At the seminar we made a contact with a Real Estate agent who connected us with a taxi driver who would take us to several different locations to look at rental units. Cost: $120 US dollars for the day plus his lunch, he chauffeured us around and interpreted Spanish for us gringos. All the taxis are red and shiny. They keep their cars very clean, taking great pride in how they are kept. Alex (our driver) is married, 55 years old, has 4 daughters and 4 grandchildren. His English was excellent and he taught us some Spanish along the way. He had 7 units lined up in our price range for us to see in numerous locations.
One stop we made was at a new modern style rental. It had finished shiny concrete floors and countertops but no furniture. We noticed that the walls were also at various angles and the bedrooms were small. They built it but didn't think about the furniture that would go in it. Neither bedroom would fit a queen bed very easily. All of the places we saw all have either no closet or a closet built out from the wall made of wood. There are no dryers in the units either - just washers. They all hang their clothes to dry because electricity is very expensive and it takes a special 220 electrical hook-up to have one.
Note to self: In Costa Rica furnished and unfurnished is very different from the US. Furnished means it may have a bed, some cookware, a tv (for sure), a couch and a dining table. UN-furnished means nothing but attached items like the sinks and toilet. There is no stove, no refrigerator, no washer/dryer, no furniture. Another interesting fact: the units are sparsely lit.
We met up with Natalie, a realtor friend of Alex's, who wanted to show us a couple of units she had available. We all got into her car and varoom - off we went. She had one speed to drive - fast! Alex was in the front seat holding on to the door handle for dear life. I don't think she knew what the brake was for. We flew over speed bumps and around corners. All of a sudden - WHAM - we hit a big pothole. "Eyechee wawa" screamed Alex. Natalie asked us, "Did you feel that?" Mark replied quickly "I think the car behind us felt that!" Alex and I started busting up laughing. Alex replied in his Costa Rican accent, "If I hit a pothole like that in my car, I would have to pull over, get out and cry for my car. Then I would have to take a deep breath and cry 15 minutes more. Then tell the car I'm so sorry and get back in." We all laughed about that pothole incident several more times during the trip.