Thursday, November 15, 2018

Better and Worse

So now I've had 48 hours with the idea that our household goods shipment has gone sideways. I'm less upset. I've lived without this junk for 18 months now. Plus I are feeling like there will be a request from the customs officials for a bribe very quickly after we arrive on Tuesday.

I hope there will be a bribe request because that would be the easy way to solve this.

On the other fronts on Saturday the new gardener starts revamping the landscaping. Monday the backhoe arrives to resculpt the land around the pool, put in the patios and start on the hot tub finally. Photos when it happens, if I remember.

On the bad side two days ago I started having pains in my large muscle groups. This has happened when I take Bactrium and some other antibiotic that starts with an A, Avelox perhaps? Written in my medical records. The muscle pain is because of the statin I've been supposed to have been taking since the stroke. I took it for a month, had to stop because of the MRSA and throwing up. Restarted it recently and now this. I cannot take it. Had to get off.

This evening during worship team practice I started getting that distinctive pain where my kidneys are I usually only get on those rare occasions I am bad and take Aleve. It's connected to the muscle pain likely. So tomorrow it's off to the doctor to make sure the statins haven't trashed my kidneys. Oh joy!

Still not allowed to swim in the pool or at the beach because MRSA toe is not healed. I'm getting cabin fever here, which is why I went to rehearsals at Jim's encouragement. I've turned into something of a shut in lately.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Need That Rocking Chair Now!

Today has been a series of shocks in trying to get the last of our things here. It didn't help that I'm dealing with my unpleasant horrible emotions since the stroke. I have cried a number of times today after discovering after five months of the shipping company telling me various things followed by a two month strike that we discovered this morning that they have decided not to import any of our things beyond what is listed on the manifest.

This is after I paid a huge fine AND provided about a million explanations of what happened AND our U.S. realtor fucking it all up. If you recall when I was in the States back in late April I went into my storage room over the garage, chockablock full of everything we owned. I sorted the boxes out. So many coming here, so  many to be hauled to the dump or Goodwill, so many that family members were picking up. The last lot was all  for the kids to pick up. Guess, what? If you say that the realtor had all of it packed into our shipping container along with all of our things in the garage and shipped here you'd be right. ALL OF IT. Trash or whatever.

We have to go to San Jose next week and pick through it. We're only allow the number of boxes on the bill of lading, about a third of what shipped. Which means I'll be abandoning all my winter clothing, my wedding dress, my good china and a pile of other things. I'm being told I must 'donate' them to Costa Rica for auction. They'll take the proceeds off my taxes here.

I am red hot because the U.S. shipping company and the Costa Rican one assured me that they could get customs to agree. Turns out that's not true at all. Why the fuck did I pay a big cash fine?

Beginning to wonder if they'll try to shake us down for a bribe and end up releasing it all. My friends that used the exact same CR shipping company was told the only way to quickly get their stuff through customs was with a bribe to the right official. I suspect we'll be asked while we're there for a bribe, and we'll end up paying it just to get a lifetimes worth of junk.

They are allowing us to go down to the bonded warehouse to sort through it, and only take the things we really want. Already I am revising that list, abandoning about 95% of the furniture and outdoor things. We will see what happens.

I really did not need to be hit with this while I'm still struggling with my body.

Maybe I'm freaking out for nothing and some hard cash will solve this issue.

Last year when I shipped two pallets of household goods and our car here I had to wait about 5 months of pure run around with customs and the shipping company. I'm at the 5 month mark now so it makes sense they suddenly want to settle.

Frustrating because it's so random who charges you what here. It literally depends on which customs agent you get and what type of a mood they are in. I knew that before moving here but had no idea how lengthy this stupid process is. I guess I should be grateful because I know a few people that ended up waiting over a year.

Getting my C.R. lawyer involved now.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Do I Look LIke I Need a Rocking Chair?

I must because on Sunday two different people tried to offer me the leather and wood rocker at church. Which I declined. There were kids sitting in the rockers, plus I have done so much sitting in my own two leather and wooden rockers.

Still struggling with my health. MRSA is back and making me feel sicker than hell. Especially today. Blood pressure still too low, so it's down to a quarter of a pill daily.

We're going back and forth daily with the new gardener and the guy putting in the patios and hot tub. Jim changes his mind about details more than any woman I've ever seen. I am coming to realize I care less about the details than he does. He does this when there is a major money outlay. I am sure whatever he ultimate choses will be fine.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Customer Service in Other Languages

It's situations like these that make me decide to cut off contact. This morning we went down to the local Kolbi office because starting about two weeks ago our internet and television decided to start cutting in and out, off and on all day long. I didn't call because I could not find any information on their customer service among my contract paperwork.

So we drove down to the nearest office. We get there and find that the same guy we've been dealing  with in the past is there, one of three regular customer service agents. He happens to be the only asshole of the bunch, so of course he is the only one working. It is always the assholes that are consistantly on the job. Like a Tico Patty and Selma from 'The Simpsons' being as difficult as possible every time we're there.

Today was no different. This time he refused to help us because we had not brought our copy of our service contract with us. So he refused to look up the account number, which I know he can do because he's done it before. We've only been in there five times over the last year, so I know he could have looked it up. We just wanted to put in a service request, he wrote down the service number and sent us on our way.

I kept trying to explain to him as long as our internet was spotty making the phone call from the house would be nigh on impossible since we get very crappy cell phone reception at the house and must run it through the internet to get any reception. He didn't care.

So home we went. I called, got through quickly, but immediately hit a snag when the person I was talking to insisted I provide a certain number off the contract that was different than what the guy at the shop was demanding. The problem with providing this number is that our original contract is one of the documents that got waterlogged when I was in the hospital, the ink is faint and hard to read. I ended up having to get a magnifying glass to read it, and go back and forth between the only spot in the yard I can get cell phone service and the router.

Transferred four times in total. Each time asked for that certain number which kept changing, the account name, our incorporation name and other info with nothing done, no appointment made and no help before being transferred. Started getting majorly annoyed when on transfer number three I asked the man if he spoke English instead of trying to negociate this in Spanish. He made a huge loud dramatic sigh before answering in English.

I didn't appreciate the attitude for a couple of reasons. First, I had pressed the number for help in English when joining the queue, and secondly I do not try to negociate important things in Spanish. Ordering fried chicken down at the Pollolandia, or buying groceries? Spanish all the way. Chatting to locals? My horrible pigeon Spanish. Dealing with peddlers? Spanish. Talking to the lawyer? English. Dealing with buying a CD at the bank? English. Trying to set up a repair from a big company? English. If it's relatively important and the company offers the English option I'll use it. If not Jim translates.

Fortunately I finally got someone on transfer four that didn't act like I was annoying them in some way by merely calling. The man was helpful, polite, in an old fashioned courtly way. He even had patience with me while I kept trudging back and forth between the router and the one functioning spot for the cell. He was able to determine that the router is failing. It's equipment failure. I have a spare router and replaced it myself this evening, but he scheduled a service call. I am not holding my breath. The last time I had to wait for them to come out it was several weeks.

And I thought Comcast was awful in the States. Makes me miss being a Cable Tica customer. They were quick and never did this run around when you called or stopped by the office.

I've got to admit I do not get why some folks seem to get their jollies tormenting others like this, playing the transfer around game, not dealing with problems or taking any responsibility. I just know that I have no liking for that. Do your job, do it right the first time and stop trying to pass the buck. There's no reason the first guy shouldn't have been able to put in a  service request.

The last guy I spoke with gave me the online addy for service requests so that I don't have to deal with the indifferent queue or the guy at the local office. If I had that before I could have taken the cell out to the road, accessed the internet there and put in the request.

Difficult people suck and are just not worth the energy.

After we went to a new Tico soda and I had real Chop Suey. I didn't hold out much hope it would be decent, but damn, it was one of the best meals I have had all month. We picked up a go menu and found out from the smiling helpful ladies working there that they deliver all the way to our house. Good to have some other options for those sick days when cooking is beyond you that do not involve having to leave the house.

Friday, November 09, 2018

And Where is That Line Exactly?

Today was slightly disturbing because of lying liars who lie. One of the things that has been rather unnerving to deal with is the Tico tendency to smile, nod and agree. Ticos do not say unpleasant things, or disagree, or tell you that they have no intention of showing up on time, or even on the day they are swearing to. Or even the week.

We've now experienced that from plumbers, landscaping dudes, painters, the guy that put in the automatic gate opener, the guy who adjusted the gate hydraulics, various pool installers for estimates, you name it.

Not all tradesmen here are that way. I have found an excellent plumber, ac repairman, pool builder and general contractor who are quick, respond to emails and calls, come out exactly when they say they will and do the job on time and on money. But these guys are few and far between here.

What is more typical is that they show up three weeks later than the agreed upon date or time, completely misunderstand why you are mad, and state baldly, "But I'm here now." That's if they show up at all.

I would rather have the truth, even an unpleasant truth, than a smiling lie. The problem with smiling liars is that they are so adept at lying it's not always easy to pick up on their insincerity. So you, as a trusting gringo, get left holding the bag yet again waiting, or get openly lied to, eroding primary trust in that person and many others. What they don't seem to understand is once trust and integrity are gone getting them back is sort of like trying to catch the Mississippi River in an old gunny sack. Despite the best intentions it's just not possible.

I have lost all patience with liars of all stripes now, and just do not want to be bothered with it. Life is too short to waste it on people that treat lying like a sport. Yes, I'm irked by that, and as a result have had to cut off all business with certain folks with only a passing acquaintanceship with the truth.

The last few days here have been involved with getting our old Honda CRV fixed. The A/C is out, one of the windows has a burned out motor plus there's something wrong with one of the bushings I believe. We've been shuffled off to Buffalo by various folks here with changing prices and changing  things wrong with the car. It appears we've in the clutches of another set of lying liars who lie.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

With Friends Like These

An open letter to a friend, or someone I'm starting to think of as a former friend....

Dear "Friend",

I was surprised to hear from you after nearly a year of radio silence. Since you married the guy you were complaining about abusing you and moved away I don't hear from you at all. I was assuming it had more to do with his controlling ways than anything else. Guess I was wrong. I'm no longer useful.

But you contacted me merely to ask for information on a third person. You didn't even bother to ask if I minded, or anything else. You didn't even bother to be even slightly polite, never once asked how things were going for me. One short sentence of a demand. No even surface social niceties.

I have chosen not to reply to your email at all. Trust me, it's kinder this way because I would say something both of us would regret and I would rather not end it that way. Nicer to say nothing.

Roughly eight weeks ago I had a mini stroke followed by broken bones and mrsa. I don't have time for your bullshit because I'm busily engaged in recovery from my various misadventures and my recovery has been slow. I run out of energy quickly every single day. I can handle my life, and that's about all I can do.

Not your doormat, social secretary or your Nexus-Lexus. But I still worry about you.

I hope one day you decide to have a real conversation with me. I would welcome it. But not this quick attempt at using me.  I now have boundaries.



After my friend's attempt to pump me for information Jim and I took off to tour Flamingo for the afternoon, looking at properties and the beautiful views up the hills. It was what I needed. I had to run to Flamingo to find my one discontinued drug.

One of the other things I did today was have a very long phone conversation with a television production person about various people we write about at No Longer Quivering. Possible new series exposing the usual suspects. Hope it happens even if all I plan on having to do with it is point them in the right direction and provide deep backgrounds.

Jim is sick right now, fighting off some sort of infection. Hope he sleeps tonight.

Me, I likely will not sleep. Mind whirling right now. Watching a fellow Patheos author friend fighting with others over the whole no medical interventionists during birth crowd and seeing some of the same ugly things going down that happened with NLQ during the Carri Chmielewski tragedy. Mothers who lose babies by their own poor choices make a very sympathetic character and anything you may say about what they did just makes you look petty and churlish to the world. I learned that the hard way nine years ago.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

A Series of Bad Decisions

The title seems to be the theme of the last few days here.

My toe healed up closed and a week later I finally got the okay to get back into the pool, where my toe started oozing and hurting again. Too soon and now it's not so good. The infection is trying to come back.

During my trek back into the pool I decided to finally try on the stack of swimwear I got off the 3 dollar final markdown rack at the one store I shopped at in the States. Here's what I learned. Never buy swimsuits off the discount rack when you're in a hurry, you're on narcotics, you have a high fever and you can barely stumble around because that swimwear is going to be weird as hell. \

The one piece fits wonderfully everywhere but my boobs. I would need to smuggle bowling balls in the top to fill it up and I'm not small up top. The bikini bottoms and tank top fits tightly but will do. One of the random bikini tops to wear with my shorts was so bizarrely cut I've already taken it apart and recut it. The only black top fit wonderfully, but I cannot find what I did with the bottoms. Go figure.

Not upset because the chemicals in our pool eat swimwear so there was no way I was ever going to spend much for suits for the backyard.

I went out this morning to fill my prescriptions only to find that two of the three drugs I'm on post stroke have been discontinued here in Costa Rica. Lots of calling and chasing around just to discover that the original pharmacy has generics of the same drugs made here in Costa Rica. This is just so typical on the completely inefficient way things happen here.

While on my way in this morning I was in a long line of cars stuck behind a farmer's tractor, behind a goat and a herd of cattle. Some dumb gringo tourist decided to drive around the traffic jam very rapidly on his rented four wheeler and head on collided with a bus. Viewing another gruesome accident.You just cannot go fast here, and if you try you are risking life, limb and limbic system.

On a good note the contractor thinks it might be dry enough to start on the hot tub and patios. One can only hope.