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

13 Nov

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 20 continued

Here we are in this setting where she of necessity must ask technical questions using technical and legal terminology.  So I’m hearing words I’ve never heard before and I could not get her to slow the cadence of her speech or attempt to rephrase what she was trying to communicate or ask.  You talk about frustration… I thought she was going to tear her and my hair out. 

I kept interrupting her to call Federico in hopes that he could help but that got me kicked out of the room each time.  I’m watching her write notes about important aspects of the accident on little scraps of paper and wondering if what she is entering into her computer afterwards is accurate.  Finally she indicates that she is done, prints out a copy of the “report” and wants me to sign it.  No way! 

She didn’t even understand the official drawing of the accident scene that someone had made, which was included in the official looking documents she had on the case.   It showed nothing more than the location of Jimmy’s parked car and my parked car after the fact.  I think it was done by the police so of course it didn’t show the cars I was parking between because by the time the cops got there three hours had passed and those cars were gone.   So here is this “map” and she’s trying to figure out how the accident happened if there are no other cars around.  I drew it out for her on the 2 inch by 2 inch scrape of paper she gave me to use.  I think she got it right finally because…

I tell her I want to read, to Federico, the part where I described exactly what occurred to make sure it’s correct.  I think if she had a knife at that point…  Anyway she told me to go out to the waiting area, again, to make my call.  That’s when I learned a new word.   Earlier in this process she kept asking me over and over if I had any “testigos”.  Sounded like “testicles” to me and she wasn’t able (or maybe willing) to describe what a testigo was.  She just kept repeating the same question so I was interested in asking Federico what a testigo is.  A testigo is a witness. 

So I went back in and told her I had no testigos.  I don’t think she understood why I was chuckling.   But she had described what had occurred accurately and appeared relieved that I signed it.

Well, that’s as far as I can go.  I attempted to lighten her up by thanking her for helping me and apologizing for my weak Spanish.  All she said was “hasta luego” (good by).  I said, in my best Spanish, “oh, I guess we’re done and I can leave now”.  She said “si” (and nothing else).

Federico seemed to be satisfied so now all that’s left is to wait for whoever makes these kinds of decisions to decide if I was the guilty party (in which case… $$$) or not.  I’ll let you know as this makes its way through the bureaucracy.

I recently had a conversation with a nice young tico named Elliot (I told him I’d give him credit for sharing such creativity with me) who summed up the Costa Rican government and the unbelievable bureaucratic mess their institutions seem to be constantly mired in: 

 “It moves like a turtle with its legs broken.”


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