Replacing my license, part II


Orchidaceae; Guaria Morada. Flor Nacional de C...
Orchidaceae; Guaria Morada. Flor Nacional de Costa Rica (Photo credit: Pato Novoa)

Dear Friends,

My warmest regards to you on this morning. I encourage you to get out there early and move
about before the rain interrupts or puts your plans on hold. Today’s ‘e-pistle’ was prepared previously
since an early Sunday morning appointment will keep me away from my computer until later. I
don’t want any of you to be disappointed or wondering where I might be and when I’ll show up!

I am writing while looking out my bedroom window. It has been raining steadily all afternoon.
The murky sky has created a mesmerizing backdrop for the lush tropical vegetation. The sound of the
rain on the roof, rather than enticing me to nap, has instead motivated me to write the promised
conclusion to last week’s segment concerning my experience at the San José MOPT/COSEVI
offices to replace my lost license.

My son and I headed to the offices of the MOPT/COSEVI in La Uruca, San José reasoning on a whim that service
would be faster at the main branch than in Grecia or San Ramón. We parked nearby at “La Macha’s”
full-service facilities which include a restaurant. I had taken care of the financial aspect earlier and since the license
was to be a duplicate, I had no need of the medical exam. However, if these requirements had not been met, “La Macha”
could have quickly taken care of that as well! We proceeded to the offices of the MOPT where the predictably long line
could be seen many meters away. I confirmed with the young guard on duty that the duplicate license would be issued there
and took my place at the end of the line as he indicated.

The line moved at a snail’s pace but we were there and there was nothing to do but wait it out. When I finally made it to
the front of the line, the guard asked me for my ‘cédula’. I gave him my valid Costa Rican passport and the stub which
evidenced my having applied for a new cédula. He did not accept these items as proof of identification and told me
I needed to return when I had my new cédula. I was shocked, angry and tired and I argued with him about the senselessness
of what he was saying. He pointed to regulations posted on the door for ‘people like you’ who refuse to understand that he
was under obligation to only accept a physical cedula from a Costa Rican citizen!

By this time, in addition to being shocked and angry I was embarrassed at finding myself the center of attention, something
I usually enjoy ! I asked him to let me speak to his supervisor. He smiled in a superior manner and pointed to another set of
regulations drawn up for just these occasions (attempted bribery, I suppose). I decided to leave with dignity but not before I got
his full name so I could file my complaint. My son suggested we eat lunch at “La Macha’s”. When we were done, my mood was
so restored by the tasty repast and my son’s relaxed manner that I had resolved to attempt the process of replacing the license at a branch of
the BCR (Banco de Costa Rica) which handles some of these transactions for the government.

When we arrived at the BCR, I spoke to the guard and explained my situation. He told me that license procedures were usually
handled by appointment only but suggested I speak to a customer service agent anyway. I spoke to a young lady who checked
with her supervisor who approved the transaction because it was a matter of duplicating information which was already on file.
Ten minutes later, I walked out of the office with my license in hand, gratitude in my heart and the words of my mother in my
ears. In situations like this, she warned there were people in the world who enjoyed hindering while others found that helping
brought them joy; she hoped I would always help if it was in my power to do so. I met both kinds of people that day and I am
more determined than ever to help when I can, and be more careful about my wallet! All good lessons.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

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