but that the corporate books of the corporation I had the first attorney form would need to be obtained from him.