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

29 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 11


From the other stories you’ve read you now realize I live quite a ways from any kind of conventional medical care.  There is a small clinic in Veintisiete de Abril, the pueblo where the lady that made my toldo lives (seeMy Toldo).   It’s about 20km away and I’m not sure it’s even open every day and the doctor only shows up for appointments infrequently.

There are clinics in Santa Cruz (35km) and a hospital in Nicoya (75km).  But the good news is that if your ailment is not too severe you can go to a pharmacy for diagnosis and medications.   Santa Cruz is the nearest to me and I have discovered a pharmacy that is owned by an excellent pharmacist.   In C.R. the pharmacists are trained similarly to a physician’s assistant in the U.S.

You can walk into the pharmacy, get diagnosed and purchase the type of medications on the spot that would require a doctor’s signature and a separate trip to a pharmacy in the U.S.   The medications are far less expensive in C.R. and there is no charge for the diagnosis.

The pharmacist I use here is an Asian lady named Lidia.   The few times I’ve needed her have, fortunately for me, coincided with a trip to Ca.   So not being sure about the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment the first few times, I’ve gone to the doctor in Ca. as soon as I arrive.   So far she has been right on!   Diagnosis and treatments have been 100% accurate.   My confidence in her is now such that I won’t bother with U.S. docs or meds if I don’t have to.  The first time I needed her I was pleasantly surprised to discover that her English is way better than my Spanish and since communication is very important in medical situations I’m doubly pleased.

However, as you have also read in some of my other journal entries, most ticos don’t have cars.   As inconvenient as medical treatment might be for me, imagine how it must be for the ticos.   And even though treatment seems like a bargain for me compared to the U.S. it’s not a bargain if you only earn $400 or $500 per month which is what the average tico earns.



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