Sunday, November 11, 2012

We DO Know the Way to San Jose!

Yes, Rooster, we do know the way to San Jose!!  Take the 6:20 a.m. to San Ramon for 500 Colonies or $1.00, walk to the other Parada and purchase a ticket to San Jose for 1,125 Colonies or $2.20 each.  You will arrive in San Jose about 1  hour later where, on this day, we grabbed a cab to the DMV called COSEVI.
Before heading to San Jose we realized that we needed to make a stop in San Ramon because the Dr. there said we did not need a blood test.  WRONG!  After much sign language and "discussion" we convinced the people at the clinic we did need a blood test and wanted it now!!  "O.K., O.K. follow me!"  At this point we were lead a number of blocks from where we had the exam to the clinic for a blood test!  We began to wonder if the reason we didn't need a blood test was because our guide didn't want to make the trip!  Blood drawn and typed we went to the hardware store for more copies and then off to San Jose to get our fingerprints for Residency and our Costa Rican drivers license!
As our appointment for fingerprinting was at 6:45 a.m. we needed to spend one night in San Jose and decided to try to get our drivers license the day we arrived.  We have previously stayed at the Hotel Ritz, pictured here, and made reservations to spend Tuesday, November 6th, there.

Arriving at the COSEVI we were met with long lines but with time to spare as the door closed at 11:00 a.,m.  Joe had advised us to go by all the people in line to the very front on the right and there would be the line for the Expats.  What luck, we were the only ones there waiting!!  Unfortunately, our luck quickly ran out.  The gentleman at the window asked for our Residency card and we, of course, had to tell him we had none!  "No Residency, No License!"

Needless to say, he was adamant and we left feeling a little discouraged realizing what I, Sharon, had heard from another Expat outside the bank the day before was true!  Costa Rica had just passed a law requiring Expats to have Residency before being able to receive a license!!!   Welcome to Costa Rica!!

At 6:45 the next day, after a rather lengthy cab  ride to La Uruca, we met with Mayane, the sister and partner of Javier, who was going to guide us through the fingerprint process for our Residency requirements.  She was amazing!!  With broken English and our poor to no Spanish, we had our photos taken, were given 3 copies, passed by long lines once again and, after filling out a questionnaire that Mayane had, and waiting a while, we were invited to sit with an official.  The official, since we do not speak Spanish, took the necessary information from our questionnaire we had pewcioualy filled out.  That step completed, we went to the next step where we were fingerprinted!  Off to wash our hands, thank you for the towel Mayane, and this part of our Residency requirement is completed with great efficiency  We are very grateful to Mayane and Javier and cannot imagine going through this process without their help.

Now off to the Attorney to sign the contract needed for Javier to do the necessary work to complete our Residence requirements.  It also included appointing Mayane and Javier Powers of Attorney to present our paperwork to the Consulate.  Javier was at one time the Immigration Consulate for the United States and is quite qualified for this type of work.  After signing and, of course, making many copies, including ours, Mayane dropped us back at the hotel. In the middle of waiting for fingerprinting I realized that I had left my phone in the room charging!  UGH!!  Thanks to Joe and his wonderful roommate, Max, my phone was rescued and kept safe by Carlos at the desk!  Thank you Carols!

A very Costa Rican building in downtown San Jose.
We are now on our own with a little time to explore San Jose.  The new stadium, where the previously mentioned soccer game between Alajuela and San Jose was held, was built by the Chinese government as a gift in return for Costa Rica allowing China to build a Chinatown in downtown San Jose.  

The photos above are of artwork in the new Chinatown.  
Although this is a Costa Rican church, it too is located in what is to be Chinatown.  Actually, the work that has been done looks wonderful.  However, there are some concerns about Chinatown becoming a drug haven.

While walking the streets of San Jose we came across this beautiful Trumpet Vine and grabbed a small piece to try starting at home.  We did look a little silly with this cutting sitting in a Coca Cola cup on the side of our backpack!  The Roses stand out on the buses, however, even without a cutting!

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