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

27 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 10 continued

ICE is a government monopoly with a strong union.  And it doesn’t interact with any of the company’s in the U.S.  So your U.S. cell phone is useless here, unless of course, you have one of those super expensive satellite phones, which will allow you to avoid the C.R. monopoly completely (which would be wonderful).  I watched with amusement the other day as some tourists from New Jersey, with one of those new types of phones with a keyboard, tried to use the phone that they had brought with them that they had been told wouldfor sure work in C.R.  (Nope, no funciona aqui.)

So I loaned them mine so they could call Avis rent a car and watched, also with amusement, their reaction when Avis told them they would not come to pick them up at the hotel.  They got there first lesson in what I call the “leave all your gringo expectations at home” class.

Some U.S. cell phones will work here now.  But I still talk to people who were assured by their U.S. carrier that theirs would work but it doesn’t.  But since writing that last line there is now competition in the cellular phone market, thank goodness!

Costa Rica, the country where your plans don’t matter because no matter what your plans are they will get changed.  Anyway, I was at the hotel, which is in Liberia where the airport is, because I had brought my car in for some minor body work that would take two days to do.  It was cheaper and more practical to stay there than to rent a car and make the four hour round trip down that grueling dirt road to Junquillal.  Plus I had some shopping to do that would have frustrated me to attempt in Santa Cruz.  Santa Cruz is so small they don’t even have a functioning traffic light.  And although Liberia only has one traffic light it at least does have one store, supposedly owned by Wall Mart, which contains a wide variety of items.  Now don’t get excited, it’s not a Wall Mart.  Nowhere will you see that name or label.  But Wall Mart has entered the market here by buying up a couple large chains and they are actually building a store of their typical type in San Jose.  But according to the official blurb in the Tico Times they won’t put their name on anything that isn’t very similar to what you see in the U.S.

  • Subscribe to a C.R. newspaper as far in advance as you can. The insights you will receive from a regular reading will be priceless.

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