My new casa

Yellow arrow – Hotel Capitan Suizo; Green star – my new house

My time at Capitan Suizo was shortened by a few weeks because of a living opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  Just three weeks into living here, I learned a small house was for rent, just up the street from a friend’s house and 250 meters from the beach.  It has two bedrooms, a small kitchen/dining room and is somewhat furnished (as far as rural Costa Rican standards go).  The price was just too good to pass up – you don’t even want to know what I’m paying for a private 2-story, somewhat furnished house with a pool, security system and gated entrance, located just a few hundred meters from the beach as it will make you nauseous.  Oh, and the gardener who comes twice a week and weekly pool service is also included!

Now, I’m closer to the center of town so going to the market, yoga, bank, etc will be easier and faster.  I do miss the jasmine tree (surprisingly it’s a tree, not a vine) whose scent brightened up my covered patio next to my room at the hotel.  But with this new house, I have a large outdoor living space that I will thoroughly enjoy. When I originally looked at the house, a garrobo was sunning itself on the patio.

The second floor is the master bedroom and it has a nearly floor to ceiling window on one side and a sliding door that leads to a terrace on the other.  There is a washer and drying line outside and what really sold me was the gas oven.  Most “tipico” houses in Tamarindo don’t have ovens.  It was explained to me that most Costa Ricans don’t do much baking or cooking (other than on a stovetop).  I was so happy to see an oven.  It’s small but it will work for my needs.  The propane tank is outside and the property manager told me that when it runs out, I just need to call a local company and a guy will come out on a motor scooter with a new tank and take away the empty one.  I had to laugh when she told me that.  I’ve also never used a propane tank so I’m not sure how I’ll know when it’s running low other than maybe the gas just stops working?

I also had to laugh (quietly, because she was serious) when she told me it had a “large water heater”.  Well, then she showed me the water heater which fit under the kitchen sink.  I hate to see what a small water heater looks like here!

There were of course a few issues that needed to be addressed when I moved in.  Some of the windows and doors didn’t have screens, one of the windows was broken, there was no toilet seat and the toilet was leaking, the freezer was leaking, the front gate’s lock kept jamming, a few of the lights both inside and out didn’t work, there wasn’t a 3 prong outlet in the kitchen and no outlet whatsoever in the bathroom and even though the housekeeper said she cleaned two days before, the place was filthy.  I have an issue with dirt and germs so I had one of the housekeepers from the hotel come by the first day to clean it again.  I’ve also been told the house was fumigated before I moved in but based on the number of spiders and scorpions living here rent-free, I have my doubts.  There was also the day that I was sitting at the kitchen table working on my laptop during a thunderstorm and started to feel rain drops, dropping on my head.

The property manager told me I was complaining too much, the prior tenants never had any problems and the owner wasn’t going to take care of all of these issues but I, in turn, replied that all homes require maintenance and I too was improving the owner’s home since they wouldn’t pay for the screens or screen doors and that expense came out of my pocket.  And I suppose the prior tenants must not have cared too much about standing in puddles in the bathroom from the leaking toilet or in the kitchen from the leaking ceiling…but I do.  That’s not acceptable living conditions, here or anywhere.

The electrical wiring is also a little sketchy in that much of it is exposed throughout the house, both inside and out.  And the oven, while I do love it, has old pilot lights on the stovetop that don’t work so I have to use a lighter to turn on the gas, which also doesn’t make me very happy.

So there are moments when I start to feel like Frances Mayes, wondering if I made the right decision with moving into this house but then I look around and know, yeah, I did.  It’s perfect.  Scorpions and all.

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Pura vida…Chrissy