Archive | April, 2015

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

30 Apr

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 1

MY FIRST TRIP

It is my first trip and I’ve decided to attempt to visit some friends of friends, Steve & Kathy, whom I had never met but from the emails we’ve exchanged I can tell they’re good people.  They have a house way in the south of C.R. almost to the Panama border in a place called Zancudo (that translates to mosquito, hmmmm).  I’m in Jaco, which is on the Pacific coast in about the middle of the country if you look at a map. 

Now, C.R. is not a very big country.  It’s about the size of West Virginia and Zancudo looks to me like it would be about a four hour drive, even calculating for the dirt roads.  Kathy had sent me a detailed, hand drawn, map of how to get to their place, which included a river crossing on a ferry.  Didn’t look too hard to me.  Well, after I had traveled more than four hours down the road, and was no where near Zancudo, I realized I need to look more closely at the map.  So I reached in my back pocket only to discover that I had left it my hotel room! 

The good news is I had rented a cell phone with the car (which I’ve done every trip since then because I’ve found they come in real handy).  I called the number I had for them and they weren’t home but whoever answered the phone found someone who speaks English to talk to me.  Small world, turns out it’s the son of my neighbor across the street from my friend John.  John’s house is where I sleep when I visit Ca. (but I didn’t live there then so I didn’t know).  Anyway, the guy says turn here turn there you’ll go up a hill down the hill go slow down the hill otherwise you’ll miss the left you have to take near the bottom of the hill.  The left takes you to the ferry.  Well… there’s a bunch of up the hills down the hills and a couple of them have a left near the bottom. 

But I come to a left that has a structure (I found out later it was the bar/restaurant Kathy had mentioned in her map but I had forgotten that little detail, furthermore, what the Costa Ricans call “home” can look like an abandoned building like this one) but this left looked more well traveled than the others so I figured I’d give it a shot.  Whoopee!! About ten minutes later I came to the ferry!  Now then, remember, this is C.R., the country that is just pulling itself out of the 3rd world, so I watch it make the crossing with some other cars on it to make sure it won’t sink.  Then I realize that the guy who gave me the directions didn’t say where to go from the other side of the river.  It’s good he didn’t because if he had I probably would have said nuts on it because it was such a series of turns that even after I arrived at their place I wasn’t sure I could get back to the river. 

 

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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

29 Apr

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

introduction continued

So this document is not put together in any particularly linear fashion.  You can jump around from chapter to chapter reading any title that fascinates you.  Each title is a story that occurred just as I have written it.  They are in no way linked and as a matter of fact did not necessarily occur in the order in which I have presented them.  Some occurred just shortly before I recorded them, some I pulled from my memory much later.  They say truth is stranger than fiction and it can be more comical as well as you will see as you read on.  There has been no need for me to elaborate, change or enhance any of the details contained in this collection.   Truth is also more fun than fiction.

I have included a photo section and I wish I had known I would get into this the way I did.  I would have taken more photos.  But mostly the photos are before any major changes occurred, with the exception of the before and after of the road to Playa Junquillal.

I enjoy the luxury of the asphalt but I suspect it will also speed the rate of change in my area.   Even before it was done it caused one of my favorite restaurants to move.  The good news is it only moved a coupe hundred yards and they preserved its rustic look and open wood fire cooking area in the new location.

For which I was very glad because the woman who owns/runs the restaurant serves the best pork I’ve ever had (with the exception of a good lady friend in Ca. who does a magnificent thing with pork chops) because of the way she smokes it over the wood fire and then cooks it in who knows what kind of spices again over that open wood fire.

I have enjoyed living/recording my experiences greatly.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

And just in case you’re interested in seeing the “result” of all these experiences you can visitwww.plumitapacifica.com where there is not just a website but also an eight minute video that will give you a virtual tour.

You can also contact the author – gary@plumitapacifica.com

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

28 Apr

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

introduction continued

I had the good fortune of discovering Costa Rica just before major changes were about to explode on the scene.  As I recorded my experiences I was painfully/excitedly aware of the fact that the Costa Rica I fell in love with was on the cusp of a major transition.  A transition from being an “emerging” country to a “developed” country.

I would not have the audacity to put a value judgment on the change.  Some say the past was better, some say the future will be better, and the judgments put on “today” run the gamut of expletives from good to bad.

I will leave it to you to choose your expletive.  For me I only know and accept that change is inevitable.  Things either change or they die.  That seems to be true for all organic life.  And not being very politically involved I must refrain from assuming that my wishes/desires/actions would influence change in a particular direction.  In fact I have met few people who know their ass from a hole in the ground politically.  It seems we only know in retrospect and even then it is “arguable”.

And I think now might be a good time to put in a disclaimer.  Just so you keep a realistic perspective as you read along.  Yes, I totally love my life here but it is not for everyone, as the “Realtors” might try to convince you.  I think the best summation I have heard of what it takes to make it here as a “gringo”, since us gringos want to keep our gringo lifestyle going is: if you’re going to settle in paradise here you need to bring two suitcases, one full of money, the other full of patience.

Suffice it to say you might get a hint at what I mean by “one full of money” and I will elucidate on that point.  However, the “one full of patience” will be as entertaining for you to read about as it was for me to write it!  But as for the “one full of money” you will soon discover that about the only things less expensive than in the U.S. are rice, beans, fruits, vegetables and low quality items imported from China.

Costa Rica does have some limited manufacturing of durable goods but the economy is not based on the export of those goods.  Therefore most of what you want of the quality that you expect must be imported.  There is a high import tax which makes those items cost substantially more than in the U.S.  For example a car… easily 50% more than in the U.S. and the same will be true for the annual registration fee.

Real estate may look like a bargain but be careful there too.  Use an attorney.  (But be careful there too!)

Are you thinking about shipping a lot of quality stuff here?  It’s six of one and a half dozen of the other on that idea.  Because once it’s here you’ll have it to enjoy but when you need to get it repaired… those model numbers do not exist here.  But the labor is less expensive than in the U.S. if you can find a way to get it fixed.

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

27 Apr

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

introduction continued

 I initially came here just to check the place out.  I had heard good things about C.R., someone said the girls were pretty and very friendly and I had an acquaintance here that lived in what, at that time, was a small beach town called Jaco.  So I found a B&B on line, made a reservation and came to enjoy a couple weeks of vacation thinking I would do what most people do on vacation in a beach town.

But here’s what happened immediately.  I found the B&B (not an easy feat in a country that has no addresses).  By the way, you’ll read many times in the stories I have included here that I say C.R. has no addresses.  In San Jose there are a few but they are so insignificant that not even the taxi drivers attempt to use them.  All directions here are given by landmarks, for instance, 100 meters south and 200 meters west of hotel Castillo Divertido (that’s my address).   And often times the landmark no longer exists but the locals know where it was so it will still be used.  Try to figure that one out if you’re new to the country!

Anyway, they showed me to my room and invited me to come up to the 3rd floor, which was their residence, for some iced tea when I was done unpacking.  I walked in and again was stunned!  They had no walls!  No exterior walls and no interior walls except around private areas.  I said “my god, this tells me three things.  The temperature never changes enough to need walls, you don’t get hurricanes and you must not have a bug problem”.  They said “right”.  That was it.  In my head I lived here!  I actually spent the next two weeks visiting as many beach areas as I could.  As a matter fact, the adventures you’re about to read started with that very first trip.

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

25 Apr

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

introduction continued

Let me digress for a moment and give you a good visual of C.R.  Here’s how I describe it to people who have been to Hawaii.  Put a blindfold on you, set you on my beach and you absolutely would not know you were not in Hawaii.  The air temperature, humidity level and breezes are identical.  Take the blindfold off and it’s actually prettier than Hawaii.  I say to people “you know how pretty all the pictures are of Hawaii?  But then you get there and of course it’s beautiful but not as pretty as the pictures because one can do great things with a camera.  Well, Costa Rica actually looks like all the pictures you’ve seen of Hawaii”.  And to tell you the truth, now that I’ve had the opportunity to really explore C.R., all of the above is even an understatement.  C.R. doesn’t have the magnificent volcanic outcroppings like Hawaii because it’s geologically older and so those radical formations have been softened over the eons, but considering that 25% of its land area is either national park or preserve, you get a pretty good idea that there is a lot of natural beauty here.  And considering that 70% of the population lives in the greater San Jose area, that means that most of the country is rural and unspoiled (except for what some developers are doing).

This leads me to explain the title of my companion book “Costa Rica on the Cusp”, which is very similar to this book but contains chapters and photos that have nothing to do with moving here (unless you are a single male as I was when I came here).  Over the last few years it seems that developers/investors have discovered the place. There is rampant, uncontrolled development going on so who knows how much longer we’ll be able to use “unspoiled” in reference to C.R.   It is truly on the cusp of major change.

But back to the main thrust of this introduction. (Which will continue in the next issue of this blog.)

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

24 Apr

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

introduction continued

Occasionally I run into a North American who has been living here a number of years but still doesn’t speak the language (much).  I usually ask how that’s possible.  Almost always the answer is because they are sequestered away in some “gated community” that has its own shopping area which they seldom leave and therefore English is primarily what’s spoken there.   Pity

Hmmmm… kind of reminds me of the people from other countries I would meet in California who had lived in the U.S. for many years but didn’t speak much English.

So maybe not all gringos have as much fun as me.  You have to just dive in and live it!

Why have I settled here, you might ask.  The answer to that question is simple.  Have you ever been to Hawaii?  I have, many times.  I love the place.  The climate is perfect, it’s beautiful, and if you live at the beach there, as I do here, there is no need for doors or windows other than for security reasons.  Actually, I would have done in Hawaii what I did here but for one reason… Hawaii is simply out of my budget.   I remember the very first time I went to Hawaii.  I loved the temperature, the fresh air (you can’t see it like in California), the humidity level, and the breezes and when I got to the hotel and walked up to the reception desk I was stunned!  I realized I had not walked through a doorway!  The reception area was completely open to the outside.  I said to the clerk “you mean the temperature never changes enough to need walls?”

He gave me this look like “good grief, another stupid tourist” but kind of grunted a confirmation.  That was when this raised in Alaska guy knew he had finally found home.  When you’re a kid in Alaska, during the winter, you might sometimes pray that when you die you’ll go to hell so you can be warm… yes I actually did that!  Even southern California, where I lived for many years after I escaped from Alaska at 16, is sometimes not warm enough.

The need for doors and windows in Costa Rica changes with altitude.  There are residences at elevations here where a fireplace feels good at times.

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

23 Apr

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

introduction continued

And now, to continue: These are the journal entries I made as I happily continued my adventures in Costa Rica.  They began in April of 2002.  It is now 2012.  They are not entered in chronological order and most don’t have exact dates included.  You’ll see as you read along that dates are not important.   And, this country being what it is, I’m sure they will continue as long as I am here to enjoy them.

If you live in any country other than the U.S. you may be able to relate and chuckle or shake your head in disbelief with me as you read along.

As time passed and the interesting experiences continued, I began to realize that every month I was creating at least one new journal entry.  I had two thoughts about that.  The first one was: what great fun and how interesting it is for a gringo, who is used to 60 + years of the stability and “normalcy” of U.S. living.  As a friend of mine, who is originally from Germany but has lived here nearly 20 years, said recently “every day there is something… it’s never boring here”.  The second thought was: this is normal for here!  That means that everyone who comes here could write a journal.  That explains why a certain percentage of gringos (definition: foreigners) stay only a couple years and then leave.  One, for sure, needs to have the correct attitude to settle in and adjust to the culture and its rhythm.