Our house is under reconstruction and it’s moving day! This is the first time in our lives that we move into a home that’s still under reconstruction.
I’m not trying to use my blog as a pulpit. So, I’ll try my best not to get too preachy here. But I’ve been meaning to say this for some time.
In my last blog, I already told you about the start of our reconstruction. I mentioned my approach to interacting with our construction crew. My actions were not intended as a way of scheming into their confidence and get a better job done by treating them as equals.
If that was a bi-product of my effort, well and good. But it is just the way I try to interact with everyone.
However, as a matter of observation, I am probably a minority trying to interact well with Ticos as a gringo. I have lived a relatively short time in Costa Rica. But I have personally seen some extremely rude, inconsiderate, and shoddy “interaction” with the locals.
I ask the folks with the “holier-than-thou” outlook: where do you get off as a visitor in someone else’s country with an “I’m better than you” attitude? Come on, what gives any of us the right to look down our noses at anyone or their different manner and customs?
How far do you think you’d get trying to throw your weight around or treating others as inferior back home? It’s downright embarrassing! It gives gringos around the world an all-too-often and well-deserved sullied reputation.
I’m off my soapbox with just one final comment, “it’s not your country. Please make an attempt to be respectful and polite to those who do call this lovely nation home.”
Now, where were we? Oh, yes.
After one month, my wife and I found the daily reconstruction site commute and separation barely tolerable. We wanted to live in the house we now owned as soon as possible. We hate paying rent and running up our gasoline bill. At about $5.50 a gallon, this was no trivial consideration.
We had to weigh the convenience against the inconvenience of living there. Amidst the daily noise, dust, disruption, and lack of privacy created by a crew of ten men we didn’t know. When do we want moving day to be?
We were also faced with a bit of a balancing act trying to juggle moving day:
1) Enough progress on our home improvements and repairs. This could allow us some reasonable comfort for residing in our new home in reconstruction;
2) The timing of the arrival of our container of possessions;
3) A required exit from Costa Rica to renew our visas;
4) Giving 30-days notice to end our rental lease. We had our contractor’s construction schedule in hand. We also learned that the average container shipment time from the West Coast was just over five weeks. We had the deadline for the last day of our current 90-day visa.
So, we looked at the calendar and turned on the tap to get our belongings out of storage. We then gave notice on our rental and finalized plans for our moving day.
We had drawn our line in the sand and the moving day could not be postponed. Unfortunately, the house was not as for along in being ready for our arrival as we had planned. But the best-laid plans are only a best guess and are always subject to change and delay.
On moving day, our moment was very early on a Sunday morning. With the help of our contractor and one of his crew, we packed a surprisingly large load of recently acquired possessions. I all had to go into our contractor’s covered panel truck and headed for our new house.
We had to load, drive, and unload it all in about 2 1/2 hours. So our contractor could hustle back home, change clothes, and make it to church on time. That part of our planning went smoothly, at least. The move went without major issues.
This was an incredibly perfect moving day, as all went well. Everything was now inside the house including Costa Rica’s second-largest barbeque. For a short time, it was Costa Rica’s largest barbeque. But shortly after I made my purchase the store where I bought it started carrying an even bigger model. This bumped mine into the second position.
And, “inside the house” is the operative term here. Because we, as yet, had no covered patio or any storage large enough to protect anything including my behemoth BBQ. Except for the garage and that was already in use as crowded construction storage, workshop, and staging area.
So, it remained covered in its temporary residence, our home’s combined kitchen/living room/dining room. Luckily it was on wheels at it was repositioned often during our construction.
Now, we are not much for roughing it. If it doesn’t have “Hilton” above the entry, my wife is not inclined to spend the night there. However, upon our arrival, we had a master suite with a mattress and a shower with cold water only. But there was no bedroom furniture, bathroom vanities, sinks, faucets, running water, or a closet.
On moving day, we had a kitchen with a small under-counter refrigerator and an oven, but without an oven vent. There were also cabinets, counters, an island, a sink, and running water. We also had a laundry room but it did not yet have a washer or a dryer to fill it.
Until our container of stuff arrived and there was more progress on the construction side of things, our living conditions provided us with a brand new definition of “inconvenient.”
The author of this blog, Ticonuevo, is a US expat who moved to Costa Rica. He and his wife used the services of GoDutch Realty to purchase a property in Costa Rica. In his blogs, Ticonuevo describes his own experiences of taking the step of moving to Costa Rica and getting a new life started.
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