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

2 Apr

chapter 31


I was alone in my rental car.  I was on my way to Guanacaste on what turned out to be another Realtor induced wild goose chase but just after you turn off the main highway, which is route #1 or more commonly known as the Pan-American highway, the landscape flattens out a little so the road is straighter and of course there is very little traffic and just beckons for you to relax and build a little speed.

It also happened that at that time this secondary highway was in better repair than route #1.  Maybe that’s because for about 20 or 30 miles it’s concrete instead of asphalt.  So I’m buzzing along enjoying not having to dodge the Volkswagen sized potholes that most of their asphalt roads had at the time (they’ve since been somewhat improved) when I come around a gentle bend in the road and there’s a cop walking to the center of the road.  At first sight he’s probably a sixteenth of a mile in front of me so I’m not worried about hitting him but I’m wondering what the hell he’s doing walking out to the center of the road when he can obviously see I’m coming.  Well, the question is answered almost before I finish thinking it.  He’s looking at me and pointing to the side of the road.  At first I think he’s trying to warn me of some problem.  Maybe an obstacle in the road but out of respect for authority I slow as he keeps pointing insistently to the side of the road.  So when I get to him I stop to find out what the problem is.

That’s when I notice the radar gun in his other hand.  My first thought.  “Oh shit, am I going to jail”?  No, he just begins to jabber (remember, at this point my Spanish is near zero) and I have no idea what he’s saying.  But he shows me the screen on the radar gun, it say’s 90kph, he writes on the back of his ticket book 60kph and I get it.  I’m about to get a speeding ticket.  By the way, by the time I get all this he’s been standing in the hot sun (in that area the temperature hovers around 100) for about five minutes and he seems a little impatient with this stupid gringo.  But all I can think is “oh shit, I’m hours from San Jose” where I thought I had to go to pay a ticket and I’ve already experienced the lines at the bank, which is where you pay the ticket, so I ask in all honest naiveté “can I just pay you?”


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