My son is visiting, and we are enjoying each other’s company in spite of the fact that I wasn’t feeling well before he arrived and still am not and that he is here as a dental tourist. This has not curbed Justin’s ability to enjoy doing what a tourist does when he is not in the dentist’s chair.
The same morning he was off river rafting, Amnet called me to say I had not paid May’s rental. Since I have been dependent upon my TV and computer while housebound, I don’t want them to be turned off, even for a day. My own adventures, while my son was off to volcanoes and rushing waters, have given me an opportunity to offer some advice to other, hapless, expats of a certain age.
I carefully planned what I would do to conserve my energy. I would call Eric, the trusty taxista who is practically a family retainer for my neighbor and me, and have him drive me to Plaza Mayor, where I would get some money from the Bank of Costa Rica ATM, then go into that bank (not my usual branch) pay my Amnet bill and then go to the AutoMercado, buy what I needed then call Eric to take me home. Efficient and time saving. I called Eric who took me to the ATM and dropped me off. I told him I would call him some time later.
Advice #1: Do not leave home without your cédula, passport or some ID because the only time you will really need it is when you don’t have it.
Advice #2: Don’t lose your temper (how often have I written that!)
The ATM was out of service. So I walked into the building and across the indoor archway to Bank of Costa Rica. I shoved the bill along with my account cards under the window to the teller.
“Identificación.” She said. I searched in my purse. I had changed to a lighter purse but not put everything in it, I discovered. I tried to explain that I had been ill and so on (boring) and that my normal branch didn’t ask for my ID and I didn’t have enough money to pay in cash because their ATM was not functioning. (Even more boring to the teller.) Two account cards two debit cards and bill, all with my name on it were not enough. My voice got more and more poor pitiful and angry at the same time. She was implacable. Instead of calmly asking if I could talk to the manager, I stomped out. Two strikes so far in my grand plan.
I shopped for provisions to feed my tall, hungry son and included some luxury items to calm myself. Of course, at the check-out counter, the girl wanted my ID to go with my debit card. I showed her my frequent buyer card. She smiled and shook her head. Then I said. “Can you hold
the cart of my goods while I get a taxi and go home to get my ID?” (Weakly, but calm.) “One moment,” she replied, taking both my debit and AutoMercado cards. She came back and waved me to put my items on the counter. I nearly leaped for joy but that would not have helped the image I had created.
As the young man was carrying my heavy bags outside, I reached into my purse for my cell phone – and reached and reached. No phone. The case was there. That is what I had decided to put my phone in to find it more easily in my purse. We trudged to the taxi stand.
When I arrived home, I called Eric who was free and he took me the three uphill blocks to the bank, waited while I paid my Amnet bill and withdrew some cash, then he took me home.
After that miserable unraveled plan and sojourn, I was safely ensconced in my apartment when one giant of an aguacero hit. More driving rain than I had ever seen before. It even came in under my balcony door. And I thought of my poor son, probably drenched and miserable dodging lightning unprotected from the elements while I was, finally safe and dry with a working TV.