I have just ended a string of twelve straight days working (hence last week’s feeble attempt at poetry) and since it is summer and the busiest time of year for me, I’m exhausted! Working non-stop is not new to me but as I get older it gets harder. I have one more stint to do at the beginning of August and then my assistant monkey will be back on the job for the remainder of the year.
With the thought of re-locating to the Caribbean always on my mind I must say that work is becoming harder. Not the work but the getting up every day to do it. I know Honey feels the same way, so the two of us are quite the pair at the end of each work day. Grumbling and complaining about all the stupid things that have happened to us that day and wishing for it all to end. Just 46 months and two weeks to go.
As a distraction to my work frustration, thinking of my future plans gives me a release of sorts, it’s therapeutic. Maybe it’s the pure insanity of what we plan to do or just that there is a more solid plan for our retirement than there ever was but I enjoy thinking of the challenges that will be faced in the coming years. Everything from how to liquidate every single possession that I own, to what is the best course to take with the Dominican government regarding extended visits needs to be addressed.
Liquidating possessions is never a simple task, just ask anyone that has dealt with a parent’s estate. Do you have an auction? Do you have a big-assed rummage sale? Do you include all the belongings in the cost of the house and property? What family member should be given the deck refrigerator and which one gets the snow blower? These are all questions that will need to be answered eventually but for now I’m still using the stuff, so it’s a little early to actually sell anything.
So too is doing anything official with the Dominican Republic government. What I can do though is investigate what sort of hoops Honey and I will be forced to jump through in order to have a lengthy stay in their country. Thanks to the World Wide Web, all the information I require is at my fingertips. I can surf through official procedure and read opinion forums without ever involving the government. I have learned some interesting facts.
The first is that dealing with the DR bureaucracy is the same as any other government run operation in the world. The first five hoops are easy, and then they set the last five on fire. I am not even considering immigration, I’d be dead before they finished the process and the truth is I like being Canadian. I don’t hate my country… I just hate the weather!!! No, changing flags was never in the cards. I wish to simply spend 8-10 months of the year avoiding the cold.
The second thing I learned was there were three ways to get this done. I could apply for residency status, apply for an extended visitor’s visa or pay a penalty for overstaying my tourist visa. The first two choices give you legal status to be in the country while the applications are processed. Residency can take 1-2 years and numerous trips to Santo Domingo to get finalized and then must be renewed every two years. A visitor’s visa is quicker, eight months, one trip to the capital and a physical (their doctor). I read it was good for 2 years. The last choice can put you in jail for being in the country illegally.
Now you would think that there would only be a choice between the first two but the fact is the most appealing is the third choice. That is because the procedure is the least painless. If you over-stay your tourist visa you must pay a fine at the airport when you leave the country. That’s it! They even have an escalating fine chart that goes from one day to ten years!! Ten years!!! I think this happens a lot!
The chart tells me that if I were to arrive in the Dominican Republic and not leave for a decade, as long as I didn’t run afoul of the law, the government would charge me $70,000.00DOP. That’s $2015 Canadian dollars for hanging out on their beach for ten years! That’s a fair price if you ask me. My plan is for only 8-10 months a year, so the chart says I’ll owe $4000-$5000DOP ($115-$143CAD), that too is a fair price to pay. So you can see where just arriving and not leaving is very appealing.
Regardless of the choice I make, it will not take place for quite some time and meanwhile I can only ponder the different possibilities of what the future may bring. It’s a distraction from the stupid things that happen to me each day. One I’m happy I have.