Cedula Renewal

Last week I renewed my cedula (Costa Rica residency card) for the first time. John renewed his many months ago so we were familiar with the process. John called the phone number to schedule an appointment for me. When calling this number there are options to pick an operator that speaks English or Spanish. When John was renewing his cedula he chose English, he was placed on hold but no one ever answered the phone. The special phone number we have to call to make the appointment charges 300 colones per minute. We wasted a lot of money trying to get through to the English speaker last time so this time we went straight for the Spanish speaker. The appointment was made in just a few minutes for less than a week away.

Cedula renewals are done at some Banco de Costa Rica locations. My appointment was at the Escazu branch. We arrived a little early and went inside the bank and into the room set aside for cedula, passport and license renewals. Two tellers were working and both were busy assisting customers. There was a small sign on the wall asking anyone with a cedula renewal appointment to let the clerk know you were there. As soon as one of the clerks freed up me and two others jumped up and handed over our cedulas to the clerk. We then all sat down again until our names were called.

One thing struck me very odd about the room we were in. The clerks were working behind extremely thick glass. The glass went from the counter up to the ceiling and had no holes in it to allow you to hear them speak, only a slot to pass documents back and forth. I had to listen very carefully and watch lips move in order to hear and understand what they were saying. The thing that I thought was so strange was that the regular tellers inside the bank all sat behind thin glass that was only a few feet tall and had holes in it so you can hear them talk. Why was the cedula renewal room more secure? Was this the test area for bullet proof glass? The renewal appointment went very well. I was prepared with all the right documents and had several more in my bag, just in case. The new cedula should arrive at our PO Box in Puriscal in a few weeks. 

Whenever we are in Escazu we do as much “gringo” shopping as possible. On this trip we bought the kitchen appliances for our new home. I did a lot of shopping and price comparisons and decided to buy all GE. This was our third visit to the GE store. I’m glad we waited to buy the appliances because the stove I wanted was no longer in stock and had been replaced with a newer model that I like a lot better and was just slightly more expensive.

Last week the window installers were back and made some progress installing the sliding glass doors. They weren’t able to finish because some modifications need to be made in order to install them correctly. Last week the wood doors were at the shop to be varnished. I think they should be ready tomorrow and maybe, hopefully… the construction crew will be back to finish the project.

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