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

8 Aug

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 12 continued

He goes down to the dead-end, flips a “U” at the bottom and that’s when the guy who had been hiding in back put a choke hold on me pinning me to the back of my seat while the driver emptied my pockets (except for a few coins worth about 75 cents and my little pocket knife), threw my carry-on in the back, rolled down my window, reached over me to open the door from the outside handle and pushed me out.

Actually… he didn’t have to push too hard because I wanted out!  Somehow I had grabbed my umbrella and there I stood with nothing but that and my life as they sped off.

Now, I have no idea where I am, it’s about 5:30 and starting to get dark.  I walk up to the corner where the main street is, it’s raining, but I remain calm, with the exception of cursing my stupidity for getting into what is actually called a “pirate” cab (now I understand why), solid traffic whizzing by, every cab has someone in it but after awhile finally an empty one comes by and stops for me.  I finally convince the driver of what just happened, show him the few coins I have and ask if he’ll take me to my hotel.  He has the grace to comply.

Thank goodness they know me at the hotel because it’s where I always stay in S.J.  I tell them my story and they let me check in anyway.  And three hours later, with the help of American Express, I have all the credit cards I can remember cancelled.  Kudos’ to AmEx! They were wonderful.  Totally helpful and calming even to the point of finding a bank within walking distance of the hotel and sending a money gram for me to get some cash the next morning.

So now it’s Saturday morning.  I haven’t been able to call anyone because I couldn’t find a listing for Al in the S.J. phone book and of course I can hardly remember my own number let alone anyone else’s.  I hadn’t bothered to call to let him know I was coming because “spur of the moment” works here.   Plus it’s more fun than being in the set routines we sometimes get ourselves into in the U.S.  But I remembered that he told me he sometimes went to a MacDonald’s in the morning for coffee and chatting with other guys who show up for the same reason.  This Mac was also within walking distance so I took off…. he was there!!  He bought his empty pockets friend a coffee and then walked with me to help find the bank. We found it, but as C.R. would have it, their money gram machine was down.  They told us where another branch was but it was a ten minute cab ride away.  Thank goodness for Al. We jumped in a cab and an hour or so later I had cash!

Later that night he and Maritza met me for dinner… life’s good again.

Now I just have to wait until Monday to get to the US. Embassy for a new passport and the AmEx office for a replacement card.

I think I’ll even make it back to Santa Cruz on Tuesday in time to make my appointment for an audience at 3:00 with the official in the municipality to plead my case for repairs to the little street that leads to my house which I have needed to have my 4×4 pulled out of five times in the last month!  (See When it Rains it Pours)

Ok, ok Universe… I GET IT!!


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