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About Dale.Thomas

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  • Birthday 07/16/1943

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  1. Dale.Thomas

    Pick-Up Destination for Shipped Kayak

    John, keep us advised of your progress with the kayak. I'm interested in a Folbot. I assume the import duty would be sky high. - Dale
  2. Does anyone know where Costa Rican sign language classes are given? Thanks. - Dale.Thomas
  3. Dale.Thomas

    yerba mate

    En el Auto Mercado se vende yerba de marca Taragüí.
  4. Dale.Thomas

    reading in CR

    Don´t forget that you can buy books from Amazon.com and Ebay.
  5. Dale.Thomas

    Anyone with experience driving to CR from the US?

    Amazon.com has a book about driving the Pan American Highway through Central America. The book was promoted around 20 August 2006. No, I don´t recall the author or exact title, but it should be a snap to find. Many years ago a Nicaraguan buddy and I drove from Los Angeles to Masaya, Nicaragua. We had lots of trouble with the police and customs, mostly in Mexico. We tried keeping a record of the bribes we were paying, but after the second day we gave up. It was simply too much of a chore. The motor froze up twice, causing unexpected expenses. Some of the things I learned were: 1) Wad up one dollar bills and keep them all in the same pocket. This permits you to pull out one-two-three dollars without opening a wallet or otherwise exposing your cash. This was very handy when paying small bribes. Once a man has seen ten dollars in your hand, a five dollar bribe looks like slim pickings. 2) In Mexico (where almost all bribes were paid), they found a unique way of gouging us. To cross Mexico, we had to put up a bond on the truck. (Let me explain that we were hauling furniture to my friend´s parents who had retired and returned to Nicaragua a few months earlier.) In theory, the purpose of the bond was to discourage us from selling the truck and/or its cargo while in transit through Mexico. The more valuable to cargo, the bigger the bond, and the bigger the commission the bond sellers in Mexico would be paid. Guess what? They first quoted an extremely high figure for the bond. Each day the amount came down until we were comfortable with the fee. It was clearly a form of legal extortion. 3) If you don´t know how to tie knots and tie down a load, learn. Before the trip, my buddy laughed at me for having been a Boy Scout. He was completely helpless during the trip when knots had to be tied, canvases had to be secured, etc. He never laughed again. Well, not at Boy Scouts, anyway. 4) Don´t drive at night unless you have a death wish. Anything you find on the road during the day magically multiples by twenty during the hours of darkness. This applies to cattle, pickups without lights, holes, pedestrians, carts, horses, etc. Do you really want to hit burro while doing 50 mph? 5) In a perfect world, you will never leave your vehicle unguarded. In the real world, there are times when you will have no choice. Don´t tell people when you will be returning. Lie. Do you need to be gone for 30 minutes? If you say you´ll return in 30 minutes, you´re giving them a half hour to burglar the truck. If you say something like, "I´ll be back in five minutes," after those five minutes are up, thieves will have no idea how much more time they have left. Another five minutes? An hour? 6) Don´t be shy about paying someone to watch the truck. Giving someone a couple bucks to keep an eye on things tends to make them your allies. If someone is getting paid, hopefully they will feel a sense of commitment. 7) I´d say the following was baloney if I hadn´t seen it with my own eyes. Every so often we´d see a local Gestapo agent smile broadly upon seeing the California plates. He´d flag us down, waddle over to us, but before he could start his "mordida" spiel, we´d thank him for stopping us and ask the way to Orizaba or Tapachula. Somewhere, anywhere. This would completely throw the policeman off. While he was still telling us which way to turn and where, we´d hit the gas and leave them there. Remember: we´re talking cops on foot, not cops in cars. We did a variation of this in downtown Mexico City. I´m still waiting to hear the sound of a .45 rip through the cab. 8) Be patient. The bigger your hurry, the bigger the bribe you will be tempted to pay. Entering at Nogales, it took us four days to clear customs. About 99% of the time was spent waiting. 9) Stay with your vehicle when mechanical work is being done. Try to establish rapport with the mechanics. A little courtesy and kindness may keep someone from putting sawdust in your transmission or padding the repair bill. 10) Don´t touch anything without the owner´s explicit consent. Picking up someone pocketknife for a better look may be the prelude to getting your clock cleaned. There´s nothing else to do around here at night, so we fight whenever we get the chance. 11) I got some great personal advice that kept me out of trouble. I was told to shut up around anyone but my friend. Many times my buddy would say something to someone that I knew to be incorrect, but I´d keep my pie hole shut. Later he would explain why he had said what he had said. And it would all make sense. It was quite an education. 12) If those two girls are still working that gas station in Huixtla, you´re in luck. If they tell you that they´ll be back, they´ll be back. You can bank on it! 13) Don´t underestimate the power of "No se habla the English" and a straight face. We had a drunk traffic cop in Guatemala convinced we had no idea what he was talking about. Even the customs police officer with us went along with the gag. We should have earned Oscars for that performance. Good luck!
  6. Dale.Thomas

    Moving personal belongings to CR

    Charles, I really appreciate your input. We were on the same page. -- Dale
  7. Customs wants to know what comes into the country. My question is, how specific must the sender be in listing items? In the case of appliances, I understand that the sender must include the name, model, serial number, etc. of each item. Not a problem. How about a box of camping gear? Do you need to name each item (one sleeping bag, two tents, one hatchet, etc.)? Or can you merely state that the box contains camping gear? In other countries, being specific on a moving-type document is like handing a shopping list to thieves in customs, on ships, on docks, etc. (Pssst! Looking for handtools? There in box #7.)
  8. Hi, James The CR consul in LA recently verified that I cannot obtain a permanent resident visa based on my first degree relationship with a Costa Rican citizen (my son) due to his age (24). I am surprised that CR websites, including this one, do not provide this information. According to a lady in this forum, there is also a top age limit. In her case, it was the age of her mother. I will simply apply for a pensionado visa. I would have sworn that I had posted the above a week or so ago. I must have punched the wrong key. Dale
  9. I´ll keep my eyes open for new from you. -- Dale
  10. Check out my post entitled ´´90 days in, 72 hours out´´. Be sure to read all of it, including a post from a lady who had attempted to obtain permanent residency through her Costa Rican mother. Ryan is apparently in Canada, and I am waiting for a reply from him. I am also the father of a Costa Rican citizen. He was born 24 years ago in the US to a Costa Rican citizen, and his birth was recorded in Costa Rica a few months later. He is currently in CR on a CR passport and a full time student. The last information I received was that a CR consul in the USA had contacted CR immigration, had received a somewhat vague reply that made little sense to him, and was checking again. I will let you know when I hear more. Obviously, laws are in writing and can be accessed. If there is a law regarding a cutoff age for first degree relatives, I would like to be able to tell the consul and others where to find such a law so they can read it, interpret it, and address the question. When I go to various web sites about permanent resident visas, I find nothing about the age of a first degree relative. It is a bit like being in a card game in which the rules change according to whose deal it is. Perhaps the fact that your daughter and my son are still students can work in our favor. I certainly hope so. If not, the pensionado door is still open. Dale Thomas
  11. Hi, Mediatica If there is an age cutoff, I am surprised that (1) I have not found mention of it elsewhere, and (2) even consuls are unaware of it. This is why I have repeatedly requested the source of the information. I am not saying that the law does not exist. I am merely asking what law, what article, what paragraph, etc. ``...Our information...´´ is not very helpful in identifying a source. A consul agreed to contact immigration in CR, and I am waiting to hear from him again. I can qualify as a pensionado, but I would certainly prefer permanent resident status. Hopefully, Ryan can cite his source for me as I have requested. Currently, I am living in Brazil as a permanent resident based on my status as a pension recipient (aposentado). Here there are no seperate visas for retirees. If your pension qualifies you for a visa, you are given permanent resident status. I can do eveything but vote and get decent Internet access. (A little joke. The telephone infrastructure is really bad. Dial-up is terrible. I am in Canela, Rio Grande do Sul. It does not have broadband, and it would not pay for me to access the Internet through the radio. Internet via radio is relatively common here.) Take care, Dale
  12. Ryan, when you have a moment, would you please respond to the question I asked you in my post of June 23? I would like to know your source, something that I can tell others. Can you cite the law, article, etc. for me? Thank you, Dale Thomas
  13. We are divorced. TG, thank you for your reply. The post was in response to one from Ryan. With Ryan´s staff of attorneys working in the immigration law area, I am sure that it would be no problem at all for him to respond to my question regarding the source of his information. Thank you, Dale Thomas
  14. Thank you for your reply. May I ask you to cite your source? What website, what section of the immigration law, etc.? My letter to the Costa Rican Embassy has not been answered yet. I have also asked my family in Los Angeles to contact the consulate there. In conversations with consular officials earlier, nothing was said about the age question. I am concerned, of course. I would certainly prefer a permanent resident visa to a pensionado visa. Thanks again, Dale
  15. Does anyone know of a club for kayakers? A lot of kayaking goes on in CR, but is there a club? How about a kendo dojo? Kendo is definitely practiced in CR, but I´m unaware of a dojo. Thanks!

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