Well, a glitch had to occur some time, and today it did – for a critical part of the residency process. First, let’s talk about dining out.
Ventured out last night on foot but did not go far. Didn’t feel safe. Found an Oriental restaurant a block away. Made the mistake of ordering two dishes. They were large plates of food that I ate about one-third from each. Sent the rest back to the staff. It was good and only set me back about $16, with a drink. This morning I had a free breakfast from the hotel and tried the buffet. Mostly Tico-type food so that was good. Had the beans and rice, a chopped up potato dish with a hint of fruit, a sausage and toast. The CR jam is delicious but more the consistency of a slow syrup.
Then it was off to the U.S. Embassy, a $6 ride. There was a line a block and a half long at 8:30 and I took my place at the end, which happened to be where the flagpole was located where I was to meet my contact – Mayanye. She was a few minutes early and saw my name sign. Since it was the U.S. Embassy and since all the people in line were not U.S. citizens, she took me to a door with no line and we went right in. Mayanye is in her mid fifties and loves to talk to everyone. Unfortunately, her English was poor so we could not converse very well. She knew virtually everyone at the embassy and had already cut some corners to get me in as soon as possible. First, I had my photos taken. Then we went and waited to get my income certificate. Oops! They can’t issue it until I actually start receiving money from Social Security (August). So I have to return to San Jose in August to complete my paperwork. Mayanye will be here then, too, to expedite the process. That will probably mean at least $200 out of pocket and a two-day trip. Then we drove half way across town, down this road, up that one, to get my fingerprints for Interpol. Lots of people and Mananye managed to get me ahead of some people. That was pretty straightforward.
Next we drove across town again to see a lawyer (abogado). He spoke some English. He worked up some papers that I signed and then Maganye dropped me off where I could catch a cab. I catch my ride to Quepos in 30 minutes.
I definitely wouldn’t want to live in San Jose. The traffic is crazy. Cars darting in and out of narrow streets, horns honking, pedestrians playing “dodge car.”
Finally before I sign off, I highly recommend this company helping me with residency. Javier in California set up everything very professionally, and Mayanye was very thorough and professional on this end. She really greased the skids here, which is important. Their company is called Residency in Costa Rica (www.residencyincostarica) for anyone interested.
Next: Quepos, where I hear it has been raining hard for some time. Yahoo!
Finally, don’t believe it when someone says they often know English here. They do not!