I don't think I have vented about this before...
There is a certain measure of making a short story long here. If I can explain it with a few examples: Today, I went into a bakery to buy a coffee. I spoke with the two women behind the counter about what kind of coffee I wanted and finally decided on a cappucchino. So I ordered one. One of the women wrote on a piece of paper "525" and handed it to me, and pointed to the cash register. I took the piece of paper to the cash register where the other woman met me, and then I handed it to her. She looked at it, and asked me for the 525 colones (about $1USD). I paid her. Then I picked up my coffee.
A while back Nicole bought a toaster. She chose the toaster. A man wrote some information on a piece of paper and sent her upstairs. The woman upstairs collected the money and gave Nicole a receipt. She sent Nicole back downstairs with the receipt, where she showed the original man, who reviewed the receipt and pointed her to another man standing by the door. He reviewed the receipt again, and handed her the toaster. The store was no bigger than like a typical Subway restaurant, with a loft.
Right now I am in San Jose attempting to get a Brazilian Wax. I mean Visa. Gotcha! Anyways, I located the Brazilian Embassy (miraculously just a few blocks from my hostel) and walked over. To get in the building, a man checks your bag and you go through a metal detector. Then you stand in line and give a woman your drivers' license in exchange for a Vistor's Pass. Then you take the elevator up to the Brazilian Embassy, where you talk to a man, he sends you to a computer where you have to fill out and print out a form, then you sign it and he sticks a photo of you on it. Then he sends you back to the computer where you print your airline itinerary and give it to a lady. Then she says, "have you paid?" And you say no, and then she gives you a tiny piece of paper and says you have to go to their bank and deposit the money in it. The bank is 6 blocks away. So you have to leave the building and go to the bank. At the bank a man only lets one person in at a time and again they check your bag and you have to print a piece of paper to get in line (kind of like at the DMV) and then you wait your turn and pay and then wait your turn to leave the bank because only one person can leave at a time too. Then you come back with the receipt and repeat the security to get back in the original Embassy building, where she takes all the stuff and staples it slowly together and then tells you that you can return for your passport on MONDAY.
It's Tuesday today. San Jose is a 6 hour bus ride one way from my house. I gotta take another 12 hours of bus to come back and pick up the stupid thing next week. This is not how I wanted to spend my last 2 weeks in Costa Rica. *&^%$#@!!