Hey, sorry guys. I know I’ve been MIA. I do try to keep up with your recent posts. Being ‘retired in paradise’ isn’t always how you imagine it. Maybe if one has unlimited resources and uses servants and services 24-7, you’d live that movie style lying-on-the-beach with an umbrella drink kind of life.
The reality is that life is life no matter where you live it. There have been serious health issues for my husband which now require regular trips back to the states, which is costly and emotionally draining for us. We do love the chance to see family at those times and so far he is doing well.
There are different daily challenges here, including biting coffee flies and other intrusive bugs which we deal with. Public systems work differently, and as much as so many others complain, we have found them much simpler once you get the right combination figured out. I recently got a driver’s license, which, we were told would be nearly impossible without a facilitator because not many people speak English in the public offices. After an acquaintance related their process, we formulated our plan, pulled out the translator app, and I got to work. All businesses here use WhatsApp and it is much easier to schedule appointments, order food and get information using it. I even scheduled my husband’s surgery last year using it-directly with the Urologist!
Day to day life before we bought our little car was challenging. We had to take taxis to town every few days for groceries and supplies or for a meal out. We normally tried to combine those trips. That in itself can be tricky if we needed things from several places and we made sure to get groceries last because cold things get warm pretty quick. Even though the average temperature here in the mountains is around 72 degrees, it does get warmer and is quite humid during the rainy season. Unlike many here, we chose not to take our chances waiting for a cheap taxi or bus to happen by. We use a couple of very reliable taxi drivers and although it is a couple dollars more, it’s worth it to us to be picked up and dropped off at home. These nice young men often help get heavy things to the house and our favorite driver even moved us recently. The best part of having our own car now is not having to plan even small trips and being able to go to the bigger city for warehouse shopping and those things that are not as readily available here. Oh! And being able to get ice cream for the house. You can’t buy a $6 carton of ice cream and expect it not to melt while waiting for the taxi!