Wednesday, December 12, 2007


May 2006

Since we have to leave early the next day, I needed to get cash from the ATMs today. We knew that this worked, because on our last trip we tested it. Hah! I went to 3 different ATMs, and couldn’t get a dime! Not even a colon!

I had spent the entire morning trudging around town with only two missions – get more medicine for Rick, and get money. Well, I got the medicine…

I was nearing panic when I found myself on the road outside Jalapeño’s. I saw Norman outside and suddenly felt overwhelmed by seeing a friendly face. There are no words to say how kind Norman was. He said to not worry about anything but taking care of Rick. That we could work out how to pay for the hotel after we got home, not to worry about being “blackballed,” just relax, have a cool drink.

So, calm again, I walked back to the hotel, relaxed, had dinner delivered, and packed for leaving the next day.

Turns out that “the next day” is a little early – Rick's back is out, and we don't quite make it (see Wheelchair magic)

So, I get to try the banks again – what joy!

Just for fun, I try a couple of ATMs again – no luck. So I go to our bank :) the Banco National. This is in the middle of the day, on a Friday, at the beginning of a month. How bad could it be? It's the trifecta! There are two long lines, and I can't tell which I should be in. So, I play it safe and get in the longer one (turns out this is correct, since the other one is for the elderly, pregnant, or handicapped). My turn comes after an hour – but I am calm (really). I am practicing under my breath the whole time. “Buenos Días Señora. Perdoname mi espanol mal. Puedo comprar dolars?” etc. Well I stumble through the first line, and she says that the teller next door is pleased to speak Spanish; so I wait until the neighbor is done, and get down to business. I ended up getting a cash advance on my visa (only a 1% charge), which took about another 15 minutes. Yay!

I head back to Jalapeño’s through the park, listening to a singing group, with a pocket full of dough. Life is good again. I see Norman, tell him I got money! And he says (again) that I didn't have to worry – but I feel better, and I think he must as well. I grab some lunch to take back to the hotel.

I get to actually pay for the hotel, and relax the rest of the day.

Post script: The ATMs all worked on our next trip...

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