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

13 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 4 continued

I arrive in Panama City. The airport is south of the city so I ask the friendly car rental person, who speaks pretty good English, to go over my map with me. Mainly just to navigate me through the city.  I knew that once I got through the city I’d be fine.  

Well, it’s hard to describe how confusing, or many times non-existent, Central American road signs can be. 

Signs sometimes even point the wrong direction because somebody hit the pole and no one ever bothered to set it straight.  Panama City is a big city with a beautiful modern skyline.  You really see the American influence there.  They even use the U.S. dollar as their currency and it stretches much further there than in C.R.   (But the beaches and the girls aren’t as pretty.)

Unlike C.R., the roads are great and well maintained.  I was beginning to like the place already.  I’m navigating my way through the city when I begin to realize I’m lost.  No problem, I can figure this out.  Uh oh, I’m more lost.  Now I’m confused and losing my sense of direction. Uh oh, now not only do I have no idea where I am or what direction I’m even going, I notice there are police armed with what looks like machine guns every couple blocks.  And I’m obviously in a neighborhood I don’t want to be in!  So the next cop I see I pull up to him and point at my map.  He starts rattling off in rapid fire “Spanish” god only knows what.  I put Spanish in quotation marks because in Panama they speak a slightly different form of Spanish.  It’s like the difference between Ca. English and a deep south accent.  In Panama they drop their D’s and S’s.  For example, the word for fish is “pescado”.  In Panama it’s “pecao”.  So I’m totally confused and the cop finally realizes this.  But then I figure out he is asking me if he can get in my car.  You bet!   Because the one thing I know is they are almost always proud to be of help.  So I indicate yes.  He waves to another cop across the street and they both climb in, machine guns and all, and literally, escort me to the highway.  Fantastic!   I’m saved.


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