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

7 Nov

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 16 continued

Well, this wouldn’t have needed to be continued if I hadn’t discovered my septic tank was full (again!) and yucky guck was seeping out of the drain covers all over the concrete walkway that leads to Mario and Nidia’s apartment.

After my two ticos were done (22 hours of shoveling later, 11 hours each) the little street was passable in 2-wheel drive and everything was fine.  I needed Mario to do a little more work on it such as build a dam to divert the flow of water that was carving a second canyon and spread some of the new dirt and rocks to a couple other places where a car could fall in, but for the most part I thought no one would have trouble getting in or out (more importantly out because “out” is uphill).

But on Saturday (that was the next day) I discovered the full septic tank.  I called the company that had come out before when it was full and had been satisfied with their work.   Actually, I don’t think it matters if I was “satisfied” because I think they’re the only company around and when things are as gross as when your tank is overflowing, anyone will do! 

They arrived in the afternoon, did their thing, found the cause which turned out to be a sponge that the construction workers (apparently) had left in the tank clogging the water outlet that allows the grey water to flow out into the soil.   Now that pissed me off!  Because the first time I had to have my tank pumped just 5 months ago the problem then was a sponge.  I wonder how many sponges they left down there!  I lodged a formal complaint with my contractor (like he really gives a rip).

Anyway, the pump truck is huge and when they were done and attempted to climb the slight grade back up to the main road… you guessed it. They ended up calling my contractor for a tow.  A truck as big as theirs weighs several tons and requires a piece of heavy equipment to pull it.   So they got out but they ruined my street!   There were hug ruts where their tires had been plus the ruts created by the equipment that pulled them.  It took Mario three hours the next day to get the street back to passable again.

Well, the rainy season is winding down.  With any luck this will be the end of adventures with my street until next rainy season.  But I’ve learned what I need to do (I think) to have a more peaceful rainy season next year.

I’ve contacted someone to, in essence, create a new street.  Yes, it’s a municipal public street.  Yes, you would think that it’s the municipality’s responsibility to fix it.  No, they really don’t do street repair, or care for that matter.  The meeting I mention in A Lesson Well Learned that I attended in Santa Cruz was for the purpose of pleading my case for street repair.  It was obviously a waist of my time and energy.  But being new to the country I just hadn’t come to realize that what those with experience here had been telling was true…

The people in public positions here just push anything unpleasant under the table until it finally decomposes. 


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