Thursday, June 26, 2008

No Vale la Pena

Spanish for, "It's not worth it". With the last couple of weeks I've had, I'm beginning to rethink whether it's worth it or not.

The new turbo on my truck the I spent $1600 on lasted 3 days. When I called the agency who sent the new turbo, they said they would not guarantee it unless they personally inspected the truck to determine if the turbo was at fault, or whether it was something else. So I had to spend andothe $270 to send it back to S. Jose.

The manager told me that the turbo was not at fault and that I needed a new engine. Yeah, right. I've made these guys rich and they see me coming.

I had the mechanic who installed the turbo here in Guanacaste call the mechanic in S. Jose. They said that in order to determine whether it was the turbo or the engine they would have to put a new engine in the truck! I'm no mechanic, but last I heard there were turbo labs that could determine what is/was wrong with a turbo. I asked my mechanic, "So if they determine that it's the turbo's fault after putting a new engine in my truck, will they remove the engine and put my old one back in - and then charge me for both?" He said, "Yes".

So I decided to have the truck picked up and delivered to my mechanic's place here in Gte., have him send the turbo to be refurbished, re-install it on my engine - which was fine when it left here. I'll ride with the flatbed guy on Monday at 5:30 AM. Can't wait to have a talk with the manager in S. Jose. Then I'll sell it and get a beater until September.

We've averaged 1.5 power outages each week for 1/2 to 1 day. Cable and ADSL internet has been the same or worse. Cell phones and land lines were out for an entire day 2 weeks ago, and 1/2 day last week. We've been forced to get both cable and ADSL services because one or the other is always down.

I cannot find a information technology expert who doesn't f*ck up more than he fixes on our office computers. The last guy didn't back up my partner's machine before "fixing" it and lost all of his emails and contact information.

We had to return our ADSL modem yesterday after only a week in operation as it was faulty. Of course, in order to determine whether or not it was faulty, the vendor needed an extra day to test it because he was out of the office. When we went to switch back to cable internet in the interim, there was no service. I had to walk across the street to Amnet to bitch because they wouldn't answer their phones. They blamed it on RACSA, as always.

My bats have returned to recolonize my attic. I searched high and low for naftalinas (moth balls) and couldn't find them. I went to the Do-It Center and two veterinarias (hardward stores for farmers and ranchers). I finally found them - guess where? The pharmacy!!!! I unloded three bags of 100 g.'s each to no avail. They're still there.

I just went out to shoot my pellet gun at four pigs that are loose in our woods who want to target my garden around my house. In one night they have wreaked havoc on any soft earth in the vicinity. And my dogs are going crazy, which is driving me crazy. The owner doesn't seem to care that they're loose. He may even prefer it. If I hit one in the eye, we might have a nice pig roast (always trying to look on the bright side).

I'm riding my motorcycle now for transportation. I ran out of gas the other day on my way to the gas station. Fortunately, it was as I was pulling in. It's been raining now, and I've rigged several protection systems for my computer bag, cell phone and wallet. So far, so good.

The price of gas is going through the roof, which is driving up the price of food and other items. A six-pack of beer, a quart of juice and milk, some American cheese and some cream cheese ran me about $12 at the mini-super yesterday.

No one is buying real estate. Business is very down.

¿Vale la pena? I'll get back to you.

¡Pura mierda!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

¿Vale la pena?

I originally meant to post this on 29 May but am just getting around to it now. The power finally came back on at 7:30 in the evening after 20-1/2 hours. It came on as I was opening the sliding glass doors to go to my brother-in-law's house to take a shower (he has a gravity tank), towel and dop kit in hand, after 2 days of not having done so. ¡Pura vida!

8:00 AM 29 May, 2008

Costa Rican for, "Is it worth it?", or "Is it worthwhile?" It's been raining now for 36 hours straight - compliments of tropical storm Alma (the first ever to form off of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica). The power went out at 11 PM last night and has not come back on. My daughter has been battling a temperature since yesterday afternoon that peeked at 40 degrees C during the night. I have no landline and my cell phone battery is about to die. Our private road looks like the Snake River - you could raft it.

My crippled pickup sits outside in the pouring rain undrivable until I get the new turbo. I finally located a new turbo yesterday at an agency in S. Jose - the only one in the country who supplies them. But in order to get it, I have to get to the bank to make a bank transfer directly from my account to their account - they do not accept credit cards. I can't drive my motorcycle to the bank in this rain to make the transfer so that they can put the turbo on a bus and get it to me, so that I can have my mechanic come by and install it and be driving again.

Without power, I have no water pressure and cannot bathe. I have not showered since day-before-yesterday (it's easy to skip a day when you're working at home). I can't get my morning cup of hot coffee. My office in Coco is without A/C, fax, lights and internet. But the land lines work.

Sometimes I ask myself, "Vale la pena?" - "Is it worth it?". Then I tune into an internet radio station from Chicago and listen to the local news for a few minutes. And I am immediately reminded of why I started a new life here. It's a little tough remembering this morning though, as I have no internet.

So it's off to the bank by taxi - unclean, unshaven and un-coffeed - and happy that IT IS ALL WORTH IT. ¡Pura vida!