It’s Roy’s week to wait on the list. But, forgiving my intromission, I simply couldn’t resist temptation to ‘correct’ his numbers:
Costa Rica Living: 386 members
Costa Rica Spanish: 38 members
… as per May 31st, midnight.
THANK YOU ALL!
- Correction to my last post:
I had nothing ABOVE the bar that shows
the number of messages for each month.
I had NO recent messages line.
Sorry for the repeated posts
I'm going back to bed now.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 9:20 AM
Subject: [CostaRicaLiving] RE: [Archive] ... down a lazy river
Hi Roxane, Hi All,
You write: "Up until today, I had no archive field and none of my
prompts on the homepage were working..."
1) Going to the homepage at:
did you sign in as a member of the group? I you don't sign in you
won't get any info!
2) The "Search Archive" field, in the middle of our homepage, is
below the "Most Recent Messages" line, where the last 5 message
headers are visible / displayed.
3) If you sign in correctly and scroll down a bit, then this field
Best regards, and "suerte",
Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
For our web page: http://www.costaricaliving.org/
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Please note a corrected phone number in this posting.
: Jimmy Butman is a young perfectly-bilingual
Costa Rican with a number of successful enterprises
under his control. One of the latest is well-digging
with some remarkable new equipment. Call him at
228-1300 or butman@... if you think he could
help or advise you.
Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
- Janet has asked us to post our experiences when moving to Costa Rica. I've
been writing up our experiences in quite some detail over the past 2 1/2
years. Here's a description of what happened the day we moved to CR.
Although it was 2 1/2 years ago, things that I write about have really not
changed at all. It's kind of long, so feel free to delete at any time.
Thought you might get a kick out of reading a bit about the day of our
arrival in Costa Rica, Friday, October 20, 2000.
Were this a book, this chapter would probably be entitled: "And this is just
We left San Francisco on a red eye in order to make sure that our dog Jessie
would not get too hot and that we'd arrive in the morning. The trip to Costa
Rica was fortunately uneventful, except for an unplanned plane change in El
Salvador and Robin's worry for Jessie's safety.
But upon arrival, our luggage was first off the plane, a very good sign.
Jessie came off almost immediately afterward and getting her and us through
customs went without a hitch, largely due to Robin's having ensured that all
the paperwork was in order before we left.
The car rental people were there waiting for us at San Jose's modern
International Arrival terminal and they took us straight to the car rental
office, though we had to do it in two trips because we had so much luggage
with Jessie's huge cage.
An hour later we were making our way through the insane San Jose traffic
trying to find our hotel, the Dunn Inn. This is a hotel that allows dogs,
which, of course, was a requirement. Our room was not ready yet and it was
going to be two hours until we could have access. They did, however, allow
us to put our luggage into a small room furnished with two chairs to wait.
Of course by this time we had been up for about 30-some hours and were hot,
dirty and tired. Although we hadn't planned to sleep yet anyway because we
had a lot of things to take care of.
I went to call the attorney who was going to help us with these things,
Ulises Obregon a partner of Darrylle Stafford. Their firm has been a great
help to Robin and me in preparing for our move. As I was asking the
receptionist if I could make a call, Ulises called me. We met at the hotel a
half hour later and began our odyssey around San Jose.
There were three main objectives: 1) to open two bank accounts at the Banco
Nacional, a dollar account and a colones account; 2) to open an Internet
account with RACSA, the state-operated ISP monopoly. 3) to get photocopies
made of the documents we had brought with us in order to begin the process
of application for residents' status so that we could stay in the country
legally for more than three months. Darrylle and Ulises are working with us
to guide us through this process.
I had brought a cashier's check with me to open the bank accounts, for I had
been told that a normal check required 30 to 40 days to clear. This way the
cash would be immediately available. There would be enough to buy a car and
then we would transfer money from the dollars account to the colones account
as we needed money. We'd be able to withdraw money from the colones account
through an ATM machine in San Isidro, a large provincial town about 40
minutes from where we'd be living in Dominical. San Isidro is also where we
do most of our shopping and pick up our mail. Living where we do means at
least one trip a week there. Though we've been there probably 6 times in the
two weeks we've been here. It's hard to anticipate at this early stage
everything we need. But we'll learn.
As it turned out, Banco Nacional knows nothing about cashier's checks -- or
at least the woman who served us didn't. It was still going to be at least
30 days before the money would be available. So, after long deliberations
with the woman at the bank and with Ulises as a life-saving translator, we
decided that I'd just send the check back to the States to be re-deposited.
Then I'd open the accounts at the San Isidro branch and have the money wired
to the dollar account, thereby not having to wait 30 days.
As it ultimately turned out, because of the paper work involved, although
the bank received the money the day I had it wired, it still was an
additional three to five working days before the money was available.
To tide us over, I eventually made two ATM withdrawals from my account in
North America, got two cash advances on my credit card, and exchanged a
couple of hundred dollars I had into colones. I even borrowed a few thousand
colones from one of our friends.
Because we had Jessie with us and she was so insecure because her life had
been turned so upside down, we couldn't have possibly left her in the hotel
while we went on our rounds in San Jose with Ulises.
We had decided to walk everywhere with Ulises because parking is just
impossible in San Jose -- as is driving, too, as far as I'm concerned. The
traffic is horrendous, except for several major boulevards, most streets are
very narrow. The Costa Ricans, who are by and large non-confrontational, are
often aggressive drivers. And, there are hundreds of buses everywhere, all
belching black smoke. All in all quite anxiety provoking until you get used
to it -- which probably only takes a couple of years. Fortunately we'll be
living far, far away from San Jose.
Our dog, Jessie, for those of you who don't know her, is a very large 90
pound Great Dane/Greyhound mix, jet black. Walking her through the crowded
streets of San Jose on a leash attracted an enormous amount of attention;
stares, smiles, fear-stricken faces, and even a woman's loud, shrill
scream -- of joy or terror we'll never know because she ran around the
It seems that not many people walk their dogs on leashes in downtown San
Jose. What walking her also meant is that poor Robin spent a lot of time
standing outside of various buildings waiting for extended periods while
Ulises and I were doing battle with the long lines and complex problems of
trying to get a lot of things done in one afternoon within a system that
usually requires as much as 30 minutes or longer in line just to make a
deposit in a bank. The reason Robin stayed with her instead of me is that
Jessie was still so nervous that she panicked when Robin was out of sight.
Almost everywhere you go to do some kind of transaction in Costa Rica
requires you to first take a number from a machine and wait until you're
called, not too unlike a busy day in Draeger's grocery store in Menlo Park,
for those of you who know it -- right, not too unlike.
And that was the case at RACSA when we went in to set up an Internet
account. All in all we waited about 30 minutes until our turn came. During
this time Robin, who was not allowed in the building with the dog, had to
stand outside and deal with dozens of people who wanted to know everything
about Jessie. Every ten minutes or so, Ulises or I would go outside for a
few minutes to check to see how Robin was doing.
Finally it was our turn. Fortunately, the young woman who served us spoke
excellent English. That made things go much more smoothly because it meant
that Ulises didn't have to translate. After about 40 minutes, she had all
the forms filled out on her computer and clicked the button to submit our
application to the system.
At that point, the system, as she explained, "fell down," the Spanish
equivalent of "crashed." It was clear that we were going to be there for
quite a while yet, so Ulises, who is an extremely kind and helpful person,
was kind enough to walk Robin back to the hotel, which was about 15 minutes
away, while I stayed to deal with the fallen system. The young woman checked
with someone and was told to resubmit. However, some of the information had
to be reentered. Once again, a click on the button to submit. But we were
still submitting to the fallen system.
At this point we found out that the system would be down until about 9pm.
The alternative turned out to be that all the forms would be filled out by
hand and signed. Then, the evening shift would resubmit everything
electronically after the system came up again. I would be called eventually
to be told when my account was effective. Although I was convinced that
years would pass before I ever heard from RACSA by phone, I was amazed when
they did, in fact, call me two days later to tell me my account was open and
After RACSA, it was time to get photocopies made. According to Ulises, in
all of Costa Rica there are no copy shops where one can go to a machine, put
in a few coins, and make one's own copies. Rather, you go to a copy shop,
take a number, wait your turn, and then have the work done by someone behind
the counter. In most cases -- for we went to three copy shops before we got
anything done -- there would be about 10 people waiting and perhaps two or
three machine operators. But many people had complex jobs such as two-sided
printing, collated books, blueprint reproduction, paper trimming, and
virtually anything else that could be done with copy machines in a
This meant that the waits could be interminable. We left the first two shops
we went to after waiting 15 to 20 minutes because it was clear that there
might still be an hour to wait. Finally we went to a third shop where our
number was only three behind the current number. Our turn came in just a few
minutes. Ulises explained what we needed done. As the operator started to do
our job, Ulises suddenly realized that he was still missing some papers and
that it would make no sense to finish the job now and he told the operator
to stop. What he was missing I never did find out, but I took his word for
it because he's that kind of guy.
At this point we were finished. Four hours spent, the only result of which
was the completion of a form by hand that might or might not result in the
opening of an ISP account.
What I didn't know at this point was that back at the hotel, there was a
sign on the desk that said: "Copies, 15 cents each." There was, of course,
no line to wait in.
While saying goodbye to Ulises before walking back to the hotel, I remarked
that we really had accomplished very little. He gave me his big, charming,
very boyish and sweet smile and said, "And this is only the beginning!" How
right he seems to be from the vantage point of 16 days later!
But these are just part of the challenges we anticipated during the process
of acculturation. This is no place for A-type personalities, which is why I
am working on my transformation into Marty Manana. The upsides, which I'll
write about later, are truly many.
Best regards to all of you,
Martin and Robin
P.S. for the CostaRicaLiving gang. Now, 2 /12 years later, I don't give a
thought to driving in San Jose. I just do it as obnoxiously as everyone else
and it works.
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- Thank you, Martin, for an insightful tale. I would highly recommend
Martin's terrific journal posted on his website - http://www.rice-
family.org/ - for anyone thinking of making the move. It is written
with aplomb and a keen observer's eye. The best journal I have read
by far about Costa Rica.
I feel as if I now know the Martins, the community and many of their
neighbors quite well. Please give my best to all of them,
particularly to Robin and Batman.
- O.K., before everyone jumps me:
Two errors: I, of course, meant U.S. (NOT American) history and civics.
AND, I left out the famous chicken roping ranch and school in San Ramon. Sorry, Jose. Are you accepting students at this time?
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