Archive | December, 2014

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

31 Dec

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 20 continued

My next phone call, while still in front of this cop, was to Federico (my insurance agent).  I simply couldn’t believe that he would be part of this wild goose chase and wanted him to explain why I was there to this cop.  I just figured the problem was my Spanish. 

Nope, my Spanish is fine.  Federico “didn’t remember” telling me to go to the cop shop and concurred with the cop that I needed to go to court.   And further more I needed to take with me papers that only an attorney can generate.  Thank goodness I have a business associate in Santa Cruz whose wife is an attorney and she was able to generate what I needed right away.

Ok, I get to court, go through the security search which involves removing anything metal from your pockets and person and then be scanned with a wand, and find the traffic division.  Federico had called ahead to let them know I was coming and to request that since I had never been informed of my duties and since this case was already five months old that I be allowed to make my report.  He called me as I was on my way from the attorney to the court to tell me that the person he had talked to, named Sharon, had agreed to re-open my file and allow me to plead my case for innocence.

I walked in to this area where there were ten or twelve desks with people working (sort of) at them and some lady from way in the back corner came up and asked me (I have no idea what because her Spanish was so rapid fire and garbled) and so I simply asked to speak with Sharon.  She was Sharon.  Uh oh, I’m in trouble now because if the person isn’t willing to slow their speech down just a little and speak clearly it’s going to be frustrating for both of us.

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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 Dec

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 20 continued

So this morning I went to find the cop shop in Nicoya where I would make my report and claim my innocence.   Now, I must interject here, the fact that the reason I had to go to Nicoya was because the traffic division of the police force is separate from all the other divisions and their headquarters for this part of C.R. is in Nicoya.  And you also have come to understand, from reading some of my other journal entries, that address’s being non existent makes finding anything here a challenge.  But wouldn’t you think that something as important as a police “headquarters” would at least have a sign in front?

In the months since the accident my Spanish has improved and I’ve had other occasions of necessity to go to Nicoya (see Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet).  So I was confident I could find the station doing my usual routine of stopping periodically to ask people to point me to the next landmark.  But I drove right by the place two times looking for a sign.  Finally someone told me not to look for a sign because there wasn’t any but instead to look for a building with police vehicles parked nearby.

I found an inconspicuous looking building with four or five police motorcycles parked in front.  This must be it.  Except this time I entered carefully so no one would pull a gun on me (see Ticket #3).  There was a cop convention/seminar/meeting/training or something going on because I walked into a room with about twenty guys in it, some in uniform and some not, all sitting in a semi circle, with some guy doing all the talking.  I didn’t quite know what to do because no one was paying much attention to me.  Finally one of the uniformed officers, who was on the periphery of this gathering, motioned me to follow him into an office.  

I explained the reason for my presence and he said something to the effect that I could not file a report there.  I would need to go to the court house in Santa Cruz, enter the traffic division and make my statements there.  I had just come from Santa Cruz!

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

29 Dec

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 20 continued

FIVE MONTHS LATER:  It is now November 4, 2008.

In July I had traded that car to a Toyota dealer in San Jose for another car.  Today the manager of the agency called me to say there was a problem. 

They couldn’t sell the car to a new buyer because the accident was never resolved.   I’m totally dumbfounded because after the ordeal I went through in June I was under the impression that it was all done.   No, he say’s, I never went to the police station in Nicoya to make my report.   What the hell is he talking about?  Of course I never went to Nicoya.  No one, not the cops that came to the scene of the accident and made a report, not the INS inspector who made a report, no one ever mentioned a word about there being a need for another police report.

I told him I had INS and for him to call my agent (who speaks excellent English) and get whatever he needed straightened out.

A couple hours later I get a nervous sounding call from my agent.  He says that it’s the law in C.R. that if you have INS you must make a report and claim either guilt or innocence.  If you do not you are automatically found guilty and must pay the cost of all the damages, apparently insurance be damned, which in this case amounted to $800.  (I think someone saw a “rich gringo” coming.)

 

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

24 Dec

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 20 continued

Costa Ricans have not yet learned the difference between “urgent” and “important”.  My situation was “urgent” but his task at hand already engaged with customers was “important”.   But I’ve come to discover that Costa Ricans will go from urgent to urgent to urgent and never get “important” done. 

But it was my good luck, because now I had the attention of someone of authority who understood completely how the INS process works.   But he too couldn’t believe I didn’t want any repairs.  You see, during this fray, I came to realize that the date she had offered me was to inspect the car for the repairs I didn’t want.  All I wanted to do was get the hell out of there!

So here stands this guy explaining why I need to come back another day and there I sat saying I don’t want any repairs and can’t I just leave.   It took another 5 minutes for him to actually accept that I wasn’t getting any repairs.  Another signature later and I was out of there!  I’m glad I’m done dealing with “INS’s”.

Once again, aren’t you glad in Ca. insurance is not a government monopoly?

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

22 Dec

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 20 continued

Ok, I went to Nicoya.  At the INS office, as I walked in the door, there stood a security guard.  It was a large office with several windows for attendants, some of which were actually occupied by attendants and some (two) with customers.

I showed the security guard my papers and he directed me to a window with an attendant that wasn’t occupied.  I thought “hallelujah, I don’t have to wait in a line”.  I went to the unoccupied, and bored looking, attendant and showed him my papers.

He pointed to the two windows that were occupied and told me to wait my turn (already I was beginning to understand why they need a security guard).

After about fifteen minutes I began making comments loud enough for the attendants to hear about how happy I was that CAFTA had passed so that someday there would be competition in the insurance industry in C.R. and how disgusting government run businesses and agencies are.  Finally, one of the occupied agents excused himself from the people he was helping, called a woman over to one of the unoccupied windows and motioned for me to come to her window.

She looked over my papers, which included the cops report, then asked me for my passport.   I went out to my car, where my Franklin planner was hidden, and retrieved my passport and took it to her.   She reviewed all the papers again, excused herself while she made a copy of my passport then came back and asked me for my vehicle registration.   Of course I’m thinking, what the f…, why didn’t she ask me for that when she asked me for my passport.  Oh well, back out to the car and back to her.

Here’s where it got comical.  She once again reviews everything, made a copy of the registration and then asked me if a date one week later would be convenient for an appointment.  I’m thinking, what do I need an appointment for?  I finally understood that it was an appointment to get my car inspected again for repairs.  The damage to my car was so minimal I didn’t want to do anything.  I never intended to have any repairs.  It was just a scratch about an eight of an inch wide by about 3 inches long.  Do you think I could convince her that I didn’t want a repair?  She got so frustrated by my insistence that I didn’t want a repair that she pulled the guy, who brought her over but was still helping the other people, off his window to come get involved.

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

20 Dec

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 20 continued

Now, in Ca, if you’re in a minor fender bender, you exchange information and go on your way.   The involved party’s call their insurance company’s and after that it’s mostly the insurance company’s talking to each other.  Of course the “victims” have to hassle all the details in regards to repairs but there’s no way to avoid that in any country. 

Ok, after waiting an hour and a half, I called INS to ask why the inspector had not yet arrived.  This time I got a different “barely able to speak English” person who, after many “please hold while I check something” comments, finally said the inspector was on the way to my house, which is an hour from where the accident occurred.  I made some comments about stupidity and handed my phone back to Jimmy (his status had been elevated enough by then to be removed from the “victim” category).  Once again I heard him give an excellent description of our location and an hour later the inspector arrived.

Another hour later after taking photos from every imaginable angle of both cars (the damage was hardly perceptible on my bumper and besides I’m not about to hassle something so minor) and multiple copies of reports for both of us with multiple signatures the inspector says now the police have to come to make a report!  A half hour later two cops show up and proceed to measure the distance from the corner to where I’m parked, then the length of my car, then the distance to where he parked, then the length of his car (maybe that’s why they sent two cops, one for each end of the tape measure), then multiple copies of reports for both of us with multiple signatures.  My god, what would it be like if you were in a serious accident?

Then the cops hand me my copy of their report and leave and the inspector hands me my copies of that report and tells me I have five days to present my copies to the INS office.  There is an INS office in Sta. Cruz so I ask if that’s where I need to go (you would think “yes”, but by now I know better).  No, I must either go to Liberia or Nicoya.

Aren’t you glad in Ca. insurance is not a government monopoly?

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

19 Dec

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 20 continued

Well, if you drive enough miles, no matter how hard you pray, Murphy will have his way with you and on June 9, 2008 he did with me.

I’m parallel parking my car on Santa Cruz’s main street, which is a comfortably two car wide one way street, but people park on both sides of it creating a treacherously narrow little passageway that you can only slowly thread your way through.  And drivers here ride your bumper making it difficult to parallel park and so just as I was cutting it to swing in close to the curb, which left my left front bumper out in the street, some guy tried to squeeze by and in so doing his car touched my bumper which put a little scrape mark on his rear quarter panel.  Whose fault was it?  Who knows? 

Some people say it was his fault because he should have waited for me to finish parking rather than trying to squeeze by.  I just decided that it wasn’t worth arguing about in a language I’m not fluent enough in to conduct a good argument.

He went a little further down the street to park and survey the damage to his car and I walked up and said I had INS.  With relief in his voice, he said he was glad I did because he didn’t.  I wasn’t surprised because at the prices they charge there is no way the average tico can afford it.  Remember, this is the country where less than 50% of the people even have a car. 

I get a signal on my cell phone in Sta. Cruz so I called INS and once again I ask for an English speaker but this time it’s a “barely able to”.  But between my “victim” and me we got all the information handled that the INS agent asked for over the phone. 

Part of that information was my personal info including where my house is (Playa Junquillal) and where the accident did happen and where the vehicles are now located.  To answer the “vehicles located now” question I handed the phone to him.  Since there are no addresses or even street signs in C.R. I felt more confident letting a native speaker answer that.  Giving/receiving directions here even amuses the ticos.   As I listened to him describe the location he was very clear, precise and included all the landmarks that one would need to find us.   The INS person said an inspector would arrive in an hour and DO NOT move either vehicle.