Finding a Costa Rican Casa, Day 3

Yesterday, I was pretty convinced that I was hooped — there was no way that I was going home to Canada with a place all squared away. The task just seemed close to impossible.

It’s amazing what 24 hours can do, though. After a conversation with Alex last night, the decision was that perhaps this Avalon Country Club would be worth it, after all. But there were still questions that needed answering before we could go in whole hog.

That’s what today was for.

Luz and Lina picked me up around 9:45, and we went directly to the Avalon office to talk with Monà ­ca, whom I’d met yesterday. The questions were all suitably answered, and we started down the road of paperwork. This is no ordinary lease we’re signing. This is something in a totally different country. That adds a certain amount of complexity.

Especially since no-one even hinted at the things we might need to secure the places we’re trying to rent. Like, I dunno, an international cheque for the deposit?

I had to make another call home to ensure that this was all good. The last thing I’m about to do is sign us up for a home that Alex has no say in. She’s likely to be spending more time there than I am, so I have to make sure she’s happy with it.

Just before noon, Luz and Lina picked me up again, and we went off to the Multiplex in Escazu. It’s a mall. I had a couple of things I needed to do, namely get some money from the ATM (for the aforementioned deposit — this was only a “reservation” on the full amount; we have to do a wire transfer for the rest), and make sure that we can get certain products from the Auto Mercado (a grocery-cum-home store owned by Wal-Mart).

Lunch was at Bruno’s, a restaurant in the mall that serves mostly Tican fare. I had my first tamale. I have to learn how to make those.

After lunch, we stopped briefly to get a box of chocolates. Not for me to take home, but something I was buying for Luz and Lina, as a thank you for all that they did. There is no way I would have been able to secure a place to live so easily without their help.

Papers signed and cash distributed, Luz, Lina, Monà ­ca and I jumped in Monà ­ca’s car and zipped over to the Country Club for another look. I needed to get a video of all the rooms in the demonstration unit so Alex could “see” what I saw. I also asked if we could whip up by the communal pool. The construction there is fantastic right now, with all the shanty-town-style shacks that are used by the workers. I gather some of them even sleep there.

Everything settled, we returned back to the hotel so I could get down to the task of catching up on work. That’s when I realised that I’d totally screwed up dinner plans.

Jason had told me that Luz had cancelled dinner plans because I’d had a “meeting”. This was my fault. The invitation had been extended to me yesterday. I didn’t realise it was for all three of us. An email I saw this morning regarding all the people we had to interview suggested that Jason, Mark, and I might need some time to discuss this tonight after we all got back. So today, I regretfully declined. Little did I know what that rather idiotic act would do. The cascade effect just reinforced the fact that I really need to communicate more often with my compatriots so we don’t screw something up.

Communication here is going to be key. Especially amongst we three gringos.

Mark got his place squared away as well — he’s living at Avalon, too. Jason will have his settled on Friday, when the owner he is renting from returns. But going back to our respective homes, we’re mostly set to come back in about 2.5 weeks.

Two and a half weeks. It’s coming fast. Really fast.

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