Tuesday, December 9, 2008

San Jose Banco National Central

Yesterday we picked up our new bank cards! As we left, we made sure that the building we *thought* was the central Banco National really was the right one :-). (it was – the really tall building near the Mercado Central) We took the San Pedro bus to the terminus, then hopped on the cementerio bus to our bank. We went to customer service on the second floor, saw the line, and said “hmmm, let’s come back after lunch.” So, we walked down the pedestrian boulevard looking for cheap eats. These are amazingly difficult to find! We finally found a soda (cafeteria style) tucked in the back of a panaderia – after that, lunch was *fast!*

We got back to the bank, got our ticket, and sat down to wait. Well, I saw our number come up, and then – boom! – it went right past us! I looked around (with a good, confused look on my face – really, who could help it?), and the woman sitting next to me asked what was wrong? Well, she explained that they were only on the black numbers, and I had a green number – arg! I still had a *hundred* people in front of me! But then – I can *not* get over how *nice* people are here! – she handed me a black number! Said it was for me! She had two, and only needed one. (Note to self – next time, get two numbers and do the same for someone else.)

We had completely forgotten about getting a ticket first, then going to lunch. Another thing to remember…

So instead of god knows how long, we only spent an hour (including lunch) waiting. Then we spent 15 minutes getting our brand new bank cards – this is the branch of the bank that stamps the cards from blanks. We could have waited a couple more days and gotten them from our local branch, but we had no other good way to get cash. We immediately checked them at the ATM in the lobby of the bank – success!

Afterwards, we decided to see just how long a walk it was back to our San Pedro bus – not bad at all! The pedestrian boulevard goes all the way East to the bus terminus, and is an easy walk. It looks long on the map – but is only 6 short blocks, with lots to see on the way. We found a Pop’s (yummy ice cream) right before the end – did we stop? Of course!

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