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

22 Jul

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 9 continued

But now then… how in the world would you cope with what happened next?  Yes I have the internet (knock on wood and hope it continues to work) and even though it’s not blazing (128kps) it’s at least fast enough to have removed the threat of going postal.  I’m also pleased with the fact that, as with DSL, the RDSI modem allows you to use your phone while you’re on line.

So the last technician left and of course I went every where I normally need to go on line just to be sure I could.  Then, while still on line, I made some phone calls and had someone call me.  That worked well.  I’m starting to feel normal, like I can now lead a normal life.  I even got caught up on recent U.S. and international news.

That was really satisfying because for nearly two years I have had absolutely zero accesses to U.S. news since my T.V. died in the flood which occurred during a heavy rain storm a couple months after I began living here (see My Contractor for that episode).   I tested my fax, which is part of my printer and is connected through my phone line, and it worked.

All right… it seems like I can be normal.  Oh, one more thing to check… my voice mail, but that shouldn’t be affected.  After all, that’s in a remote ICE computer somewhere and has nothing to do with anything that’s happened in my house (so I thought).  Yep, no voice mail.  I get a message in Spanish that says something like “this phone number is not recognized”.   How can that be?   I still have the same number.   Oh well, I figure it’s a minor glitch that they should be able to clear up easily so I call ICE.   Just as I suspected, after a brief conversation with tech support the guy says “ok, I fixed it while we were talking.   Hang up and give it a try”.   Hmmmm, I get the same “not recognized” message.

I call back, get a different tech, it’s a déjà vu of the first one and sure enough it still doesn’t work.  Ok, let’s hope the 3rd time is the charm.  Nope, this tech person says an ICE tech person will come to my house the next morning to check things out.

I cringe because I know how much these government tech people care.  But what the heck, I think I’ll play on the internet a little.  I even email the most fun person I know in Ca. who, when I lived there and had a fast connection, would send me wonderful, funny, and nasty (sometimes) jokes and tell her to send me something.  It’s been two years since I’ve had a good laugh in front of my computer and it will be good to get that going again.

She does, I get my chuckle and go to reply… An error message pops up… “No dial tone”.  My phone is completely dead!

I wait awhile, I reset my modem, I restart my computer,  I wonder what else I might be able to do, I wait a little longer… nothing.   Now, you remember that my cell phone doesn’t receive a signal within about a half mile of my house.   So I jump in my car and drive to a place where I get a strong signal and call ICE.

Very few of the tech people at ICE speak English.  I had no problem explaining the voice mail thing in Spanish.  But now this tech guy sees that a report has already been made for my phone and he simply can’t believe there is now an additional problem.  He finally gets frustrated and transfers me to another non English speaker who also doesn’t get it.

Then this guy transfers me to someone who speaks English (not perfect but good enough) and he doesn’t get it!   He keeps telling me that a report has already been made, yada yada and finally I get him to understand that there are two problems.

Oh, ok, he gets it but it’s after 4pm (remember, they’re gone at 4pm) so I just have to wait until tomorrow.   The tech guy will be here in the morning, he assures me.

Around 9am I check my phone.  There’s a dial tone!  Now, since Fort Knox is only about a mile from my place I just figure the problem must have been there, they fixed it and they’ll soon be here to take care of the voice mail problem

About 10am I loose dial tone again!   About 11am it’s back.  Where the hell are they?   I’d really like to get this all cleared up.  I wait until 8pm.  I’ve had dial tone off and on (more on than off thank goodness) all day long but ICE never did show up.

Yes, at 8pm I called them.  They’ll be here “tomorrow”.

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