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

5 Jun

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 6 continued

In the meantime, back to the architect, the person who is supposed to engineer the structure within all the laws of physics to be sound and safe, then inspect as construction progress’s to make sure the builder is following the plans accurately.  The question I asked was “what if the place collapses?

Being the trusting soul I am I took it on faith that Mario would build it strong enough.   I had been told that he does build a little beefier than is shown in the plans. 

Imagine my surprise and dismay when I discovered that the living room roof, which is an open beam ceiling, is actually in the process of falling in!  Obviously it hasn’t fallen in yet and probably wouldn’t for quite some time but without question the only question is when, not if.  

Here’s the picture.   The roof has one beam of hardwood 8 inches high by about 3 ½ inches thick that spans 17 feet.  It’s reinforced at each end by a 4×4 that runs from about 3 feet in down to an even bigger beam at a 45% angle thereby forming a triangular support structure at each end of the beam.  So that leaves about 11 feet of span. 

This is the only beam to support the rafters with the exception of the beams at each end of the room.  But this big support beam has a joint in the middle.  It’s an interesting joint.  I’ve noticed this type of joint in other beams in the structure that apparently couldn’t be purchased long enough to span the total distance using only one piece of wood.  So they make this joint in such a manner that it won’t move up or down or sideways. 

However a joint, no matter how intricate it is, is still weaker than an uninterrupted solid piece of lumber.  And this joint is beginning to sag!  At the moment it’s only sagging about ¼ of an inch but that’s enough to be alarming.  Mario came by to look at it in October and said he’d be back in January to fix it.  It’s now March.  I’m praying we don’t get the 8 pointer that happens every 50 years (approximately) before he gets around to fixing it.  The last 8 pointer occurred just after 1950 and has been recorded about every 50 years since 1850.  I’ll be calling him!

Mario’s wife Alice has a sense of humor (sometimes).  Shortly after I noticed the sagging support beam I was in San Jose when a 5.0 quake hit Guanacaste (that’s the canton my house is in).  I called Alice to inquire about my roof.  Had it fallen in?  She said no but not to worry because I still had the first floor.  Real funny.


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