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Sam Ramon

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About Sam Ramon

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  1. Our local expert says Bermuda grass may grow. We have a small area to put grass so worth a try. Will let u know if it works.
  2. Mechanic says my rear differential is bad. Have to find parts first then leave it for god only knows how long and pay hundreds of $ b4 RTV. Looking for used one.
  3. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    I've hung around here for a long time as well and have had run-ins with people in the past and always try to bite my tongue and move forward. But this time they got to me. I will try to just read and not post in the future.
  4. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    You took the words right out of my mouth: "I am absolutely sure that you have found nothing offensive in your posts, and that really is a big part of the problem." I don't care for your attitudes and assumptions: "I'm not going to post that information again! Go find it!"... "Some people, after having vacationed a few times and after living here less than three months, [incorrect assumption] are apparently able to critique an entire culture and write off a large portion of its people, institutions, way of life, ["write off" is not at all correct] etc. I think this has more to do with the attitudes and assumptions we bring with us than with 'culture shock'." [emphases mine] Go back and look at your OWN posts in addition to mine and ask yourself if you were being fair or understanding or tolerant of my position/opinion. You make grand assumptions and statements about me which are not true. Until now I have made no derogatory or negative comments about anyone on this forum, unlike some of you. Now I am doing so in the interest of pointing out I am not the only one who requires an attitude adjustment. When you say I am writing off a whole culture, people, way of life, etc. nothing could be further than the truth. Write them off? I came here to live among them! Then: "a whole culture/people"? No, just noticing things that are generally true in my experience, and that, yes, many of my friends - gringo and Tico - do agree with my opinion about. There are many opinions that don't match those here in this forum which seems to look at Ticolandia through rose-colored glasses. Ideally maybe that is the best way to look at Costa Rica. I'm not sure. But I prefer to see things as they are, not through colored or distorted glasses that only see the good and not the reality. So I'm not writing off Costa Rica or it's culture or people just because I note that they are by and large much more inconsiderate drivers than I've ever seen anywhere. That is just true. For me. It may not be your experience, ymmv. But it's true for me. That doesn't mean I hate Ticos or hate their country or culture. It's just a simple fact of my own experience and observation that they are generally inconsiderate drivers/parkers and that their workers in the service industry are more often than not substandard in their work. By the way this is increasingly true of the USofA as well, and I would say the same thing about many Americans nowadays. When I was younger Americans took much more pride in their work, in general, but that's another topic for another forum. As to my only being here 3 months: that's a big exaggeration. I don't know how long you've been here (and I won't speculate without knowing the facts). But I've been coming here regularly since the 90's! (Have you been coming here or living here that long? Do you know how much better it was back then? (Ticos say the same!) And I've lived here many months from then until now with many vacations in between living here for weeks or months at a time. So there again you are jumping to false conclusions. I have also just finished working with many Ticos on a big project and find their work by and large to be substandard. If this were just my own observation I wouldn't make generalizations but my friends who are Latino, Tico, and gringos of various types observe the same thing. One of my Tico friends complains that Ticos don't know how to build good web sites, don't respect appointments, don't explain service contracts well, etc. Just fyi. As to the "gestapo" comment, I already said I used the word somewhat facetiously for effect, but yes, the abuse of power by border officials in Nicaragua is evident in posts here. I didn't just make it up, I read it here and on other forums. Admittedly the word was poorly chosen but I didn't think it would offend anyone, or perhaps I just didn't think I needed to watch my words so carefully here. On the one hand you want me to believe what people say here, and on the other hand you don't want me to draw conclusions based on the same. Now one more thing. When people willy-nilly say I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, it would be best to have more information before making that statement. I mean you're entitled to make it but that doesn't mean it's true. (I realize some of these comments refer not just to induna but to others. You know who is who.) You do not know my situation and why going to Nicaragua is a big problem for me at this time. I've mentioned that it's inconvenient for me but there's a lot to it that I didn't care to go into here. Don't assume that people who complain about going out of the country don't have a good reason to complain. It's not just an "inconvenience" for me, it's become very inconvenient. If I could just get on a bus and go somewhat comfortably and sleep on the bus, no problem. If you must know there are physical problems for both me and my wife that prevent us from doing that. As to staying in a hotel one night, we really can't afford to do that right now. Next time we will probably be able to go to La Fortuna and enjoy ourselves but not this time and so flying is out of the question as well for the same financial reasons. Therefore, yes, somewhat of a mountain. 8-12 hours of driving in one day (depending on traffic/accidents/wrong turns) is simply too much in one day and I find driving in Costa Rica dangerous as does my wife. We were both nearly killed by a truck coming into our lane on a highway recently. Literally another 6" over and we'd be dead. Seems one has to explain one's personal situation on here to explain one's reasons and thinking and I really don't want to keep doing that. I think people should accept others' feelings and attitudes and "agree to disagree" as opposed to attacking them for thinking differently than themselves. I realize this is the "anonymous" (more or less) web and people tend to act less tolerant and nice than they do in person, but I really don't like some of the attitudes on here any more than you like mine, so this forum apparently is just not a good match for me/you. I will probably just come here to read and not post at all unless I really feel the need to. I'm not "thin skinned" (I can hear it in your thoughts already), I'm just not into having to explain every detail of my life and fight with people who tell me my posts aren't worth replying to. Sometimes it's just better to say nothing at all than to say something negative. But in this case I am defending my position, that's all. Don't worry, I won't bother you with my trip report. It won't be reported through rose colored glasses. p.s. I will try not to reply so this doesn't turn into an argument. It's really just personal attitude differences going on at this point so I will try to just say "let it go" and then ... let it go. You all have a right to your opinion of me and apparently I am not to your liking, so be it. I have plenty of friends here and elsewhere so don't need to be part of this "closed knit" [sic] group. I wonder if this post will even stand, though I think it should in that I should be allowed this one post to defend and explain myself after having been attacked, my blog being attacked, etc.
  5. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    I am truly sorry you all feel that way. Unlike some of you I have been nice and not insulting to you personally. The fact you cannot seem to handle people with a different point of view who sees both the good AND bad in Costa Rica is troubling. Look back at my posts. All I did was inquire about traveling to Nicaragua, say I wasn't happy about going and didn't want to go if I didn't have to, thank you all for your information, and politely disagree with some of your opinions. Honestly I don't see why I seem to have offended you at all but so be it. I always try to be nice, respectful of other members' differing opinions and polite. If I failed in that, I apologize. But I don't think I did... You seem to have a pretty closed-knit [sic] group here so enjoy yourselves. Look at it this way: I provided you with something to do for a few days - look at the number of posts I inspired! At least the FORUM owners have to appreciate that from an SEO point of view! Sincerely, though, thanks for sharing the good info you gave me! I appreciate it even if you hate me for whatever reason. See ya.
  6. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    Yeah, it's my site, my opinion. But opinion based on experience after nearly getting taken for $5k by a crooked real estate guy (gringo). The above post you wrote about how attorneys are not that important here, is YOUR opinion. We're entitled to have our own. And I would only "agree to disagree" with yours above. I do think it's important to use an attorney when buying property. Not in EVERY case, maybe, but as for "general advice" which is what I was giving, yes. Border runs: I have never made one. I lived here 3 months at a time except the first time I lived here I didn't even know about the 90 day thing and I overstayed my visa. That was a long time ago and back then you merely had to say you were sorry, you didn't know (truth) and pay a fine. I have lived here several times in the past though, for 3 months or less.
  7. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    I agree Costa Ricans don't care about gringo inconvenience. Or anyone else's judging from the way they park and walk in the middle of the roads. I don't think it's a matter of gringos being "important", it's just a matter of having laws that make sense, vs laws that don't. If you think this law re leaving the country for 5 minutes to renew a driver's license, when you're in the process of residency, does make any sense, please explain it to me! ;-D I'd feel better if I could understand a reason for it! But "it is what it is" and Ticolandia "is what it is" and I do like it here, over all. I'm still adjusting to the "culture shock" though, so be patient with my frustrations please.
  8. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    Okay, I always try to admit when I was wrong. In this case I wasn't wrong, but I'll admit my attorney was, and you guys were right. Of course I never said he was right, though, I only said I was looking into it further, which I did and that he might be right. The truth is exactly as you guys here said, that if I get in an accident my policy is invalid if I am caught with an expired license. So they gave me inaccurate and potentially disastrous information. If I was back in the U.S. I'd have been livid and given them a dressing down about it. However, I didn't. I simply told them I need to go to Nicaragua soon and will need the comprobante soon (which I should have had at least a week ago, in any case.) It's very wrong in my opinion to give your clients wrong info that could potentially cause a major financial disaster such as losing a car due to no insurance. Not impressed. in the U.S. if that happened they would be sued and the client would win if they had any proof - which I do. Here, who knows? I would never sue anyone here unless I absolutely had to. I can only imagine the bureaucracy and slowness of the process! Seems to me many people here are very nice and very well meaning, but don't really do a good job. I've seen this already in construction, in services like mechanics, in internet hookups, etc etc. As Jerry Brown once said, "We have to lower our expectations." So yeah, we'll be going to Nicaragua. Que lastima! I'll file a report in case anyone is interested.
  9. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    You're right. It needs updating. The majority of the info though is right especially re choosing real estate. The banking stuff is wrong.
  10. Sam Ramon

    Whatsapp on Costa Rican Phone

    To my knowledge, I was never given that option by Whatsapp. Maybe an older/newer version didn't do this? Good to know. If it ever happens again - with luck it won't - then I'll look for that option.
  11. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    I do agree with this philosophy of being open to experiences and not planning everything. I do agree that we Gringos have a tendency to over-think things and I will admit that I do this. That said, I think there are times to plan and times not to plan. I think going to the Nica border - unless you have plenty of time and nothing to do and bastante plata - is a time to learn and plan in order to not have unwanted and unnecessary problems. And if you could legally avoid going, would you go every 90 days like clockwork? Not me! (Too bad that petition to change this silly rule only got a few hundred signatures. I wish someone would take it up and promote it in all the gringo papers and etc and get a few thousand signatures - and attention in the papers. Maybe then they'd change this crazy rule. But probably not. ;-D )
  12. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    "First there is a mountain, Then there is no mountain, Then there is." - Donovan Honestly I am not in the least upset which is what I think of when I hear "making a mountain out of a mole hill", and I realize it's not a big thing in the grand scheme of things. IF I have to go I will go. Looks like we're going to have to go, unfortunately. We're still looking into it though. Again it's not a BIG deal it's just that we PREFER not to go at this time. Therefore we are exploring options if any. If we do go then I will have 90 days to explore whether or not the law does require that I leave or not to renew my license (that I'm pretty sure is true) and whether or not the penalty is light or harsh, whether INS insurance is invalidated by not going, etc. I am simply here to determine what is the truth regarding the penalties for not renewing the license by going out of the country for "5 minutes". That's all. Nothing more. Nothing less. Meanwhile I have gathered a lot of info on going, thank you all very much!, and now am exploring what the legal consequences are for not going. Seems reasonable to me.
  13. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    Thanks for that. You may be right. I've also seen lots of bad info spread around in forums. So sometimes it's hard to figure out who's REALLY right! In this case I must say I am leaning toward the forum posts being more right than the attorney. But I'm doing more investigating. Will update this issue tomorrow. I did write the attorney and ask for verification that there is no negative consequence like my INS insurance becoming invalid.
  14. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    I am leery about it yes, but more importantly I just would prefer not to do it. I have things to do, don't want to leave my house all day, just don't want to take a trip at this point in time. At the next 90 day point I might be more in a position and mood to do it but not now. The bus thing is just too much for my long legs and my butt; and I find driving even locally in Costa Rica stressful, let alone driving to the Nica border! And we are not in a financial position to stay at La Fortuna or take a tour at this point. So it's just not a good thing for us to have to go right now. That's all there is to it. I have traveled a lot and taken buses for 12 hours at a time, taken buses all over Costa Rica and in Panama.If I have to, I will and it does appear I may have to. If I do go to Las Tabillas I will file my report here! And hopefully it will be a positive experience.
  15. Sam Ramon

    Las Tabillas Border Crossing

    That's a pretty good article, though it is fairly old. Certainly could be true and it does look pretty convincing. I will ask my attorney specifically about this and post back here. I agree that cutting corners - if it can cause problems - is not worth it. But if it doesn't cause problems, it's worth it. So that's the issue. By the way, I will post my experience if I do a border run!
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