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

25 Sep

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 10 continued

But I digress, so back to the cell phone adventure.  My attorney had armed me with all the corporate documents she thought I would need to, first, buy a phone and then take to the ICE office (that’s the initials of their telecommunications monopoly, which I still haven’t figured out what they stand for) and take my nap, err… I mean wait in line and have them install the chip that would allow me to use their service.  I have my phone now so I jump in a cab, because they seem to know where everything is, and soon I’m at the office.  I take a number, sit down, look at the electronic sign that tells me which number is now being served, look to see how many employees are actually helping someone (there’s usually one or two that have their heads down looking busy but not with a customer, like at the bank), there are three, I do some quick math, settle in for at least an hour, relax myself, let my head drop, take a nap (pura vida, tranquillo, what the heck, this is Costa Rica, I’m used to this by now), wake in about an hour and ten or fifteen minutes later my number is called.  

The guy looks over the corporate docs and asks me for a utility bill.  I don’t have a utility bill.  I don’t have a house to have a utility bill.  He asks me for an address.  The only address I have is in California and what the hell does he mean by “address” since there are none in C.R. (it’s true, as incredulous as it sounds, there are no functional addresses in C.R.)  He says “sorry, can’t do it”.  All this is in Spanish of course so it took way longer with all the repetition than it took you to read this.  I insist that my attorney told me I have everything I need to get a phone and a chip installed in it.  He looks consternated.  He gets up and disappears for a few minutes.  He comes back and says ok he’ll do it and I have my phone (meaning he installed the chip).  I didn’t bother to ask what made the difference.  I simply left the ICE office, thankful that I had a functioning phone.


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