Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's been too long my friends

I don't know why I haven't been blogging in so long.  What happened to my 3xs a week??  It's not that things haven't been happening, or that I've been too busy (THAT would be a lie), I just haven't felt creative enough to fill out a whole blog.  But the time has come, and it won't be that exciting after all.

So of course, first of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Oscar got two whole days off of work, yes that's a big deal, and we made the best of our 4-day weekend and took a trip up to Guanacaste.  NYE is one of the most highly traveled times in Costa Rica, with the highest probably being Easter.  Oscar's boss somehow found us this tiny room with only 2 days notice.  It was nice of him to put in the effort, but the room wasn't much to celebrate.  A bathroom inside four walls and below a ceiling which was located behind a convenient store.  Oh well, it was cheap and everything we needed.

We roll in style, pintico sandwich for lunch.

We spent New Year's Eve partying up on the beach of Tamarindo with some of Oscar's friends who he of course found there.  (he knows someone everywhere, haven't I mentioned that before?)  I'd been to Tamarindo the first time I was hear, and somehow had this image of a nasty beach, with a gaudy town, that I never wanted to see again.  After visiting this time, I don't know how I left with that image.  Tamarindo is gorgeous, the beach is pristine, the bars are hoping, and yes- the town is gaudy but who cares?  You're there for the beach!  The next couple days we bounced around a few other beaches near by- Conchal, Brasilito, Potrero, Donta, and then left to go get the puppy.

Oscar with some friends he found

Partying on the beach!

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Conchal

Playa Brasilito

Playa Potrero

Playa Donta

So we got home and it was back to the daily grind, well for one of us.  I continued to bum around as I don't start work until the 23rd.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and yesterday went into San Jose to get my papers authenticated at the Casa Amarilla.

I have heard nothing but what an easy step this was.  I've been told it was quick and the people are friendly.  I decide to get there early, since I've heard you shouldn't ever get somewhere after 12:00pm.  But I guess 10am was not early enough.  After waiting outside, in an enormous line, in the sun, for two full hours, I was nearly at the door to go in.  With only 4 people ahead of me, the guard came out and told us that the office was closed and we would have to come back tomorrow.  (FYI people, even though the CA is open until 4pm, they only take documents from 8am-12pm.  What kind of madness is that?)  He gave us a little ticket and said with this ticket, we wouldn't have to wait in line again.  But I knew better than that.

This morning I walked the puppy quickly to the park, and headed off to San Jose by 7:30am.  I got to the Casa Amarilla by 8:30am, and the line was already stretching around the building.  Luckily, the line for the people with the tickets, was much shorter, some 8 people in front of me.  It still took another two full hours for me to get in and get my papers stamped and signed.

Since I was already out, about, and grumpy, I figured to go ahead and head over to the police station to get my fingerprints taken.  For this I needed my passport and one passport picture.  When I went to sign in to get in line, I was almost not allowed to have fingerprints taken because my visa expires in 11 days.  But since I am currently still in country legally, they let me.  I waited about an hour, and was finally seen by a grumpy (grumpier than me!) lady with a computer.  She took her sweet time typing in all my information, though it is partially my fault for having so many tattoos and scars to report.  Finally, I was able to wash the black ink off my hands, pointed towards a bus stop to San Jose, and headed back into centro.

I finally got home a little after 1pm (I did make a Pops pit-stop to reward myself on this effing hot day with a mint milkshake) which rounds to around six full hours of only getting two things done.  But they were two things that needed to be done, and now they are.  Thank goodness.  So now everything but two things are checked off on my residency checklist.  All I need now is that freaking letter from the school I asked for back in November, and to deposit $200 into immigration's bank account.  I'm also going to make front and back copies of every single document I have before I turn it in.  Maybe two.

The last thing I'm trying to figure out is whether or not I need to leave the country.  My visa expires in 11 days, that's the 22, I start working on the 23.  I have a feeling I'll get that letter from the school within the first few weeks.  Once I have my application turned in, I don't need to leave anymore.  But until then, I need to follow my 90 day visa.  I would love to avoid another border run, but I'm starting to feel like that's not possible.  We'll see!


Jimena said...

uuuuuuuuuuuuughh!! painful at the Casa Amarilla! terrible luck! I guess they must have just opened a couple of days ago after the break and there was a terrible backup. all the times I've been there (about 6 by now?) there's never more than a 5 person line!
your important documents: SCAN them. and 5 copies is not unreasonable...
yeay bureaucracy!!

Tiffany said...

Ack, so sorry! I'm probably one of those whom you'd read had an easy time of it there, jaja, my apologies! Hmm, strange, we went in the afternoon, and they accepted my papers and did all the authenticating with no problem. It was a super rainy day, and I guess between that and it being later in the day, there weren't many people there, and we didn't have to wait long.

I'm really learning that it is hit and miss here as far as experiences at official places. Seems to depend on the day, whom you end up talking to, the phase of the moon, who knows. At Migración, when we submitted my papers, couldn't have been faster or easier. But when I went back to check status (not possible by phone/email), we ran into that same "close at noon" deal, even though the esposo had called specifically to ask the times. Sigh.