Arrival in San Jose

Trip Start Feb 01, 2012
1
21
Trip End Feb 21, 2012


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Flag of Costa Rica  , San Jose,
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The adventure has begun.

As I was walking to board after passing through the gate, a woman behind me asked about the book I was reading on Costa Rica.  I told her about my trip and she was very interested in Adventure .Center.  She is also traveling to Costa Rica later, after Florida.  After getting off the plane, she caught up with me because she had forgotten the name & then she entered it onto her phone.  We ended up stopping at a place to eat & getting spinach quiche.  It turns out she is from Chatham and volunteers at their food coop.  While I was paying for my quiche, my visa card got denied. 

I thought since I had some time before my flight, I would call Chase.  I tracked down a person to read the telephone number off my credit card and called.  Hmmm, customer service.   Chase needs some training.  The first two young men that I talked to told me my credit limit had been passed so that was why my card was denied.  I asked if I could have the $1000 limit increased.  this is my new Explorer card that they encourage you to spend a lot by giving you extra air miles if you exceed $20K in a calendar year.  How could you do that easily with $1000 per month.  In any case, they said that the preliminary check did not allow them to increase my limit and there was something about 5 days and they would send me a letter with what the reasons were. All this did absolutely nothing to help me now, but they were not interested in that really.

So I then asked to speak to someone else and got a woman who started to repeat this whole business.  While on hold, I thought that probably the most expeditious approach was to pay off the balance and I would have another $1000 to use in emergencies.  I wasn't planning on spending a huge amount and have my other credit card but it is American Express and not as widely accepted.  This lady was more amendable and then we agreed that they could shift some of the credit line from one of my other cards and I would have it immediately available.  So she gave me over to another young man who did this - another few minutes on hold while musac plays and I am in the noisy airport terminal.  I definitely prefer the excitement of seeing wild animals to dealing with banks.  The thing that amazed (and seriously annoyed) me is how unhelpful they were - rather than trying to find a solution to what I thought was a pressing problem, they parroted back this mishmash of bureaucracy and even a little lecture on managing my spending better.  I think I will calm down eventually.

Kara was kind enough to take me to the airport for my 12:30 flight.  My adventure was in an Atlanta stopover and I landed in San Jose, Costa Rica about 9 pm (Central and Costa Rican time).  I had another little adventure with the ATM machine, but other than the security covering on the keypad that made it hard to find the "1," my biggest problem was converting the currency.  There are about 500 colones to a dollar and originally I didn't put in enough zeroes for the amount I wanted - getting confused about whether commas were periods or vice versa.  I got some money and used up a big chunk of it on a taxi to the hotel but since it was late, I didn't feel like trying to negotiate buses.  So here I am in my room with wi-fi.  Perfect!  And a towel swan - I love them.  An early night and then exploring San Jose tomorrow.

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