Lost Radio Part 4

Well we are almost over the hump.  This week I got the new locks installed along with a new radio that I now take out every time I leave the car unattended.  Next week we are going for the paint job for the damage that was done by the bone head trying to jimmy my lock.  We are also going in for more security for the car.  We found out that unless there is an earthquake our alarm doesn’t go off, so what good does that do me.  This new alarm system will activate if someone tries to break my lock or my window.  Honestly I thought that I already had that but apparantly not.

Now I have this stack of receipts and legal documents (the sworn statement that I didn’t call INS when the car was broken into actually had to be signed by my lawyer, already gave one statement to the INS saying the same thing???) and another document that shows that I actually own the car…..all of this falls into the WHY catagory which I explained why I don’t go there.

So now my WONDERFUL Insurance Agent, Eric Morales is going to take all the documents and receipts to the INS for me so that I don’t have to go down and experience the frustration.  You gotta love him for that.  I have to write ANOTHER letter stating that it is ok for him to represent me and pick up the check for me but that we worry about next week after we get the final bills on the work done.

Apparantly lawyers here are used to all the paperwork because when I called Sergio (my lawyer) he knew exactly what I needed, this made my life much easier.  All I had to do was give him a few specifics then he ran with it and produced this legal size paper that looks official with all it’s stamps or timbres.

You must have good lawyers and good insurance agents that look out for your best interest or you can really get into trouble here but that is a subject for a different day.

I’m basking in the glory of this whole process almost being complete.  And I never asked WHY once.



I have hesitated to write about this because it sounds so silly but it is so true and a large part of my existance in Costa Rica.
It always happens that something occurs here in Costa Rica and you want to know WHY they do what they do.  I am and have always been a why person, even when it came to learning Spanish, I wanted to know WHY everything had to be male or female, why the word so had 8 letters in spanish and other such sillies as that.  Things arise everyday where I find myself wanting to ask WHY is something done this way or WHY did they do that.  This was such a part of my person living in the US where everything seemed to make sense or by asking WHY you could get logical reasoning for why something  was done the way it was.  Since living in Costa Rica I have learned that asking WHY can send me to an early grave.

My latest blog entry about my car radio would be a classic example of how many WHY’s come to mind when dealing with INS or the car repair folks. Why do I need to go a dozen different places to get my radio and locks replaced?  Why do I have to wait 1 1/2 hours in the 3rd place I have been for someone to look at my car and see that the radio really isn’t there?  Why do I have to go pick up the parts myself?  Why can’t someone else do this for me?  And so on…
I tell people when they move here to try to take the word WHY out of their vocabulary.  Even when someone explains WHY they do something or the way that they do it, it won’t make any sense to us Gringo’s as it would always be much easier if they would do it the way we did it in the states but they never do.

This was my first taste of Costa Rican culture shock.  I had to get over asking why all the time.  Now when I find myself thinking WHY I switch channels in my brain and say, that’s just the way it is, I don’t need an explanation because it won’t make sense to me anyway.

This may sound idiotic but it works.  I live a much more stressfree life by not asking WHY all the time.  I have resigned myself to it’s just the way they do things and move onto something else.

I could give you a dozen or so examples of how this comes up in our daily lives but if you live here for awhile you will see for yourself it’s much easier to live here if you don’t question WHY all the time.  If you start to question WHY something is the way it is….bite your lip and move onto another topic.  Trust me it is the only way to live happily in Paradise.


Lost Radio Part 3

Well I finally got an appointment to go to the INS shop in Curridibat on this past Saturday.  We had an appointment for 8:30 and got out at 10:00.  Not too bad but all they had to do was look at the car to see the damage that was done and in order for them to do this we had to go sit in a waiting room for an hour and a half.  They finally gave me the report of what was wrong with my car, several pages of stuff that makes absolutely no sense to me.

I’m supposed to go get the parts then take it to a shop to have them install them.  Door handles (locks) in one place, radio in another place.  AFTER all this work is done I have to present a document showing that I do infact own the car and another, filed with an attorney, stating why I did not call INS at the time of the incident which means another trip to the lawyers office.

I present these documents with all their legal stamps/timbres along with receipts for the work that was done to my car and the parts that I purchased, then I am supposed to get reimbursed the full amount I have paid less 10% deductable.

This requires ANOTHER trip to INS which I am hoping my insurance agent will go for me.  I have to write another letter stating that it is ok for him to go in my place to pick up the check.

Now we have to rent a car so that ours can be worked on for a few days.  First I have to take it to the body shop to see how long they are going to need to make room for us, then how long it will take to get it back.  This should be another fun filled week.

By the way, I found out that the way they punched out my lock is what they do when they are stealing cars.  They punch out the lock then hotwire the car.  I feel very uncomfortable leaving my car parked anywhere for fear of it getting stolen since the first half of an attempt has already been made.


Lost Radio Part 2

To follow up on the story of my lost radio…I figured out how they broke into my car and it was quite ingenious as it prevented the alarm from going off.  The bad guys broke the lock.  Looks like they took a screwdriver and broke the mechanism.  Now I wouldn’t think this would open the car but then I’m not a thief so what do I know about these things.

I started the process to get the loss paid for by the INS (insurance company of Costa Rica).  The first part was to go to the police station to report my loss.  This was fairly simple and went along fairly quickly. The police station was in central San Jose and since we arrived early, the whole process took under an hour.

Then off to INS in Pavas.  This was a little more complicated and far more paperwork to complete.  When my cell phone rang, I was told to turn it off as your not allowed to talk on cell phones while in an INS building.  Who knew?  We were at the INS office for an hour and a half with only 5 people in line in front of us.  Told you there was a lot of paperwork.

Nothing was resolved during this visit to the INS.  Now we have to call some kind of inspector to schedule an appointment to look at where the radio used to be.  This is supposed to happen this week.  I don’t know what the next step is past that but will continue when I have more information.  Still no radio, still no money to buy one.  Pura Vida