Business Card, Mail & Visa Run

New business card ordered from Vistaprint with new PO Box & Phone

NEW BUSINESS CARD EXPLAINED
The palm tree business card I did before leaving Tennessee was nice but it did not have my phone number and that is what I need to share the most here! Plus the PO Box mailing address on it was for the apartment’s mail box. I receive the mail addressed to it, eventually. It is slowed by the additional layer of apartment office manager. Now that I have my own PO Box and a phone number, it was time to get a business card I can use here in Costa Rica. Note the two addresses. The first is mailing address, a box at the Atenas Post Office. The second is called the physical address. With no street signs, house numbers or other physical addresses, one needs landmarks. This is the shorter version of my description. I sometimes add “300 meters north of the blinking light on Ruta 3.” The card has a stock design again which is quicker and easier than working with my photos. Simple and utilitarian!

And if you wonder why Atenas is listed twice in mail address; well, because that is how the PO told me to write it. One is the canton and the other is the town or pueblo. Plus you will notice that Alajuela (the province) is listed first which is the way they said to do it. And the postal code is in front of the country name! Why do we Americans think everyone should do things the way we do? Plus remember that in Spanish, adjectives follow nouns. So this address order is very logical in the Spanish language and culture.

I used Vistaprint’s link to share it on Facebook, but the above detailed description is only on this blog! This is where I share everything about living in Costa Rica. Occasionally I click a link to share something on Facebook but mostly do not use it or even regular G+. 
MORE ABOUT MAIL & DELIVERY TIMES
I just got two letters from a friend in Nashville addressed to the apartments, the PO Box I gave earlier. One letter was postmarked January 14 and the other January 29, fifteen days apart! I don’t know if the delay was the post office or the apartment office. That is more than a month for delivery, 6 weeks on the first one. Some earlier mail and Christmas cards were nearly that long in delivery. I think the Miami address is quicker, but it can take two weeks, occasionally quicker. Both channels have to work with Customs Office which is another delay. Customs can open all mail, but doesn’t always. They open most boxes. I’ll be watching my new PO Box and write down the delivery times and do the same with the Miami address for a better comparison and report back in a month or so. I haven’t gotten a package via Post Office yet, so don’t know, but suspect it will take longer than Aerocasillas, the Miami address. All of these mail times are good compared to my years in The Gambia when delivery time was measured in months.

PREPARING FOR A “VISA RUN”
Next Wednesday I am joining a few other expats with Walter, a local tour guide and driver. He is driving us to the Nicaragua border where we cross over and then return into Costa Rica to get another 90 day Visa stamped in our passports. Because I am an official applicant for residency with a document to prove it, I don’t have to do this to stay in the country. BUT, to use my TN Drivers License to drive a car, including getting a rental car, I must have a current Visa. (My current one expires March 24.) Like in the states, one government office does not coordinate with another one. What does Immigration know about Motor Vehicles and visa versa? So they each have different requirements.

Fortunately Immigration now allows you to do it in one day where formerly you had to stay out of the country for 72 hours or 3 days. I would have done it as a vacation, but this one day trip is quicker, easier, and less expensive with all I have happening right now. We leave from the Central Park Church at 5:30 AM and will be back in Atenas by 5:30 PM. That includes stops for breakfast, lunch and Liberia to purchase an exit tax and a bus ticket from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. (Oh! A beautiful Oropendola just flew by! Camera never ready!) Well, the bus ticket is required when they let us back into Costa Rica for 90 days to prove we will be leaving within 90 days. Working the system! Probably about a $30 cost, better than an airline ticket.

Plus I have to get U.S. dollars to pay Walter and the Nicaragua entrance fees. Crazy! It is how they stay ahead of the fluctuating currency rate. But the whole day and three months of Visa will cost only about $200 USD unless I want to buy something in the duty-free shop (not). Worth it for me and I look forward to getting my first rent car here which will make the sight-seeing trips with Kevin a whole lot easier and we will get to see and do more than my usual walking, bus and taxi.

Here’s a photo of me the only other time I was in Nicaragua. We stepped off the boat from our Rio Frio Jungle Cruise to snap photos by this pitiful welcome sign with an armed guard standing nearby. I doubt the visa run Wednesday will be as exciting, but you never know!

On the Nicaragua side of the Rio Frio Jungle Cruise, 2010. 

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