Archive | May, 2014

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

31 May

) 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 34 continued

Hmmmm… now it has become interesting as well as comical.  I ask the cop that speaks a little English what I’m supposed to do.  He says I have to go to Banco National and pay the ticket.  Banco National is the only bank authorized by the government to collect fines.  Then I have to go to the court house in a town called San Ramon, which is an hour and a half out of San Jose, to face the judge as he determines whether my infraction is worth twelve or eighteen months of suspension.   This all occurred on Wednesday morning. 

I will be returning to P. Junquillal on Friday.  Coincidentally I must pass through San Ramon both when going to S.J. and when returning home.

So with that we wrap up the conversation and I continue on my way to San Jose with the ticket.  By the way, before I could really get underway again I had to calm the cute little tica down that I had in the car with me.  She was sure they were going to take me to jail and of course she doesn’t know how to drive and here we are many miles/kilometers away from any civilization or a pay phone.  I was appreciative or her perceived dilemma.  But I finally got her calmed down after a couple of miles and it was obvious they weren’t going to haul me in.  When I get to San Ramon I search out the court house so I’ll know where it is when I go there on Friday.  The cop has assured me that I will be able to see a judge then and since I have no idea how long that process will take I want to know where the court is so I don’t waste time on Friday trying to find it.

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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

30 May

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 34 continued

By now my Spanish is good enough that I’m not afraid to argue so I asked him “what’s the problem?”  To make a long story short, we “debated” whether or not I had exceeded the speed limit and had made a dangerous pass.  Finally realizing that it was not an argument that I could win I said “this is bullshit” (in English).   He said “que es bullshit”.  At which point I thought better of translating and just said “give me the ticket”.  You see, at that point he had not made any marks in his ticket book because the game is that you’re supposed to ask how much is the fine for your particular infraction and then offer to pay “the fine” on the spot.  You haven’t actually offered him a bribe.  You’ve just asked a fair question.  But you’ve given him the opportunity to accept the money (as though he would turn it in to the proper authority), thus saving yourself the trouble of jumping through the hoops you need to jump though to pay a ticket in this country.  And therefore since the cop hasn’t made a mark in his ticket book he can pocket the money and you both go away happy. 

 “Give me the ticket” might have worked like it did before if it weren’t for the fact that just at that moment another cop pulled up on a motorcycle.  Now they’re talking in rapid fire Spanish that I can’t follow but the bottom line is that the guy is forced to write the ticket because he can’t proceed with a bribe (oops, did I just use that nasty word?) with another cop witnessing.  He writes the ticket but refuses to give me my license.  I say “what the fuck is this?”  It turns out the other cop speaks enough English to explain to me that this guy has decided to suspend my license and that it will remain suspended for from twelve to eighteen months (he must have promised his wife dinner that night and now he sees that slipping away and is pissed).  And it is my California driver’s license.

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

29 May

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 34 continued

Well, this being the macho country that it is, I guess the cop just couldn’t resist exercising his authority when he witnessed that a gringo with a powerful engine was able to take advantage of a brief brake… because a couple miles later I’ve got flashing red and blue lights behind me.

This fool kept motioning for me to pull over in places that were on curves and dangerously close to passing traffic so I ignored his antics until I came to a safe place where we both would be out of harms way.  It was actually a little comical because he would see me look in my rear view mirror and motion wildly for me to pull over.  I’d keep going. 

One time he pulled up beside me honking (I guess he didn’t have a siren) and was wildly pointing to the side of the road but had to drop back to avoid a head on collision with an on-coming truck.  Two other times he actually passed me, again pointing to the side of the road, and pulled off himself as though he expected me to follow him. 

I just kept going.  It had by now turned into an O.J. Simpson style slow speed chase.  The traffic behind us had backed off.  I can only imagine what those drivers were thinking. 

Finally I saw a place on the other side of the road where we could both get completely off the highway and be out of danger from being clipped.  On those curvy mountain roads there are very few places where there is an area wide enough to pull into safely.  Usually you have an upgrade on one side of you and a down grade on the other with a spectacular view.  But C.R. doesn’t seem to believe in shoulders or turnouts so if you have a reason to stop, like a flat tire, you just pray that nobody plows into you. 

Anyway, this wide place had a big pile of gravel in the middle of it and I pulled up just past it and stopped hoping to force him to stop on the other side of it and have to walk up to my car.  I guess he didn’t like the fact that I ignored his macho and used common sense because he came skidding up behind me in the loose gravel and barely missed colliding with me.  He was so anxious to nab me he actually slid into the gravel pile so that his vehicle had partially climbed it.  Maybe I shouldn’t have got out of my car laughing. 

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

28 May

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 34

TICKET # 3 (after a slow speed chase)

This is a story that, if nothing else, might cause you to have a different perspective towards the government bureaucracy we complain about in the U.S.

It has been almost a year since I wrote My Radar Detector and between then and now by simply becoming familiar with C.R. cops speed trap methodology and detector alerts I’ve been able to avoid confrontation with the tricky bastards.

Here’s the technique I use:  my detector goes off, I see the cop, he’s invariably 200 + meters ahead of me, I stop and make a U turn immediately far enough away so he can’t read my plates, I back track until he can’t see me, I make another U turn and then progress within the speed limit as I listen contentedly to my detector chirping and wave at him as I go by.

But last week I had to drive my car to San Jose rather than use my preferred mode of transport, which is the bus.  If you’ve read Taking the Bus you’ll recall that I mentioned that one of the reasons that I prefer the bus is because of forever (seemingly) being behind a black smoke belching truck that can’t go more than 10mph on those curvy mountain roads.

Of course I found myself behind one truck after another because you can’t go more than a couple miles after passing one before you catch up to the next one.  The good news is that because they’re going so slow you can get around them quickly so that even if there is a curve up ahead you don’t have to take your life in your hands to pass.

On this occasion I had caught up to one but the road was actually straight at that point so it was an easy, stress free pass.  It happened to be right in front of a souvenir shop with a parking area in front and I saw the cop parked there as I made my pass.  To get around the truck didn’t even require violating the speed limit and the road was clear as far as the next curve so I made my pass with no concern for the cop.

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

27 May

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 33 continued

The next lesson was equally as interesting. 

By now I know their tricks (or some of them).  I’m in an area of heavily wooded but gently rolling hills, the last posted sign was 80kph, I’m doing 90 or 100 and as I crest a hill three things happen almost simultaneously.  I see a sign up ahead that says 40 kph, I hit my brakes hard, and my detector goes off.  By the time I went by the sign I had probably slowed to 60 but I see the cop way in the distance and know he’s licking his chops.   I know his detector will show whatever speed I was doing before I even got to the sign. 

He will do the math and hit me with a hefty fine for doing 60 kph more (or so) than the posted 40 kph.   I pay that and he takes his wife to dinner twice!  Sure enough he’s motioning me to pull over.  I slowed enough so I could, but then I see he has a car parked in the shade, not a motorcycle. 

I so enjoyed the look on his face as I hit the accelerator and blew past him.  F… him, he can trap some other gringo.

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

26 May

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 33 continued

Because all Marchamos in the entire country are supposed to be paid in December.  I bought the car in October and of course the Marchamo was valid so it was my responsibility to renew it in December.  So now I’ve got the whole picture.  These guys were pulling everybody over that had the wrong color Marchamo in their window (it changes each year).       Oh boy, I’m calmed down, I’m resigned, and I say once again “ok, do what you have to do” at which point the guy who speaks English say’s “just a minute, the guy with the tools is saying something.”  They exchange a few quick words, too fast for me to catch, and the guy say’s to me “he say’s if you’ll pay the ticket here he won’t take your plates”.  I get it!!  No problem, how much?  40,000 colones (about $80).  I whip it out (I had long since learned to carry colones).  But now I have another question.  Ok, I get to keep my plates but what next.  Well, coincidence of coincidences (LOL), the town just up ahead has all the offices I need to go through the rest of the process and get my new Marchamo.  I really didn’t want to go through the whole process right then because I actually was headed to that town, but to take care of other business (which, you’ll get to read that crazy story too).  So I ask if I can do this at a more convenient time in a more convenient town, like the one that’s only one hour down a rough dirt road from where I live.  He say’s “no” for two reasons.  One, the town up ahead is the only one around where I can do all this (it’s kind of like a county seat) and two, if I get stopped again it’ll be the same process and another $80.

Well, I got it all done and was going to flip them off on my way back to Junquillal but they weren’t there.  They’ll have happy wives tonight.  A nice dinner out and who knows, they just might get lucky.

An interesting side note here.  Of course the government decries police corruption but is talking out of both sides of its mouth.  The police are notably underpaid, as acknowledged by the government, and yet are expected to do their jobs acting in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and thoroughness.  But they have hungry mouths to feed at home too.  This, of course, does not excuse them for their corruption but does provide insight and perspective. 

Now then, along comes the next opportunity to test the detector.  I have no idea why this cop is pulling me over.  I think I came around a corner or crested a hill that he had his gun aimed at because when my detector went off it was too late.  But by now I’m really fed up with paying their bribes so as he’s going through his spiel I just keep repeating “give me the ticket”, “give me the ticket”…..   Finally he stops, looks at me disappointedly and tells me to leave.  Hmmmm, I’ve learned something.  Apparently if you don’t whip out your money it’s better for them to cut their losses, so to speak, and move on to the next victim.

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

24 May

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 33 continued

Now, my Spanish is better, but I still have a long way to go, especially if one is using technical terminology.  I notice that neither of them is holding a radar gun so that explains why my detector never went off, but what the hell is he trying to tell me?  So I look at where he’s pointing.  There are two stickers, which I’ve always wondered what they were for (now I only wonder what the other one is for), and he keeps saying “Marchamo”.  They’re both standing there starting to sweat (much to my delight because I still have my motor running and A/C on) and I’m beginning to understand what he has been repeating over and over.  It seems he’s telling me that one of my window stickers is invalid and the guy who’s been standing there clinking the tools is going to take my license plates.  What!?  So now what do I have to do?  Oh, I think I understand.  It seems that I have to go to the bank to pay the fine first, then go to the government insurance office for a new sticker (Marchamo), then take the sticker to the court house to get a receipt, then go to the police station (god knows which) in San Jose (five and a half hours away) to present all this and get my license plates back.  Holly shit!  So I resign myself to this new adventure and say “OK, take the plates and give me the f…… ticket”.  At which point he invites me out of the car to walk back to his car in the shade where I see there is a 3rd cop.  This is interesting.  He points to the third cop and say’s “el habla ingles”.  Well why the hell didn’t he have the guy come up to the car in the beginning to explain all this to me?

Anyway, the cop that speaks English explains the whole deal to me again and I say “how could it be that my Marchamo is invalid when I just took possession of the car in December and it’s only January now?”