Second weekend in Costa Rica

You might be wondering: Gee, Geoff, where are all the posts you had for Costa Rica? Well, it’s not that I don’t want them up, it’s an issue of timing. I can’t really go into that right now, but let’s just say that this is the best way to have it for now.
But on the bright side, there is more stuff to come shortly. Our month o’ meetings continues as we head down to Panama [insert Van Halen here] tomorrow for a client kick-off. This should be fun.
First, though, let me recap our weekend just past.
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First weekend in Costa Rica

Last week was a rough one. It’s almost hard to believe we’ve only been here a week now. (A week ago right now, I was in the lobby of our hotel, chatting with Jason and Javier, waiting for our realtors to come and whisk us away to our condos.) Since then we’ve gotten our places, bought the things we need to make life reasonable (note: not “comfortable” — we’re still working on that), moved into a temporary office, got connected (still need cell phones), started working on new work, and had a surprising number of meetings given that there’s only four of us.
So when we got to the end of the week, we had pretty much declared ourselves “beat”. Had we been a lot more set up than we are now, we’d probably have just gone home to our respective places, kicked back, and relaxed. But it’s hard to do that when you have to flag down a cab. Which you can’t here, for some reason.
We rented a car instead.
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Setting up the office

Getting everything going here is a bit of a challenge. There’s a lot to do, and we’re starting from scratch. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. There’s currently four people down here working on all this, and only one of them is actually from Costa Rica.
It started a few weeks ago when we were down here on the “tour”, when we started talking about what this company should be called. We latched onto an airline theme, which led us down the road of a name (to be announced at a later date), but also for how it should look.
More on that in a moment.
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It's Mañana Time!

We’re slowly getting ourselves up-to-speed down here. But the reality is that things are not happening at anywhere near the speed we’re used to. This was something we were warned about — you need to relax and allow things to take their time. Things do not happen quickly here, and getting all bent out of shape only makes things go more slowly. (And no, totally slacking off doesn’t cause the reverse.)
For us up-tight North Americans, this is the single hardest thing to contend with. Uncertainty is the name of our game, so unknown things aren’t a problem. It’s the ability to do simple little things.
Like call each other. Hard to do when you have no phone.
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Starting life in Costa Rica

Think of when you went to university / college. You pack your things into a few bags, move to a new place you don’t know, into a place you think is far too expensive for what you’re getting, and then have to go out and buy all things you don’t currently have: food, cleaning products, beer, what-have-you. Your fridge is still conspicuously devoid of things, your place of living feels a little hollow, and you really have no idea where your friends are or what’s going on at any given moment.
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How to bring a pet into Costa Rica: Simplified

Okay, so a while back I was having kittens (pun intended) about bringing Asia into Costa Rica. Mostly because I simply could not seem to get a straight answer from anyone about the proper process. It was driving me batty.
So, to anyone bringing in their (small) dog or cat (this might also work for rabbits, but don’t expect success with gerbils or hamsters or any form of rodent; and it’s a one-way trip for all birds, you can’t take them out again) into Costa Rica, allow me to present the (current) process. It’s really easy.
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Alive and sick in Costa Rica

As you might have seen on my Tweets this morning, I’m alive in Costa Rica. But I’m not “well”. My daughter gave me a parting gift — a nasty head cold. Fortunately, it didn’t kick in until I arrived here, otherwise flying would have been utter hell. Such as it is, my head is stuffed with a pound or two of mucus, which is pouring out of a couple of orifices. Kept me up most of the night. Oy.
I had a better experience than Jason or Mark. Jason arrived at the airport on my flight last night only to find his bags didn’t arrive with him. Mark’s connection had issues, and got stuck in O’Hare. I had an email from him at 3:20 this morning, with a 5:45 departure. The bags and Mark should arrive just after 12:30 today.
Jason and I met with Javier this morning. Good news on the office front — we have a space to work in for the next month and a half, and we’ve started to acquire materials to construct the new office. I’m not going to go into details on those just yet — there are some things you really have to see to believe.
For now, Jason and I are cooped up in our hotel rooms (Jason’s likely to be here another night) until we can head out to get all of our paperwork signed for the condos. More than likely, Mark will be here and come with us at the time. With luck, I’ll be in my condo this evening, and the cat will finally have reign to run around a bit.

Enroute with the cat

Well, we’re on our way. I was up until almost midnight last night packing. Was originally thinking three bags, but went down to two. Which is good, because apparently I’d have been denied the third bag. As it stands, the backpack was overweight by three lousy pounds, so I got stuck with an extra bag fee and an overweight fee.
Where the heck did all these fees come from? It even costs me $100 to get the cat on the plane. Three and a half hours later, I’m in Houston, with a cat in a bag. Tried letting her out at the “Pet Relief Area” over in Terminal B, but all she wanted to do was hide in the tropical plants. I’m not even sure if she relieved herself at all.
Lunch was at Ruby’s, while Asia watched people go by. She’s been exceedingly good, and hasn’t had one freak-out as a result of all this. Whether or not she’s still in one piece when we get to our hotel in Costa Rica is another question.