Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter 50 - The Legal Eagle

          We found our lawyer yesterday in San Jose.  Melaney had looked on the internet and looked down the list of lawyers in San Jose, then found this one in Casa Canada.  That is the building that houses ARCR (American Residents in Costa Rica). She supposed that this lawyer did the work for them in the building, and she was right.  She phoned and he spoke English. For us, a professional person who can speak in our language right now is a super bonus.  He made an appointment for 2:00 the following day, which was yesterday.
            Knowing the traffic conditions going into San Jose, we decided to give ourselves three hours to make the appointment on time.  In the before days, sometimes we got lost and spent three hours to achieve 30 kilometres.  We made it into San Jose in 56 minutes, and found the office building almost immediately.  We were two hours ahead of time.
            The directions that the lawyer had given over the phone were very direct.  We were led to a Soda Tapia, which is a well used eatery, with outside table service.  Mel, as usual, got a beautiful parking spot right in front, and we went to a table to wait out the two hours.
            Many people were coming and going, and traffic swarmed on three sides.  A young lad was in the side street, selling colouring books.  He was a particularly handsome boy, about 17 or so, and charming as can be.  He caught Melaney’s eye, because we were close to that side street, and they carried on a sweet little flirtation for over an hour.  He scrambled through traffic when it stopped for the red light, and pitched his little books.  If he sold one, he grinned over to Mel, and sometimes showed off his cache of bills. Melaney would clap for him, which made him grin all the more. There was probably no more than $10 in the whole bundle.
            We first ate some ice cream at the Soda, and the waiter brought ice water.  That used about 15 minutes.  We decided to share a sandwich and get a couple of smoothies.  By the time we consumed these, it was only half an hour to legal time. 
            We walked the block and a half to the office building.  After some door confusion, we were ushered in by a doorman, and we had to climb to the second floor on a marble treaded circular staircase.
            The Lawyer seemed to know his business about residency applications.  I won’t go into the details here, it could fill a book.  We were driven by his assistant across the city to get pictures and then fingerprints at the Police Station across the street.  We had to get into there before 3:00 and barely made it.
            On the street in front of the Police Station, we were stopped by a man we knew from church.  I can’t believe the coincidence of meeting someone we knew in the city of over a million people. (When I was getting my driver’s license, I ran into a man that I knew from a hotel that I stayed in last September. Talk about coincidence...Mel) We couldn’t stop to talk, but told him we would catch up on Sunday.
            We would not have been able to find this location to save ourselves.  We counted the turns that the fellow drove, and coming back to the lawyers’ office, there were 17 turns.  The path we took to return was the straighter one, if you can believe that.

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