The hold up has been because of a couple of factors:
- Overseas shipping isn't cheap so I didn't book one of the services that brings your stuff to you in a week. I went with a cheaper alternative. I knew I would be okay living for at least a few months without our things. Jim used to be in the military and we did a few big international moves. Which remind me, when the moving company picked up my boxes they exclaimed over how perfectly packed everything was. I laughed and told them this was not my first overseas move rodeo.
- I shipped the boxes at the very last second because I was still using many of my things. They are shipped by freighter boat with lots of stops.
- When we got here we had lots of red tape with getting all our bank accounts linked between here and the U.S. That meant it took some figuring and straining to get the money here to pay the taxes, customs and import fees. Wire transfers can take a month.
- I have medical machinery I had to get permission from the government dept of health to import. Lots of paperwork, lots of hassle and haggling to get permission.
- The hurricane and road situation
- Traveling to try and see Jim's mother before she passed.
Thankfully I have a printer and office supplies coming because those things are pretty expensive here.
But the other day was a perfect illustration of how more casual and how different the culture is. The import company handling importing our car needed the original title to our car and didn't tell us this until that day, the day before the car needed to clear customs. We discovered that none of the shipping services here over an overnight delivery option like the post office or Fed Ex does in the states so our only option to get it there overnight was to go to the Tamarindo airport and put it on one of Sansa Airline's planes to Limon. So Jim sat out to do that after the taxi driver dropped me at the house from our trip into town.
It was an experience according to Jim. First of all, the road from the main drag of town into the airport is washed out, so the taxi had to take Jim on a long backroads way out to the airport, driving through a field and coming to rest at the end of the lone runway.
Jim said there was another taxi waiting there, with a guy sitting in the backseat. Jim had been told that he needed to follow the runway to the terminal to get the letter sent by plane, so he gets out of the cab and starts trudging down the runway, even as a plane takes off just overhead. By this time Jim can see and hear that the guy in the other taxi has gotten out, is trailing behind him and is busy weaving an invisible tapestry of obscenities in English. Jim cannot figure out what this man's problem is, so he goes into the tiny terminal and makes arrangements to fly out the car title.
The other man turns up just as Jim is preparing to traverse the runway again to get back to his taxi. Apparently that plane that had just taken off was supposed to take this man, and he's missed his flight. He's still cursing like he thinks he's Andrew Dice Clay, stranded in Tamarindo another night.
Never a dull moment that's for sure!