Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity. - Frank Leahy
There is blog written by a Michael Alan who lives in La Fortuna. According to the hype (see: http://www.usexpatcostarica.com/2010/05/welcome-doin-costa-rica/) for his blog, he writes about vacation and relocation to Costa Rica, and is best known for videos that he has published on youtube. He also talks about (it says here) an investment experience gone bad. He links to another site, or is linked by that site, as do I. That site is USExpatcostarica.com, and what Daniel, the owner of that site, does is send an email each day to those who ask for it with links to the newest blog posts for those of us who have linked to him.
I have taken a look at this blog off and on over the last several months, just to see what is happening over on that end of our Lake. Never really paid a lot of attention to it, 'cause I am not all that taken with the writer's style. I do appreciate the fact that he does seem to try to tell it like it is, and not paint the tourism/expat worlds with rose colored glasses, if I may mix a metaphor here.
Recently, Daniel (USExpat….) linked to a new rant from Michael that described his strong dissatisfaction with an experience he had had with a company called Interbus. That rant may be found here: http://doingcostarica.blogspot.com/2010/10/transportation-costa-rica-interbus-vans.html.
Interbus, using mostly mini-buses, hauls folks all over the country, for what I consider to be a pretty steep fare. As I understand it, they haul point to point, and obviously depend on tourists for most of their clientele. We see their buses all the time on the roads around here, and folks we've talked to who have used their service describe a pleasant enough service, that, as I said, I consider to be pricey. However, that has nothing to do with Michael's rant. He was pissed because he claims they stranded him, his traveling companion (D'Angelo) and their dog (Pincho) half way through a recent trip. You can read his original rant for yourself, if you've a mind to. I did, just to see what the link from USExpatcostarica had to say. I was not impressed with his complaint. As a matter of fact, I thought it was pretty lame. The gist of it appears to be that he and his traveling companion had their passage booked for them by a friend, who just happens to be some sort of travel agent, which little factoid was definitely known to the nice folks at Interbus. None of the involved parties (Ranter, dog, travel companion, or travel agent/friend) ever took the time to read the Terms and Conditions that are clearly posted on Interbus' website, and I would bet, on whatever contract was ultimately created (as in, their tickets, or receipts).
So, when someone at Interbus became aware that this guy was carrying his pet, which is clearly against company policy (and, easily found under their policies, from the link on their home page - item #14, for his edification), he, his companion, and their dog were told that they would have to find another mode of transport for the return portion of their journey. Please note that his friend had booked a trip from point A, to point B, and back again, and that they were carried all the way to their destination (halfway through a round trip), even though he reported that an employee of Interbus became aware that they had an animal with them. So, it is not as if they never even reached their intended destination. As I said, I was not impressed with his complaint, and really did not (nor do I now) see what all the fuss is/was about. Yesterday, after reading his second rant, I went ahead and posted a comment to his blog for his consideration:
I read your first rant, and pretty much dismissed it for what it was. Most of the world has learned to live without allowing some little four-legged 3# yip-yip-gator-appetizer to dominate our lives, but apparently y'all can't take a crap without taking along your dependent. The simple fact of the matter is that y'all violated the policies of a legitimate company, and got caught. Get over it already. It was bad enough that you had to rave and rant, and use foul language that ill becomes an adult. But, now, after someone representing that company has taken the time to respond to you (very politely, I might add), you act as if you have been insulted. The only insulted party here is Interbus. As for you having been called a liar, I sure don't see that in the person's response to you. And to think that your latest tirade ends by indicating that you expect them to apologize to you. You got some nerve! If I was you, I would consider obtaining legal representation in preparation for their pending defamation/slander/libel demanda or denuncia, 'cause they certainly have grounds, under Tico law for one serious legal action against you.
He then posted this response: November 1, 2010 10:49 AM
michael alan said...
John, you're as STUpid as they are. Take the cussing out girlie man and re-read the post. We didn't book it... if we were hiding a dog, wouldn't we hide it for the entire trip... good Lord man, READ. This was not professional by Interbus, JOHN, "..so you did hide that fact to Interbus". Obviously you don't believe us either...whatever. Slander? Defamation? paa...leeeez. Look up the words on WIKI and get educated John. Did you really think I expected or even want an apology... take the stick out of your ass and don't take it so seriously. For you or anyone else who believe I 'rant'.... this blog is strictly fodder for me... a little INFO and perspective and I try to make it a bit entertaining... but John, if '_ _ _ _' bothers you, feel free to stay off my _ _ _ _in blog. (Editor's note: blanks are mine).
Now, this is really weird. Interbus wasn't professional? In my opinion, the first driver could have left them at the side of a road, and Michael wouldn't have a leg to stand on! He seems to think that I have accused him of somehow contriving to hide his dog from the drivers. I never implied any such thing. It looks like he believes that once Interbus found him out, it was on them to provide alternative transportation for his party! Where did he get such an idea? Strikes me that this might be considered akin to the standard "no shirt, no shoes, no service" of American restaurants, or "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone," also commonly found in U. S. businesses. What is particularly puzzling to me is that it appears that this guy wants to plead ignorance of the law, which I thought we had all learned long, long ago simply just don't fly!
As for my remarks about his crude language, and his absolutely outrageous attitude toward the folks at Interbus, didn't his mother ever teach him that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar? Then he says, "this blog is strictly fodder for me." What the hell does that mean? He tries to make it entertaining? Foul language sure wasn't part of entertainment where I grew up, or where I raised my family (other than watching George Carlin when possible). I guess he just possesses a sense of humor foreign to me and/or my nature, but I don't find this kind of rage at all entertaining, and it certainly is not funny. The word that comes to mind, actually, is pitiful. And, the reader will note that I said all this without calling anybody any names (bravely resisting the obvious temptations). The only foul language used, btw, other than direct quotes attributed to Michael, might be my use of the term 'pissed' in reference to his state of mind, at one point. It is actually very easy to avoid foul language, Michael. You might try it some time.
Oh, by the way, Mike. If I was inclined to look up the meaning of legal terms in Costa Rica, the very last place I would look would be Wiki. Can you say abogado, Mike?