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

16 Feb

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 26 continued

But once again, I’ve been reminded that my U.S. expectations need to stay in the U.S.  Having learned that buses can be sold out around holidays, I went to the ticket counter to purchase a ticket one day early during the Semana Santa (Easter week) holiday.  It seems as though the buses are always running so getting where you want to go is not a problem and as long as you have your ticket you also have an assigned seat.  They leave exactly on schedule, which amazes me, because I have not found anything else in C.R. that does anything on schedule.  Except closing maybe.  The stores do seem to close on time. 

Anyway, I bought my ticket but in looking at it more closely when I got home I discovered that the date of departure was that same day, but I wanted to go the next day, which was Friday (Good Friday).  The good news is that they have begun preparing the road for asphalt so the drive into Santa Cruz where the bus station is takes only about a half hour (instead of one painful hour).  So after I got over being mad at myself for not checking my ticket closely while I was still at the counter, I got in my car and made the trip back to Santa Cruz.  The guy behind the counter gave me a quizzical look because he knew he had sold me a ticket just an hour or so ago.  I figured I had not made myself clear that I wanted a ticket for Good Friday the first time because the departure time on the ticket was correct; it was that in my mind, the date was not the date I wanted.  So this time I emphasized “Friday”.  He said “no”, I said what do you mean “no”, he said no busses on Good Friday.  That’s when I discovered I had lost a day.  You see, when I asked for a ticket for tomorrow, he had given me one.  Tomorrow was Thursday, I thought it was Friday, I had twilight zoned out.   My friends here tell me that’s good.  I’m finally getting into the tico rhythm. 

Buses in S.J. are a different story.  Still no chickens or pigs but tons of people and there are more buses than I would ever attempt to count.  There are buses going all directions and on the narrow streets with an also uncountable number of cabs zipping around.  It’s amazing how few accidents there are. 

And do you think there is any such thing as a printed bus schedule?  Or a sign indicating a bus stop?  Or any indication of which bus goes where?  The people who live there seem to know. 

I’ve asked Al how does anyone know which bus goes where and when and where do you catch it.  He takes the bus all the time because his vision is to too limited to allow him to drive.  He couldn’t answer the question.  He just said “the people know”. 

Well, it’s obvious he knows but he couldn’t tell me how he learned it.  He’s lived there nearly fifteen years.  Maybe it comes to you by osmosis. 


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