Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Unboxed Red Tape

On Saturday morning our possessions from the States finally arrived! Delivered by a nice Costa Rican man who spoke no English. Jim speaks Spanish pretty well, but I've still not far past my ugly American one semester in college Spanish. I can get around, I can shop, I can find the restroom, but not much beyond that. But between the three of us we managed to communicate plenty well enough while unloading the truck and putting the boxes in one of the spare bedrooms.

In a few minutes flat we had the 31 boxes of household things we'd shipped down. the largest amount being kitchenware and art supplies. I worked like a grunt all day Saturday unpacking boxes and washing the contents. I'd forgotten from our other overseas moves that the USA. some shipping by boat companies and other countries frequently insist that your boxes all be fumigated before they are loaded. Ours obviously were, and I reacted, it was wheezy day.

Pleased we didn't have more broken items. The ones that did break were a surprise. Both of my small crockpots ended up with the inner crock part broken to pieces even if I wrapped the crocks before putting them in the crockpot and overwrapping the entire thing in bubble wrap. There were a few plastic bowls that broke. No big loss. But I did discover that our microwave seems to be possessed or broken as it's working on low no matter what setting you nuke it on.

What is always interesting in an international move is what turns up missing. Let's not kid ourselves. somewhere along the line I always end up a few items short on these moves. This time we are missing a brand new toaster, I'm missing a fancy blowdry with some sort of op art motif on it in loud colors and I'm missing my turquoise blue Swingline stapler. They complete ignored the 1 Direction in drag lunchbox I keep drawing pens and markers in.


Saturday and Sunday were filled with unpacking and putting things away but this morning we had to go take care of one of the more frustrating things to deal with here involving mucho red tape - simply paying our electric bill.

Remember last moth when I was so thrilled to have a sixty dollar electric bill? This months bill ran right around one hundred and sixty dollars and last week we had to go by the electrical co-op and ask why so much this month. It was a silly exercise in the fact that local Costa Ricans do not like to say unpleasant things that will upset you. They may jump in front of you in lines all the time, or try to shake you down for more money that the average Tico for the same taxi ride, but they will not usually stand up to you and tell you bad news.

First they had to write a report about our claims that our bill jumped suddenly and we weren't even in the house for the full month. Then I had to get a digital photo of the meter and email it to them. After that they had to come out and test the meter. We went back today to find out what they'd discovered and pay the bill. They claim that they found nothing wrong with the meter and have no explanation for the huge increase. I am wondering if we're suddenly paying a gringo price on the electric. It is still cheaper than any electric bill from the summer in our house in the States, but it's just the idea of the price jumping around and all the hoops we had to jump through last week just to get them to take  look.

Jim's still dealing with trying to get the car delivered to San Jose, and there's been some red tape, requests for more money that is starting to feel like bleed the gringo. I guess it's the price you have to pay to live near the beach.

On better note Negrito is doing well. He gets into every single thing. Even going so far as to chew the hell out of the top of the pineapple in our kitchen.

Tomorrow is likely to be a heap of red tape too. Jim has to send the car import people more money.

Anyone considering coming to live here in Costa Rica really needs to budget three times the money they planned to bring just to help with the red tape.

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