Sunday, June 19, 2016

Home Sweet Home - Costa Rica Reveal

We've now been n Costa Rica for 18 days and are finally starting to settle in.

The home we are renting has 3 bedrooms 1,700 + sq ft), 2 full baths, living room, kitchen with lots of gadgets & gas cook top but no oven only a toaster oven, dining room and TV room. It came completely furnished with EVERYTHING! And, I do mean everything.  Including a state of the art camera surveillance system. I think there are about 8 cameras monitoring the property which we can see on TV and we have access to on our phones. There was really nothing that I had to supply except personal items and food.

As it ended up most of the things I shipped turned out to be duplicates of what was already in the house. I brought about 8 towels, some dishes, silverware, a couple of sets of sheets, the throw pillows (which were used to cushion breakables in the box we shipped), some books, knick knacks, clothes and pictures. We didn't bring anything too big and nothing that was very expensive as we did not want to take the risk of breakage or theft in shipment. Now we have lots of doubles!

We have a gardener and a housekeeper who comes in once a week from 7am - 12noon (she is not included in the rent but we pay her 10 mil (which is about $20). She cleans the house from top to bottom including windows and speaks only Spanish. We got an app called iTranslate so we can chat with her but mostly we are just trying to learn Spanish. Our classes will start in July.

One interesting thing we discovered is that the houses in Costa Rica are made of cement, hence NOTHING sticks to the walls and you can't hammer a picture hook so as you will see by the photos we ended up hanging a few things on the nails that were already there and in the 3 cut out niches in the living room where I managed to fit three of my pictures and he 4th one hangs all alone on a big wall.

cement home in Costa Rica

I also brought a very light sheer wall hanging which you will see in the photo hanging on the living room wall. I think it looks great but please note - about 15 minutes after I took the photo it fell to the floor like everything else we have tried to hang. So....we are still trying to figure out how we can make the few pictures we have stay on the walls.

Ticos are obviously not as vain as we are because there was only 1 mirror in the entire house. So we went out and purchased a mirror for the 2nd bath. I also plan to get a full length mirror as well - just trying to figure out how to get it home on the bus! LOL

The houses also have no screens on doors or windows and most of the locals leave their doors open all day. We would like to do that as well for cross ventilation but due to insects/bugs we keep the doors closed most of the time. We bought some screening from EPA, the Costa Rica equivalent of Home Depot, and tacked it to the door frames with push pins since it is wood.  I ordered some magnetic screen doors from Amazon which Charles will bring in a few weeks when he comes and we are getting a handyman to make us some frames to use to make window screens.

We are having some difficulty getting cable. We ordered it but so far about 70 channels are missing. I can watch soccer, the music channels and a handful of Spanish stations (which I hope will help me learn the language) Most channels I have tried to access via my Apple TV are blocked for use outside the US. Might have to get a VPN.

The only other open item has to do with humidity. Although it doesn't really feel humid, let's face it - it is the rainy season so we are looking into a dehumidifier for the closet in the master bedroom. When we leave the doors open all day I think I can feel a bit of dampness on the clothes and don't want to take any chances.

Other than that - everything thing else is going well.

We could not have asked for a nicer house. No suicide showers! We have hot water in the kitchen, laundry room and the bathtubs. There is no hot water in the bathroom sinks. I am getting used to it since it isn't cold outside.

Another big plus is that the house has new septic so you can flush toilet paper down the toilet. YAY!!! Before about 1975 every home had clay pipes and a septic tank in the yard, so in most homes in Costa Rica (and many B&B's) you will find a waste paper basket in the bathroom next to the toilet with a plastic supermarket plastic bag in it (many with a pedal flip waste can).  This is where you dispose of your toilet paper after use. (we still have a pedal can in our 2nd bath - altho it isn't for waste disposal) This takes some getting used to. If you are in Costa Rica you can ask if the pipes are clay or PVC. If they are PVC, then no worries. Flush away.

When you are a guest in a home or a B & B where there is a sign in the bathroom that says "por favor no tire el papel higienico en el indoor" (please do not throw toilet paper in the toilet),  please don't.

We LOVE the house and our new life in Costa Rica. Everyday is a new adventure.

Hope you enjoy the video! Remember it takes me anywhere from 4 - 16 hours to upload a single video here!!

Pura Vida!!

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