Well, I have done a LOT of walking. Moving into a country with no car…well, it’s the norm down here. You see, it costs a lot to ship ANYTHING here (yes, we DO have a container on its way) and you pay taxes when it comes into customs here. (Unless your sending documents only.) So…the tax structure works like this: If your vehicle is less than 3 years old, you pay 52.29% tax; 4 to 5 years old, you pay 63.91% tax; and over 5 years, you pay 79.03% tax. Now these tax amounts are based upon the value of the vehicle. WHO determines that value? Costa Rica customs of course. That being said, you could buy a $6,000 2010 SUV in the US and bring it here. Costa Rica will more than likely value that same vehicle at $9,000-10,000 (based upon market averages here) so, in essence, bringing that $6000 SUV will cost you $7,500 in taxes to bring into the country. Hmmm.. So, we decided to buy once we got here.
Most of the roads around Tamarindo are dirt. There is the main road into the town which is paved, and some of the newer developments are paved but, for the most part, you are look at dirt and rocks and potholes and conditions a typically “nice car” would not be suited. I have to admit, I LOVE walking anyway. Not necessarily the case for Prince Charming (a/k/a Knight in Shining Armor) and not practical at all for the business operation. I have now trekked to town innumerable times; dark or light, rain or shine; humid, hot, whatever. Poor Charlie Brown (dog) has done so as well and continues to prefer to be with me vs without. (may be changing his name to Shadow soon)
The best supermarket (Auto Mercado) is a few miles away and we’ve journeyed there twice (only in rainy conditions) and taxied back home (the NEEDED ice cream would not make a walk back). The people in the grocery are VERY friendly, the food is fresh and it’s amazing how things like raw chicken here don’t have a smell. (I hate cooking chicken and don’t eat it, but I cook to please the others.) The stores are MUCH smaller, they DO have some of the stuff from the US (remember now those things are IMPORTED so they cost more) and you can get through the grocery REALLY quickly. Some things here are FASTER and some things are definitely SLOWER.
Speaking of faster…we closed on our business purchase Friday. That was a relatively QUICK experience. (other than my complaining to the attorney) The attorney we have been dealing with since February is in Italy so some poor soul was designated to work with us. AT CLOSING, we were informed that we could not use the name chosen for our holding company. (We chose the name of our holding company and completed the paperwork TWO MONTHS ago.) The attorney closing this transaction says “oh..we have a problem and cannot use the name you picked for your company”. WHAT? Hubby uses the words True Britt in his boating / fishing endeavors. The corporation was going to utilize that name. Problem is that there is a HUGE company in Costa Rica famous for coffees and chocolates named Cafe Britt and have secured the rights to use the word Britt for anyone and anything. Apparently this couldn’t be determined until sitting at closing…AND they picked another name for us… “but you can change it” (for a fee…which I will NOT pay when they fix this). Is this really a big deal since the operating entity’s name stays the same? Probably not…but I”m fighting for principle and professionalism… which is a fight i need to quickly dispose of if i’m going to survive here….( I DID ask someone for the Spanish word for Bitch.)
But the closing went quickly and we closed on the business AND the purchase of our vehicle in ONE meeting! Purchasing a car here requires an attorney. The attorney checks to make sure the title is clean and prepares a deed of sale. Monies are given straight to the attorney who releases the funds once the transfer deed is signed. But those two things are now complete.
Again, down here you realize there REALLY is no need to be in a hurry…I’m not late for a plane or an organ transplant doctor…so apparently there is no need to rush. But some things move very slowly….like often the service at a restaurant, getting the printing company to print your shirts, getting the management company to respond to maintenance calls, and the flies…. Yes, the flies are slower. Must be. I’ve killed 3 with my hand and a napkin….
**The picture of the macaws was taken by a fellow ex-pat in the Puntarenas area of Costa Rica named Dan Hazelton who is obviously a brilliant photographer.