San Jose, Capital of Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica is a big, modern, bustling town. With hookers. Lots of hookers.
Got to San Jose around 3, left our traveling partners to find their hostel, and went to find Bryan.
Our buddy Bryan we'd met in Granada had invited us to stay with him for a couple of days while we looked around trying to sell the truck.
That night us three and John (his Arkansas friend) went to the Hotel Del Rey, which is a casino, hotel, bar, and hooker-central. There must have been 150 hookers there. It was one funny experience seeing these working girls.
If you’re in San Jose, you’ve got to see this scene.
We'd heard about this place from other travelers on the road -- something of a tourist attraction in its own right, just for the people watching. We timed a few, seems that they get business once an hour. That's money in the bank, baby!
So while Bryan worked the blackjack, we hit some slots for a while. One I walked up to, told Kyle, “This is the one”, put 100 colones in, and BAM, hit! 500x100 colones = $100 US! Drinks on the Bird for the rest of the night!
Meeting John was an interesting experience, as he's a fairly typical retiree in Costa Rica. Only been there around only six months. We learned a lot about the motivations of retirees, the real costs of living, the scene, etc. It’s quite cheap. The national health plan, if you’re a resident, is only around $30 a month, and it quite good. His electricity bill is $6 a month. Phone is similar.
So it’s quite affordable, even in this “expensive” place.
Ivan and his wife, Laura, met us out, and our party continued to grow. We met another man from Jersey, a bookie or something, who was a lot of fun to discuss business plans with. I think he liked the “export cigarettes from Costa Rica to the States” whole idea.
The next morning we decided it was truck-selling time. We beat the street, driving out to some lots. On the way there, we got pulled over…
Turns out our boat, white-ness, and “Se Vende” (for sale) written across the side of the truck piqued the interest of Mr. Dirty Cop.
Long story short, they fed us a load of BS, we got pissed, yelled a lot, his partner shows up who’s off-duty in plain clothes to talk with us, and finally we bribed him $100 to get the hell out of there. It was total bullshit. They claimed they were going to impound the car because we were trying to sell it though it was imported with a tourist (temp) import permit. Of course, if it was to be sold, the tax would have to be paid. He claimed they were going to make us pay it right then.
Talked with some lots, no one wanted it because it’s too big, gas guzzler, etc. So maybe better luck down the road. Everyone likes diesel, or small.
Spent the night, had some breakfast with the friends, and hit the road for Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean.