Applying for Social Security at the US Embassy

For those who follow such things, ‘Pensionado’ is one of the residency statii (statuses?) a gringo such as myself can have. Currently I am ‘rentista’ which means I put a big chunk of my net worth in Banco Nacional in order to prove I wouldn’t end up begging on the streets like some of the guys (and gals) that hang around my apartment building (and the rest of downtown). I see their point, the country produces plenty of beggars, why import them? [in fairness to Costa Rica, there have been beggars in every country I have visited, but in fairness to me, THEY didn’t import beggars either]

Actually, this post isn’t about immigration status, that’ll come later. It’s about my trip to the United States Embassy! [cue the John Philip Souza please]. I am pleased to tell you I had a very smooth time of it. Finding the embassy was easy enough even though I took the bus instead of a taxi. I’ve been here long enough and I am CHEAP enough to take the bus whenever I can. I ended up walking a half block and there I was at this giant complex.

Don't Make Me Mad, or ELSE!

I’ve been by the Nicaraguan Embassy, the Venezuelan Embassy and the Belgian Embassy, and let me assure you,

    USA #1!!!!

Because I can speak fair Spanish, I was able to ask where to go. I was directed to the second entry. I was very dismayed to see a GIANT line, but one of the kindly guards told me to just go to the front of the line, and sure enough, there was a sign there in 2 (count ’em) languages saying that U. S. citizens should just tap on the door (or some such) and they’d let us right in. And they DID!

Once inside, it was like getting on an airplane… metal detectors, scanners, put your camera in this little locking bag… Any terrorist is going to have to bypass that room if he wants to be get his next terrorism merit badge. Once I got through the security gauntlet it was pretty smooth sailing. I saw lots of Ticos scattered around waiting in more lines and sitting in waiting areas (outside, but probably covered from rain) but *I* was a ‘Merikin, and they steered me into this nice waiting area where there were only a handful of people waiting.

I took a number. A303. I looked at the display… 301!!! I have NEVER had that kind of luck before in Costa Rica! But then… technically, I WASN’T IN COSTA RICA NOW! THAT explained it! And all those people on the sidewalk… THEY were still in Costa Rica, poor b*st*rds!

THIS was the line to get a driver's license. The embassy line was worse.

In a jiffy I was in talking to a nice young woman and giving her my documents (passport, birth certificate) and not long after, I was heading back to the sidewalk, where the long line was still in progress. I apologize for having only one picture of the embassy, one I found on internet. I wanted some originals. I took my camera. I took pictures. They saw me and made me erase them. You know how those terrorists can turn a digital photo of the outside of an embassy into a mixture of anthrax and plutonium. Being a good ‘Merikin, I happily complied in the spirit of the war on terrrrr. And to get my pension.

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  1. Mo' money is always a good t'ing, mon.

  2. Next time be sure to try a latte from the cafe! If you are a coffee drinker. Pretty good product.