One month update
Well we are one month into our move and I thought I would provide you all with an update.
We are not close to having a local bank account.
We tried to buy a car, but we will have to wait another 2-4 weeks for it to clear customs and taxes etc.
Most of us are not yet surfers, but we are much better than when we started.
Our Spanish is slowly, muy despacio, progressing.
We have made lots of new friends and intend to keep doing so.
We still miss our home our friends and family very much.
Overall, life has slowed way down. In fact, that is probably my personal biggest struggle. I am now working from home, and since I have worked outside of the home since I was 14, it is a very difficult transition, much more so than I anticipated. Often I go outside with my Ipad or laptop and sit just to make it feel a little more like I am not sitting at home doing “nothing”. Who knew that would be such a tough transition? If we go somewhere, it is almost always not on schedule, it is just to go do it, like beaches, surfing or shopping. If we have to run to the store, well it is a literal 1 minute run from our doorstep. There are no practices, meetings, functions, jobs or appointments in the way. At least not yet.
Another big issue is the speed at which things happen, or perhaps a better was to describe it is “not happen”. For instance, setting up a bank account. I have been working on that for over 3 weeks, and I fear I am still several weeks away. There is so much involved in every little transaction and it is all done with primitive methods, ie triplicate copy paper, the old credit card slide machine, and good ole patience. Apparently, according to the local bank, it is because the “Americans” want to account for every dollar coming out of America, I tend to believe them.
Even buying a car, a new car requires much patience. If I went into a dealer back home and told them I wanted to buy a car today, and I had the cash to pay today, they would yank my arm off trying to get at the moolah. In fact they would sell me their personal one just to make the deal. Here, three times I have tried to buy a car, money in hand and have been told over and over, I must wait until they arrive. I offered to buy the one I was looking at, although not the exact model I wanted, but sufficient. I was told no it was already sold we are just borrowing it to show people. You must wait 2-4 weeks. More are on the way, but they have to clear customs and the taxes must be paid. Again, Patience.
Some of the changes we knew we would encounter;
The same amount of daylight every day, sun up around 5:30 sun sets around 6:30. Although we did not anticipate that we would be ready for bed by 9 pm. every night. Perhaps that why this place is so popular for retirement, early to bed and early to rise, and it makes for great pre-dinner sunsets.
The new plethora of creepy crawlies ( more to come on that later). The heat and humidity, the rainstorms and lack of conveniences. We knew what we were getting into on those aspects. And as we learn to embrace them, we will eventually learn to enjoy them, and laud them much as we did the long Alaska summer days, and hide the not so enticing, such as the short Alaska winter days.
Some of great surprises are the new fruits and vegetables that we love, two new coffee shops close by that serve decent sissy coffee, and our new friend Felix our gate guard. He has turned into our best Tico friend, recently presenting Tracy and I with the gifts pictured below. They are made all the more special by the misspellings. And of course, as long as the sun shines we will always have the sunsets, beaches and surfing.
So although we do not yet feel at home, we are now getting the feel of what home will be like. But as we continue to settle, we will keep a stronghold back home through facebook, skype, facetime and U-stream. And perhaps we live in era, a time when one can physically leave home, but never ever really be gone. I will let you know again when I do another update blog at the 6 month mark. And if I am blessed, we will have a bank account and a car by then. If not,then there’s always next year. Pura Vida.