A Landslide for Biden!

That is all that can save America now!

Anyone who watched that nasty, rude, interrupting liar in tonight’s debate can surely not vote for that devil. I turned it off after 50 minutes and will not watch any more debates. It is too sickening to watch him. There is something deeply wrong with a country that elects and supports a racist fascist like Trump. Vote him out overwhelmingly! Your only hope America!

We don’t have room for all of you in Costa Rica. 🙂

Perils of COVID19

I do not know a single person here in Costa Rica who has or has had the Coronavirus or died of it, but I keep seeing death of small businesses. The featured photo is of small shops closed in Alajuela on my trip there today. Typical of all over the country.

And this week I sadly report the permanent closing of one of my two favorite PocoLoco(1)restaurants, Poco Loco (“A Little Crazy” in Spanish). He seldom had big crowds, but steady customers until the pandemic came and now there simply is not enough business (even with home delivery & “take-out” orders) to pay the expenses and he has permanently closed much to my dismay.

It was my favorite place for soup and salad (fabulous!) or almost any kind of sandwich as the best in town and he made the best Sangria in Atenas! But no more. Poco Loco is gone due people being afraid to get out of their houses now. My other favorite, Parillada Androvetto (my Friday night steak place), is still hanging on but just barely with one brother supplementing their income driving a taxi. Likewise an old favorite, Donde Bocha, is hanging on and I ate there yesterday. It’s hard for a lot of people right now. But they all keep their spirits high here and continue to say . . .

¡Pura Vida!

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” 

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Select U.S. tourists start September 1 . . .

Here’s the details in a TicoTimes.net article: Costa Rica to allow U.S. tourists starting in September.

Congratulations to you in the New England States (New York north) for ignoring Trump, maintaining shut-downs and requiring masks! Because you are considered “safer” now Costa Rica will allow you to visit as a tourist following strict guidelines including a health insurance policy, a negative test and wearing of a mask. Check online or with your airlines for the requirements, also in an earlier TicoTimes article I linked . Welcome to paradise New England residents! And thanks to Steve & Lucy in New Hampshire for alerting me! Hope to see you soon! 🙂

For the rest of you Americans to see what you are missing, check out my photo gallery called:

Charlie Doggett’s Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Thankful for small blessings!

I had to go to the bank this morning for two items of business and they were really busy because it was closed Monday for Mother’s Day (which was really Saturday but banks and government offices celebrate all holidays on Mondays here now.)

My small blessing is that the banks here have a special line for us old people, “adultos mayores.” There was only one lady ahead of me in that line while the regular line would have meant waiting an hour or more. My little blessing of the day! 🙂 Still took 20 minutes+. They are also slow here! 🙂

And oh yeah, they are now taking your temperature before you can go in the bank in addition to requiring a mask. Taking the virus seriously is paying off here! Masks are required everywhere now, country-wide.

¡Pura Vida!

P.S.

I picked up my “Permanent” Residency card today. more than a year after I turned in the paperwork. It lasts 3 years instead of 2 like the pensionado (not 5 like someone told me) and is supposedly easier to renew. We will see! 🙂

Desperate Times = Desperate Measures

On a walk to town I regularly pass by this grouping of low-income apartments and the other day someone there was trying to sell what I think is today called “Junk Art” or his creations from pieces of scrap metal. Interesting but not especially good art in my opinion, except that the motorcycles are the most realistic. He was asking 25 mil colones (a little less than $50 U.S.) each and with so many without work now, he will have trouble finding eccentric rich people to pay that much for any of these creations. I wish him good luck!

Yes, desperate times call for desperate actions and this is just one example here in semi-rural Costa Rica where some small shops and restaurants have closed permanently. And we hear that it is worse in the big cities (San Jose, Alajuela, etc.) which most of us here try to avoid. Coronavirus is marking the year 2020 for an infamous history! But I’m still glad I’m here and not in the states where it is worse, at least for the number of cases and deaths. You guys up there should put your Republican governors, senators and president in jail for murder considering the way they’ve handled this pandemic! Sad oligarchy.

20200812_161038_002-WEB
Motorcycles and people?

20200812_161051_001-WEB
A truck and a person? Or just modern art?

 

“That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I’m free to act as desperately as I wish.”
― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

 

¡Pura Vida!

In spite of hard times, we still have nature!

🙂

 

Costa Rica Coronavirus Treatment & Tourism Restarts

Read this interesting health new article in English explaining how Costa Rican scientists developed drug that stops the coronavirus. (article from qcostarica.com) It has been verified effective by George Washington University in the States and is undergoing trials here now. A vaccine is still needed for prevention, but this treatment will help prevent many deaths. Again Costa Rica leads the way!

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, August 3, article in TicoTimes.net. Not good, but we still had our first flight here from out of the country after 173 days of no flights. Those who come from only Europe, UK and Canada have very strict requirements related to Coronavirus to enter the country. Read more at:

Immigration Administration clarifies new Costa Rica entry policies, article in TicoTimes.net. And if you think you have a work-around by flying to Canada first, don’t! Because your passport tells where you live and if you go to another accepted country first, they will require you to stay in that country 14 days before coming on to Costa Rica. 🙂

Watch: Iberia plane receives water-cannon salute as commercial flights resume in Costa Rica, article in TicoTimes.net with video. The first tourist flight here since March is celebrated in multiple ways, but these tourists from Spain have a lot of Coronavirus health requirements to meet to continue their visit here, including a stay in quarantine if not already officially tested for the virus before arriving. Results of tests are usually in less than a day, depending on various factors. Read previous article for all the requirements. Even if from a “qualified” country, you have to really want to be here to “jump through all the hoops.” 🙂

I’m glad that as a resident I can visit any tourist spot open with only the requirement of a mask. But with an abundance of caution, I go nowhere else until the middle of September on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica in one of my favorite beach hotels, Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. 🙂

U.S. repatriation flights to & from Costa Rica will continue in August, TicoTime.net. This is for both directions, U.S. citizens “trapped” here can fly to Fort Lauderdale and Costa Rican citizens (not expat residents like me) can fly back to Costa Rica only to the San Jose airport and will be placed in quarantine for 14 days and verified virus-free.

TMI? One friend in the states likes to say that to me when I give “Too Much Information!” But this is only for those interested or needing the information. Plus all of this is a part of “The Year to Remember – 2020!”

¡Pura Vida!

Coronavirus Updates

I have not been regular in keeping my readers updated and sorry for that! I figured what was going on here does not affect you in other countries, but it may. For example, my sister sent me a birthday card and it bounced back to her. Our Ministry of Health includes the post office as part of the “Border Closing” which has been in effect since March, prohibiting travelers or mail from all other countries to help stop the spread of the virus.

I had to send my application for absent-tee voting by DHL (which along with UPS does work at a higher cost). And I get internet orders through my courier service Miami address, at Aeropost which flies packages directly here to our Customs Office for clearance.

LIMITED HUMAN FLIGHTS BEGIN AUGUST 1 from only Europe and Canada which will greatly help our struggling tourism businesses. Sorry USA! But you are the most dangerous country to let in right now, along with many other Latin American countries. I do not know what the restrictions will be on European and Canadian travelers, but I’m sure there will be requirements of some kind and maybe quarantines. We recently had another spike in cases, thus they are extra cautious while the tourism businesses beg for them to open. 🙂 Tough times!

Cars can travel on limited days only and everyone must wear a mask in public everywhere in the country. This week is our second week of restaurants providing only “to go” and “delivery” meals – no inside sit-down dining which might restart next week, but haven’t heard for sure. No barbershop until July 31 and I need a haircut! 🙂

But Costa Rica has the fewest cases of COVID19 of any other Latin American country which is something to be thankful for and proud of our national government for! So glad I live in Costa Rica now!

Featured Image is “Morning in the Rainforest” from Maquenque of course.

¡Pura Vida!

Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA Photo Gallery

Residency During an Epidemic

Government bureaucracies are a pain everywhere in the world, even in paradise-like Costa Rica – though no worse than the states and West Africa topped them all in my limited world experiences – BUT – staying on focus:

For your first 3 years + in Costa Rica you can apply for and get a “temporary” (2 years) or in my case as a retiree it is called “Residente Pensionado,” meaning you will have two of these before you can apply for a “Residente Permanente,” which is not really permanent, but does last 5 years which is better than 2! 🙂

So, even though my second pensionado Cedula (name of resident card) was good until this July 26 (almost there) I followed the advice of my lawyer/translator and applied last year on July 26, one year ahead and still do not have it, though Immigration claims to do it in about 6 months. After 7 months they informed us that they were overworked and behind on applications with so many applying for residency (which I believe). So they gave me a little document that I have been carrying around in my wallet that tells people if my card is out of date Immigration still accepts it because they are backlogged in their work. Whew!

Finally I get an appointment to pay the four different fees ($400+) and get photographed for my new Cedula last week. Wellllllll, because there was a spike in COVID19 cases, the Ministry of Health shut literally everything down last week and most everything this week, but did reschedule my appointment to this week in Alajuela, my provincial capital. Instead of going to a bank to pay and the post office for photo and other paperwork, Belinda (my British Lawyer and Spanish Translator) wanted to try a new office in a suburb of Alajuela in one of the banks where you can do everything in one place (seems more efficient).

And it was fairly smooth with the mask requirements and the fact that my agent was a new young man employee doing his first permanent residency with the help of a senior agent. Very friendly and kind and it only took 2.5 hours! (Ohhh! in Gambia it would have taken all day!)

Belinda thought it funny that I wore both a mask and a face shield and made the featured photo on her I-Phone and asked me say something about it for her video which I tried to insert below but was told: “Sorry, this file type is not supported here.” (Apple junk!) thus I repeat the photo below. At least I am safe and I’m helping keep others safe, regardless how ridiculous the old man looks! 🙂 And masks are a national requirement here!

And oh yes, they won’t let you smile for the photo, just like the U.S. Embassy for my Passport! Guess all this is suppose to be serious stuff! But just another adventure for me!

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

On the Road Again

Walter usually drives me in one of his two vans but today was Monday and both personal cars and tourist vans with tags ending in 1 or 2 are not allowed on the road. Yes, it’s a coronavirus prevention tool, keeping more people off the roads and out of the towns. Well, he has 2 vans and both were disqualified, so he had to use his taxi today (no limit on taxis), meaning his driver Cristian had the day off, like it or not. Only 40 km of the road from south of Boca Tapada to the lodge is gravel, but you notice it more! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown

Have your days seemed pass slower or be longer and then your weeks and months passing faster? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon you can read about on BBC at this link:  Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown 

Or if you are one of those weird Americans who prefers to read American publications, try this one in the LA TimesIs time flying by oddly quickly during COVID-19? Here’s why you may feel that way

CLOCKS

Now . . . back to the future in Costa Rica!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!