You know, preconceptions and biases are a funny thing, predictable and ever-present. In some of those US or Canadian owned blogs, expats are warned never to believe the directions given by a local. Always get a second opinion, they counsel. Not because Ticos are prone to lying, but because they want to help you too much. Instead of admitting that they don’t know where your desired destination is located, they allegedly rather send you off in the most likely general direction. This may or may not be true, it’s one of those generalizations, humans are so quick to dispense. We haven’t yet experienced this particular behavior. When we were cruising the same quadrant of downtown Alajuela in a desperate attempt to find the clinic for Barry’s scheduled ultrasound procedure last May. We asked a bunch of different pedestrians for directions, who either told us, they didn’t know, or gave us clear instructions. The problem was our’s, not their’s. Our inability to understand their instructions properly, plus passing by the clinic without recognizing it [see post 06/11]. Equally, I want to caution you to believe anything important, as in CR Government procedures, you might read about in a number of these blogs and forums, without at least triple checking the facts. Most of their members have good intentions, but either lack the expertise to advice or extrapolate wildly based on a single personal experience. Some just repeat anecdotal accounts by others as fact, but mostly, many of these reports floating about in cyber space are simply woefully outdated.
|Low clouds hugging the mountaintops like whipped cream topping.
Traffic jam on the Pan-American Highway near Santamaria airport.
Our drive was uneventful and fun. Instead of la autopista we took Hwy. 3 all the way to Highway 1, the world famous Panamericana, to hit a gas station. There aren’t many filling stations in the more rural areas, so you better watch that gage! We experienced a couple of traffic jams and we kind of jumped the gun taking the earlier west-bound ramp, rather than the later east-bound entrance to the circunvalación. So we had to turn around, big deal – sorry, Mildred! Siemens was exactly where it was supposed to be, as were it’s ally Yamaha and the right turn toward the customer parking lot. So all in all, it really was a piece of cake to drive to La Uruca.
|Lanco Paint Company Mural|
|Commercial Tax Free Zone near Airport|
After we had parked our car, I looked around and confirmed, what I had suspected and hoped for since studying that goggle earth map. Customer parking was right next door to the building, where Barry was supposed to apply for his license. Whereas poor me, back in May, having taking a cab to the main gate of the whole MOPT compound, had to hike the whole distance from main gate to the very last building, where those little máchinas biométricas spit out las licencias de conducir.
While Barry was busy, I discovered this crèche in a central area of the facility. It looked very similar to the crèche in the Mercado Central courtyard in Atenas. So now I have to find out, if there are certain design elements, which dictate the proper appearance of a Christmas display – other than the main characters, of course.
Barry really had all the luck. La máchina dispensed his licencia in 45 min, including a trip to the bank building upfront, near the main gate, to pay the required ¢4000 fee. Forty-five minutes, unheard of!
And customer parking was free.
Now I could claim that parking is free in San José and getting a driver’s license takes less time than ordering a mocha frappeccino at Micky D’s 🙂
But I won’t.