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

1 May

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 continued

Then it hit me that since the guy hadn’t said where to go from the other side, I’m standing there and probably looking like a stupid lost gringo because this tico comes up to me and starts talking.

Since this is my first trip my Spanish is almost zero, it’s about noon, and this guy is so shit faced drunk he practically knocks me over with his breath.  But he keeps saying “Zancudo” and I finally figure out he wants a ride to Zancudo.  I’m saved!

I load him into the car, put it on the ferry, and we’re off!  A series of lefts and rights later we come to a “T” intersection and I’ll be damned if there isn’t a couple of cops there indicating I should stop.  Now mind you, we’re out in the middle of nowhere on rough dirt roads and I haven’t passed another car so what the hell are these cops doing?

It turns out that it’s “Semana Santa” (Saints Week, coincides with Easter Week) and it’s illegal to have booze in the car or something, never did quite figure it out.  Anyway, they want to see my passport and all I have with me is a copy of it (which is legally accepted in the country now but wasn’t then).  Well, after awhile I guess they got frustrated trying to explain whatever they were trying to explain to this stupid gringo who is obviously not intoxicated and they didn’t seem to be concerned that the passenger was, so they asked me where I was going.  I said Zancudo.  They said turn right.  The drunk said go straight.  I turned right, which turned out to be a short cut (they were both correct) but it took me to a rickety looking wood bridge that I wasn’t sure would hold the car plus wasn’t sure I could keep the wheels on the two wood rails (not much in the middle and nothing on the sides).  But since I’d made it that far and didn’t get hauled off for not having my passport and had the good fortune of meeting someone to guide me to Zancudo I figured luck was with me and went for it.  Made it!  As a matter of fact it gave me such confidence I re-crossed it on my way back out of there later.  Besides, I didn’t want to risk trying a new way out because I didn’t have the drunk to guide me.

So we got to Zancudo, I bought my guide a 6 pack (he was happy), found Steve & Kathy, had a great time, a good dinner at the only restaurant in town (if you could call it a “town”) and slept in the local cheap hotel ($15/night, which is another story for later).


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