The Bother of Security

Apartment Front Gate

The gate is not bad looking, but the compound wall is ugly and I hope with all the improvements they are making, they will paint the walls soon. We all now have a clicker for the drive-through gate which means we can have a taxi take us up the hill to the apartments at night.You can barely see them through the trees in upper left, about 300 meters uphill! In addition to the clicker for the big gate we each got a key to the pedestrian gate in the green tower in the photo below. I use it more as a walker. They were locking the big gate only at night, but say they will start locking it all day, we’ll see.

Walk-through Gate in tower. First building is complex office, Hours: 7-4.


I decided it was time to get a local bank account now that I’ve been here 7+ weeks. But for a non-resident, it requires a lawyer and a bit of effort and time. Trying to avoid the big city as much as possible, I’m not going to use Jose Pablo in San Jose for that, but just secured a local lawyer here in Atenas. She is the attorney for the apartments also and I’m impressed with her. 
So, a half hour in her office today and two hours at the bank next Thursday morning at a hundred dollars an hour! (Many tell me “You can’t do it on your own.” While a few have said you can with patience and multiple trips to bank with the long waits.) It is worth the cost to me to get it done in one week, plus I don’t speak Spanish yet, making her my translator. She will also translate my letter of recommendation from my Nashville bank (Remember, everything is in Spanish here!), she provides required local letters of recommendation, and processes the other papers like three months of bank statements from Nashville and my rental contract here. We meet at the bank at 8:15 AM Thursday and expect the bank to take about two hours including wait time. (The attorney sends an assistant at 7:30 to save us a place at front of line.) In banks there is always a line for any service and it is a type of “Musical Chairs” with one or two rows of chairs. When one person is received, everyone moves up one chair. Cute, isn’t it? I can hardly wait! 🙂
But when finished, I will have a checking account with a checkbook, a debit card, a “Quick Pass” card for the Autopista Toll Gates, and access to a lock box, savings account, CDs, loans, and other services. I will start feeling like I really live here!   🙂    Pura Vida!

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