Tuesday, March 6

HOTTER than HOT

It's hard to imagine but I was at a place today that makes Jaco Hell seem like an oasis. That would be Parrita, a little south of Jaco and inland. I had to go get my car inspected (it's required here). The trailer there is where they check your papers (passport, receipt for car taxes paid and proof of ownership) and where you pay for the inspection (about $20). The trailer is air-conditioned but you cannot go inside. You must pay from the outside in the full-on blazing sun. It's not a fast process either. They do have refreshments, water and coffee. Surprisingly, people drink coffee when it's hot. I had just drank one of those classic tiny bottled Coca Colas in town so I passed on the drinks and focused on tanning in line. Don't go right after lunch (they break from 12 - 1pm). There is a rush right after they open and then a lull. Parrita practically closes down for lunch.

The inspection of the car is something else to experience. You can pay someone $20 to do it for you but I chose to do it myself. If it weren't for trained handsignals of the Riteve "guapo" guys, I doubt I'd known what to do but they have it down pat for us Gringos. It's no lightweight inspection either. It's very thorough. In fact, I failed, like last year. Last year I failed because the license plate light didn't work. I went to Parrita town, got a new one and returned to pass the same day. If you fail, you have 30 days to get "whatever" fixed. That's great because you can wait until the last day of the month it's due and get a 30 day extension! Expect to really have to wait though. It's a well known trick to those who KNOW they are going to fail and need those extra 30 days to get "whatever" fixed.

The year before that, I failed because one tire didn't pass. I went to the gas station, put on the smaller spare tire, returned, passed inspection and then put the "bad" tire back on at the gas station. The truck in front of me that DID PASS was riding on all fours bald. Another trick is to drive a truck. They're not as stringent on trucks since it's a "work vehicle". Trucos.
So, I failed again today. This time it was the alignment. My next car will be a truck.

3 comments:

Jen said...

We failed as well...brakes. Had to have a master cylinder brought from the states as there wasn't one to be found anywhere in the country. Part in the States, $300...installation in Costa Rica $20. Amazing!!! More amazing is how some of these cars held together with chewing gum and band-aids pass.

TICA MACHA said...

As with most things in their country, a Tico can pass with ease.

Bob said...

haha....up here in Ontario the government gets us with their "emissions testing", all cars 3 yrs old have to pass every two years. About $30.00 to test, then repairs if need be....