My first few days in Costa Rica.

Tuesday June 11th
> > Well I am in severe culture shock. Some negatives but lots of positives and I am staying. I bought the cute house in the jungle today and have no regrets. I have been in a car or bus for most of the last two days. Today we went to the lawyer in San Jose many hours away to create the contract for the house. The legal system is very interesting. The house was recorded as being worth $100 and no one pays property taxes anyway. In that area no one pulls permits and they just build a house whenever and wherever they want to.
I am good friends with my American neighbor Bill (a former pilot) who has acted as the realtor in this deal and who is very much like me and shares just about all of my views about how the world works. He has been a lifesaver to me since I don’t speak a word of Spanish. The owner of the house arranged for us to have a chaffuer who drove Bill and I back to the house near Turrialba.The Chaffuer arranged for me to have a date with a pretty Costa Rican woman today but I could not do it because the real estate deal took so long. I spoke with her on the phone and she called me “baby child” when she said good bye. I think she was flirting with me. The women are plentiful and all seem rather pretty and young and are walking about without partners and  they are not hookers altho they seem quite interested in money I am told.
When I left the airport I was propelled into a completely different world. It seems that everyone in Costa Rica is poor which I was prepared for but when I drove  by all the houses it really hit home that I was in a third world country. Most of the house are tiny and in some sort of disrepair. Everything is different. The people are extremely risky drivers. I saw a stoplight that was both green and red at the same time.The only way I knew it was really green is that the red was flickering and everyone was going thru it. Since all the roads are winding I never saw anything but double yellow lines. These mean little to Costa Rican people aka Tico’s as they are merely suggestions to them.  Cars will cross the double yellow lines to pass three cars and think nothing of it. I am not planning on getting a car as buses can take me everywhere or  a bike or a cab.There are stray dogs along the side of the road as well as cows and horses. Later I met  a 3 legged dog named  Rambo who had gotten too close to a car. After driving a very far way around and part way up a mountain we arrived at my house.  I must confess I was a bit disappointed that the inside was not as pretty as the outside. It’s like a cabin with a wall or two not finished on the inside with an old floor and old appliances. I changed back to a very positive attitude when I woke in the morning and thought I was not in Kansas anymore as I looked out to immense beautiful terrain such as I have never seen except perhaps in Switzerland and the area here is known as  little Switzerland. The weather here is gorgeous year round with rain but also lots of sun and always nice temps. I heard strange animal noises and  my yard is beautifully landscaped with banana trees and hanging potted plants that are unusual to me. There is a clinic right next door to me that is used once a month where doctors give free medical care. BTW if you go to a Costa Rican Hospital they will treat you even if you are American or even have no money. There is a school not far away however it only has one student. The teacher comes from far away to teach this one student.The people seem friendly enough to me however no one seems to speak English so who knows what they are talking about. I will  try to learn Spanish Pronto. The area around my house is remote and lush and I discussed at length plans to build small homes and bring Americans to fill them and various ideas for eco tourism. One of Bill´s properties has a river running thru it and amazing views. There is the steepest mountain across from my mountain that has Indian legends associated with it. There are mountain lions and even black panthers here and two types of  poisonous snakes but it is safe as they dont attack humans very often..I am looking forward to meeting more of the indigenous population. I am getting a new chip in my cell phone which will take a week and I am also getting internet at the house and sky tv. Bills girlfriends brother lives very near and can do extensive work on the house and his wage is $2.60 an hour and he can build me a deck and expand my living room etc so that is exciting. I predict I will settle in just fine and be very comfortable in my surroundings within a few months. Until next time
>
Update 12 June Wed
It has now been two days trying to get money from Western Union and nothing but the run around. Please do not ever use Western Union if you can prevent it. Other than that I have been doing well today. I went to the house of my neighbors boss, they are exporting old Land Rovers . It is 4 br 3 bath home  and absolutely gorgeous with spectacular views and comes with a gardener and pool and large well landscaped yard     and a couple of covered areas to paty or swing on a hammock in. The rent $550 a month. The man wanted to introduce me to one of his young girlfriends. It seems that everyone wants to hook me up with a woman.
>    Bill told me that about once a year in this area army ants march through the property covering a large area and they go thru the house and yard in the billions and you lift your feet up until the eat all the bugs and things and they pass thru and  they leave. Or you can leave the property. I found that amazing . There were many preyty birds on the property. I am now staying in a hotel in Turrialba the nearby town to check out the city. It is a bustling city but almost no Americans are here so I am a curiosity to them.
Martin

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