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David C. Murray

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About David C. Murray

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  • Birthday December 20
  1. Driving in Costa Rica is pretty much like driving anywhere else. We drive on the right, as in most of the rest of the world. Generally, other drivers will obey the laws, stop signs, etc. And, like the rest of the world, we have our share of crazies. The worst of them are the motorcyclists of whom you must be very, very aware. They'll tailgate, speed through congested downtown streets, cross in front of you from the right to make a left turn, ignore Stop signs and traffic lights, split lanes, and ride as many as five family members on one cycle. There certainly are some car jackings, but males, females and couples are equally exposed. It's no worse than anywhere else. I've always recommended to our guests that they deal with a reputable car rental agency. Maybe check Trip Advisor for reviews. You can probably get a lower rate somewhere, but as a friend used to say, "If it seems cheap, it probably is." How much of your time here do you want to spend dealing with a failed rental car? Be sure to get a full-price quote that includes all mandatory insurance coverage. Costa Rica will not permit you to use your "home" insurance policy despite what your agent may tell you. If your company doesn't do business in Costa Rica, and it's certain not to, their coverage cannot be honored by the rental agency and you cannot drive without the legally mandated minimum coverage.
  2. For my part, there certainly were philosophical differences with the content. The forum generally became a magnet for conspiracy theories some of which had their origins with Scott and others from forum participants. The forum lost it's Costa Rica orientation in favor of nonsensical rants about things that had neither happened nor would ever happen. Scott might have reined all that in, but then that would have been out of character for him. Too, I was put off by Scott's frequent and baseless attacks on Israel. Certainly, Israel has not always behaved admirably, but Scott went out of his way to slip one into any conversation he could. And then there were his largely baseless attacks on government in all its forms. To read his stuff, one would believe that it is the fault of government that we have national defense, public health, infrastructure, scientific research, and myriad other features of modern life that no other entity could have created. Instead of continuing in its original vein of a congenial place to discuss things Costa Rican, Scott and his ilk transformed the forum into an experiment in mindless ugliness. It was too much for me.
  3. We have a one bedroom guest house adjacent to our home. We have had very consistent rentals over the past nine years, but still I would not recommend a rental property as a sound investment. We are unlikely to ever break even. Were it mine to do, I'd put my money in Certificates of Deposit at Coopenae in San Ramon. Coopenae's financials are very sound and your money remains liquid. The traditional advice is that it's easy to buy in Costa Rica but difficult to sell. If you ever needed your investment back, you might be out of luck. What's more, CDs require no maintenance and they earn interest 24/365. Neither can be said with certainty about a rental house.
  4. I can see no advantage to informing Immigration of any income, whether guaranteed for life or not, that is in excess of the minimum the law requires. It won't speed up the process and it won't cause them to overlook something that might otherwise disqualify you. When Marcia and I applied as pensionados, we declared only my pension (the smaller of the two) and our application was approved in about five months. Had we declared more income, the approval wouldn't have come any more quickly nor would it have been any more certain.
  5. Ticochico, you wrote, "Define "remain in Costa Rica for an extended or long term" as it relates to the tourist category." in #47 above. ​Paul has written more than once that Costa Rican law provides for tourists to spend up to 180 days a year in the country (but not more). I have no problem with that, but if Paul is right (and when has he ever been wrong?), then any individual's presence in Costa Rica for more than 180 days in any year would be in violation of that limit. That, I would assert, would constitute a legal "Defin[ition] of "remain in Costa Rica for an extended or long term"." And since the law contains that limitation, and since the law also provides an alternative means to legally remain in Costa Rica for (yup) an extended period of time or long term (read: legal residency, if one qualifies) it seems clear enough to me that, taken as a whole, the body of the law intends that long term or permanent residents qualify for, apply for and be granted legal residency. One should never confuse the behavior of an Immigration officer or any other law enforcement officer with what s/he is legally authorized to do. It's true that one officer may give someone four or five 90-day tourist visas all in the same year but that fact, by itself, does not define the parameters of the law any more than a Transito officer letting a driver who was stopped for driving 150kmh go without a ticket defines the speed limit.
  6. Ticochico, I think that if it is one's intention to remain in Costa Rica for an extended or undefined long term, then it is the intent of the law that s/he be a qualified and approved temporary or permanent resident. Were that not so, why would there even be a residency law, a process, a bureaucracy, and a set of published standards? Why not just let anyone and everyone in for as long as they wish? And how does Costa Rica benefit from forcing people to make all those border runs to adjoining countries?
  7. I cannot cite the law either. What I can state quite confidently, however, is that the intent, the spirit, of the law is that those who live here on a long term or permanent basis should be legally qualified and approved to do so. If it were not the intent of the law, taken as a whole, that those who live here be qualified to do so AND approved to do so, then why would there even be legal residency at all? Why not just let everyone who feels like it enter the country under any and all circumstances and stay as long as they like on whatever terms they choose? Is it Costa Rica's intention to throw open its borders to all comers and without restrictions or qualifications? I think it is clear that it is not. Rather, Costa Rica admits short term vacationers with the reasonable expectation that they will leave when their visas expire. Long term or permanent residents are expected to qualify for one of the categories of legal residency, to apply for one, and to abide by the laws of the country. Or maybe I'm wrong . . .
  8. My question was in regard to the application of Rule 7, not the wording.
  9. So a mere reference to it absent endorsement or promotion is tolerable under Rule 7? Does that have to be a direct reference or is a tangential reference equally tolerable? If yes, when did Rule 7 change?
  10. Oh! Well, gee, that seems like an expensive dog waterer. At our house, we've always used the same fixture that accepts (among other things) the TP simply leaving the lid and seat up. I mean, when you consider where that tongue has been . . .
  11. This is because the dogs can't be trusted to use TP?
  12. Don't nobody snicker at the matter of the 90 degree union. The line that drains the washing machine in our guest house "T"s into the line to the grey water system. When the washer pumps out, the soapy water comes up in the shower or at least it did until ee redid it. A simple "Y" would have prevented a lot of work and expense. You can characterize it as you please, but once the piping is in place, it is what it is. You could either tear it all up and replace it or accommodate to it.
  13. Well, I think everyone is correct in these regards. Septic systems may not be scientifically engineered, so indeed they may have 90 degree unions, etc which toilet paper would tend to clog. And sizing is an issue. The longer it takes the paper to break down the more likely the system will clog up. Friends who used to compost absolutely everything found that the typical white paper used for toilet paper, facial tissue and paper towels composted much, much more slowly than the "brown" papers that are less popular. At the same time, it's common in North America for septic systems to be "all purpose". That is, they accept and process both grey and black water and, if correctly built, there are no inherent problems. In our guest house, we have a black water system which handles only the toilet, paper and all, just fine. Grey water goes into the above-ground drainage system and eventually downhill (probably into the river). In our main house, we have a grey water-only system that takes the waste water from the kitchen (including the dishwasher) and a grey/black water system that takes the waste from the two toilets, the sinks and showers, and the washing machine. Of interest, we make what we feel is "appropriate" use of soaps, shampoos, detergents, and toilet bowl cleaners and we have never had a problem with any of those adversely affecting the grey/black water system. Because our German shepherd ¡Heyou! drinks out of the toilet, I clean it twice weekly using chlorinated bowl cleaner liberally. No hay problemas. And, as long as we're onto this subject, some time back there was a discussion of "seeding" septic systems with baker's yeast, beer or the Ridex stuff they sell in the supermarket (which I strongly suspect is dried chicken manure). We've used them all with no apparent beneficial effect. Then I Googled "septic system upkeep" and found a number of scientifically reliable sources which said to let the thing alone and do nothing to help it along. They all said that yeast would cause foaming which would impede outflow to the drainfield and that Ridex simply didn't make any difference. As always, your mileage may vary.