Friday, August 10

It's just different here (CR) than there (USA)

Most recent additions are posted first. TBC (To be continued...)
* "At the bank, you don't have to wait in line if, 1. pregnant, 2. old, 3. have an infant, 4. are handicapped and 5. last but not least, CRAZY, you get to go to the front of the line. Also, the line police cannot arrest you!"

* No signature pads here for signing a credit card and hardly no place has a card scanner.

* Drive-thru windows for fast-food restaurants are rare except in San Jose.

* Not many fast food restaurants unless you are in San Jose.

* Most restaurants are family owned and are called "Sodas", typical Tico food.

* The days of the week are not capitalized (i.e. lunes). Only Domingo.

* The date is written like this: 22/11/07 - day, month, year.

* None of the months are capitalized (i.e. augusto)

* It's metric, all of it.

* It's all Spanish, naturally.

* Everyone cheek kisses, hello AND goodbye.

* Your address is a description of the location. No numbers on houses or businesses.

* Most utility companies do not send out bills, you pay at designated sites.

* Pura vida time means late or "mañana" (mañana means any day but today).

* Dogs can run the beach free.

* You can ride a horse on less populated beaches (or get a fine, maybe never).

* At the gas pump, the attendant pumps your gas and checks under the hood.

* There's a 13% sales tax on everything and an extra 10% service tax at restaurants.

* At the restaurants, you must ask for the check.

* Cell phones calls are charged on both sides, the caller and the receiver of call.
I'll have to verify this with ICE (check comments).

* The whole country has the same area code and calling anywhere in CR is almost free.

* Pay phones are not coined phones. You need to buy a card to use pay phone.

* Monopoly ICE (service for electric, phone, etc.) is alive and doing well.

* Most people do not have hot water heaters in their homes or restaurants.

* Most homes are not equipped with 220 voltage.

* In the banks, you stand in a "snake" line or take a number.

* Vehicles on the road have to be inspected every year. Your car needs that sticker from RTV.

* Yearly taxes must be paid on a vehicle in use. Another sticker for your car from MOPT.

* No mandatory vehicle insurance. The car tax paid yearly provides some coverage.

* No personalize license plates here. A sequential numbered tag is issued when the vehicle is registered. Older cars have a lower number.

* There is one medical insurance company, INS.

* Thefts under $500 are not prosecuted. Petty theft is common (no wonder).

* There is no daylight savings time - the time is always the same, year 'round.

* Prostitution is legal even though the Catholic church reigns here.

* People have long names. First name, middle name, dad's name and mother's name.

I've been here too long. What used to seem strange, seems normal now.
Any other differences come to your mind? Help me out here.
I'll be adding to this, I'm sure.


WolfieCR said...

Interesting list

Out of those that one as a Tico used to throw me off at first (when I visited the US) was the stuff about the check....I felt as if they were inviting me to leave, never knew what was the logic of printing and printing and printing the check everytime I asked for "una mas", it also feels (this one I still dont get over) weird when they come and introduce themselves "hello my name is blah and I will be your server for tonight are you" that is of course the extreme opposite as to how it is here where you practically have to wave a flag for them to notice you and bring you some food

TICA MACHA said...

People from the States cannot understand why they don't just automatically BRING THE CHECK. They can't believe they have to ask for it. Being a Gringa, I'd never say you have to wave a flag to get service. It's not that bad here, most times. Since you have been to USA and you are Tico, any other things you can add to my "differences" list that stands out to you? I can't remember how it is in the States anymore.

WolfieCR said...

well, in a busy bar/restaurant sometimes its hard to get attention

differences: in the US when you are at an intersection and you are turning left and the light turns green you can go ONLY if there is noone coming straight, in here when its green you go and thats it .......that can create interesting 'situations' ;)

in the US you swipe your own card in walmarts etc and enter your pin or sign in that digital pad ...and your signature ends up being stored who knows where

in the US if you have a big accident they take you to any hospital and hand you a MEGAHUGE bill later, in here they take you to the ones of the goverment because in the private ones they wont even give you the time of the day until they get their deposit

in the US (you guys , the US citizens) when are upset at something you write to your congressman and INCREDIBLY TO ME! you get a response!, try that here with my tico diputados ......

in the US you pay everything with checks, here a check is a piece of useless paper in 99% of the time

in here you walk into almost any store and give them your phone number and you can pay it right there, in the US not so simple

those are the ones of the top of my head, can probably think of a few more

TICA MACHA said...

That's coming from someone that from here. Me, being a guest in your country, would'nt say it.
My hands been slapped for being too negative already. I don't understand why because I love CR.
Thanks WolfieCR.

WolfieCR said...

hey, this one "* Cell phones calls are charged on both sides, the caller and the receiver of call." is not true, only the person that makes the call gets charged

TICA MACHA said...

Are you sure about that WolfieCR?
On my phone bill is a charge for "Celular Plano" for c3,867. I don't have a cell phone but last month someone that did have one was calling me. When I don't get cell phone calls, I don't have that charge. I don't have a cell phone. I guess I'll have to go down to the ICE office and ask for sure what that charge is. Thanks.

WolfieCR said...

That celular plano is when you call cellphones, celular reducido is the same, it also lists the minutes you called (pleno=full rate, reducido=reduced rated , it depends on when you call)

do you make any phone calls to numbers that start with 3 or 8 (those are cellphones)? or...perhaps you have a maid that makes the calls LOL

TICA MACHA said...

In 5 years, I've never had a maid. I don't call cell phones much either so I will have to check this out. I really did think they charged both sides on a call. Thanks.

TICA MACHA said...

This was emailed to me from my friend here:

HNi Teri, Loved the driftwood picture. You might want
to mention that if you are 1. pregnant,2. old, 3. have
an infant, 4. are handicapped and 5. last but not
least, CRAZY, you get to go to the front of the line
at the bank. Also, the line police cannot arrest
you!(I made that up, I'm in Costa Rica).

Blog Bloke said...

Hey, if you don't ask for the check does that mean you eat for free? Just wondering.


TICA MACHA said...

I guess you can believe it when I tell you I have almost walked out without paying many times because I am so comfortable and I just forget.