Archive | November, 2014

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

17 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 17 continued

Like the time I came by the pickup truck hung up on a low post that the property owner had put there as one of a series of low posts to demarcate his property.  When I came by later there was the guy with some friends scratching their heads about how to get the truck off the post.  I knew the guy so I stopped to teas him about being drunk and hanging his truck up.  Yep, that was what happened all right.

Or the time I came to the little bridge in Paraiso that gets flooded over (see When it Rains it Pours) only this time it wasn’t flooded over.  This bridge is just a slab of concrete about one and a half car widths wide with no side rails or even a lip to warn you if you’re too close to the edge.  During the dry season it’s about four feet above the level of the water.  At this particular time it was about one foot above the water.  There hung a car, with only slightly less than half of it hanging off the bridge. 

The guy had driven onto the bridge and apparently the left front tire slipped off pulling the rest of the car with it so that the whole thing was barely hanging in the balance but still enough on the bridge so that the whole thing didn’t slide into the water.  People were standing around chuckling. 

I drove on across the bridge and asked one of the people standing around if the driver had been drinking.  Yep, he was “borracho” (the word for drunk).  I bet that sobered him up.    The car was gone by the time I got back a few hours later.   I should have taken a picture.

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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

12 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 17 continued

In Santa Cruz, where I go to do my shopping or use the internet, the pace of life is more tranquil and I don’t get stampeded by the others walking or have to listen to horns blaring.  Although, ticos have no concept of safe walking, like don’t jay walk or cross the intersection at a diagonal.  And drivers in this county definitely think they have the right of way.  It can be really scary.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re in S.J. or some little pueblo, you for certain get the feeling that the guy in the big vehicle has the power and you better stay out of the way.  They don’t try to hit you but they do try to come as close as they can without actually touching you.  I’ve seen and been in situations where the vehicle only missed by inches.   And not once have I seen an expression of “I’m sorry I frightened you”.  Mostly their expression is one of exasperation more like “you idiot, you made me have to try (sort of) to avoid you”.

It’s apparent that drunk drivers are a big problem around S.J. though.  But, once you hit that god awful dirt road, everything changes.

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

11 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 17 continued

I remember how excited I was the first time a car passed me.  It made me realize I was actually driving sanely with a feeling of tranquility.  Not like the maniac I am when I’m in the U.S.  Actually, the experience of driving sanely is so satisfying I’m hoping that someday I will carry it back with me to the U.S. and begin to drive more sanely there too.

But getting back to the point of this story, I slightly pity the people who live in and around San Jose though (which is 70% of the population), because they rush around like there is no tomorrow.  I’m a fast walker but I’m hard pressed to move at the pace the pedestrians in S.J. move at.  And if you have read Taking the Bus you have an idea of what it’s like in S.J.  At least as far as the traffic is concerned.  But let’s talk about walking.  Good grief they walk fast!  And like the drivers, they ignore traffic signals.  I must admit that I have gotten into the habit of walking around San Jose like the ticos, including jay walking.  Keeps me on my toes, so to speak.

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

10 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 17 continued

But out here in the sticks drunk drivers more than likely just create a comedy show.  And so it is that I have had the opportunity to get a few laughs with no dire consequences.  When you drive these roads you literally never go straight.  You are constantly swerving and weaving going from side to side of the road, dodging wheel and suspension breaking pot holes.  Or grinding in and out of them (which is most of the time).  Here’s the joke people tell:  you know how to tell when a drunken tico is driving? 

He goes straight. 

Of course I intensely dislike the condition of the roads.  But on the other hand it is part of what keeps this country rural and beautiful.   When you can’t go more than ten mph you really have the opportunity to soak in this beautiful place.  I love it when some cowboy (you may have an image of the silver screen type of cowboy but you would be disappointed here) is driving his cattle down the road and I have to ease my way through them or sit still and wait for them to work around me.  The high speed I run at when in the U.S., and I’m referring to internal not just driving, is not only impossible here, it’s actually counter productive and downright frustration causing.  The rural areas of C.R. force you to slow down.  “Go with the flow” as we say in the U.S.  It’s wonderful. 

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

8 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 17

DRUNK DRIVERS

In a very rural area such as Playa Junquillal, where the roads absolutely will not allow speeds in excess of 25 mph 90% of the time (during the rainy season) and for the other 10%, 10 mph is risky, drunk drivers are not as likely to injure innocent people.  That is, drunk divers of cars or trucks.  Motorcycles are a different story.  I have heard a couple harrowing tales involving motorcycles and quads (those 4-wheel things that are designed to go most anywhere at speeds that can mess you up real good if you crash).  But the good news there is that in the vast majority of accidents involving either of those vehicles it’s usually only the riders that are injured.

That is all good news (except to the injured riders) but in the urban part of C.R., meaning mostly around San Jose, drunk drivers are as big or bigger problem than they are in the U.S.  Even though they do have tuff laws here, their police force is inadequate to enforce them.  So people get drunk and drive and the traffic fatalities keep increasing year after year.  As a matter of fact, because of paying so many bribes to traffic cops I became almost friendly with one.  So one day I ran into him when he was off duty and asked him why I never saw traffic cops at night.  His answer, as incredulous as it sounds, was that it’s dangerous at night for the cops!  He said the bad guys have guns and try to shot them!  Maybe that’s also the reason in downtown San Jose in the day time you see groups of two or three cops every few blocks but at night they are all gone.  I pointed out that it was at night that most of the bad stuff happens.  He agreed, but fell back on the “it’s not safe for us and the bad guys have bigger guns than we have” argument.

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

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. 

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

6 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

Even though the roads have been improved and the airports have improved it is still advisable to arrive at the airport three hours early.

Ok, back to the main story.  This time, being wiser, the guy didn’t get himself stuck and in a short while he had me out.  I decided to try again using a slightly different approach and bouncing and grinding in low range 4 wheel drive I made it.  Whew!  I’m home.

The next morning, however, I wanted to go somewhere.  You guessed it… buried in muck again.  This time the tico with the big truck wasn’t home.  But a couple gringos with a good 4×4 came by and got me out.  Ok… I’ve had it!  Five times I’ve needed to be pulled out of my little street.   Each time a tico did it I gave him $20 “for beer”.  This is getting to be expensive (and ridiculous).  I found my contractor and asked him where I could find someone to bring a load of gravel.  He gave me directions and I found it with the help of some locals, kind of like I found the lady that made my toldo (see My Toldo).  As a matter of fact, the place to get the gravel is down the same road that my toldo lady lives on only about another mile or so past her house.

It’s really a beautiful jungle back in there!  I drove on down this dirt road until I came to a river that was about 100 feet wide and looked to deep to try and ford in 4×4.  I parked wondering what to do next because I hadn’t come to the gravel pit yet.  Just then some people come around a turn in the bank beside the river so I asked them how I would get to the other side.  They said use the bridge.  What bridge?  I couldn’t see any bridge from where I was.  They told me to just go around this hillside that bordered the river and I would see it.  They left, I went around the hill side and sure enough there was one of those hand built suspension bridges spanning the river about ten feet above the water.  You’ve seen pictures of the type of bridge I’m referring to.  It was the type that is constructed of wood slates suspended on cables with a cable on either side to hang on to as you go bouncing across the river.  I got to the other side, found a guy working in his yard and got some more directions.  In another quarter of a mile I came to the gravel pit, toured around with the worker as he showed me the different qualities and textures of these big piles of dirt and rock and for $150 I got a sufficient load (12 cubic meters) of dirt and rocks.  They dropped it at the entrance to my street the next day.  I’ve hired two ticos at the rate of $2 per hour each (about 40 cents per hour more than the going rate) to shovel it into my wheelbarrow and put it where I need it.  Problem solved, I hope.  They say they will be done tomorrow.  They’re working hard but I can see it’s going to take longer than I thought.

Since writing this piece prices and wages have increased… but where in the world haven’t they?

To be continued?  I hope not.  I’ll let you know when I know.