Monday, November 06, 2006

Me and My ATM Card, in Chacala

A few days ago I went to Puerto Vallarta, to pick up my new ATM card from my credit union in the U.S. It was the first time my card expired since I came to Chacala, almost three years ago. The card was sent to my son's house in the U.S., as requested. I wasn't sure what the best way to get it down here would be. U.S./Mexican mail services is horrible and probably a third of packages and envelopes disappear in transit. So that was out. I rounded up a couple of people coming down in early December who were willing to bring it down. (My son could mail it to them).

But finally, we went with DHL, a package delivery service. Everyone seems to believe FEDEX is totally screwed up in Mexico, so I didn't bother with them. My kind son found out where his local DHL office was, and the address of the place in Puerto Vallarta. I could chose between Tepic and P.V. and I chose P.V. because I had seen the office from the bus before.

I have been anxious about getting the card for the last month or so, mainly because I am a worry-wart, but also because it's (my ATM card) my only way to access my bank account.

Anyway, the day after I got an email from my son saying DHL had emailed him that the package with in P.V. I headed out. I got a ride from the end of my driveway, caught a combi to La Penita from Las Varas, waiting about 3 seconds, and the caught the bus to PV in about 2 minutes.

The Pacifico bus to P.V. actually pulled up at La Penita while I was in the bus terminal bathroom. The ticket lady came into the bathroom and got me, so I wouldn't miss the bus. Talk about service. Got off the Pacifico at the big beer factory on the highway. And thencaught a city bus to the DHL place. I couldn't remember exactly where it was, and I asked the driver, and (amazingl) he spoke perfect English. Married to a woman from the US. He knew exactly where the office was. Let me off in the middle of the block.

There was no one waiting in line in the DHL office, and they dug up my package in three minutes. Not only was my ATM card in the packet, but my son has sent two excellent magazines too. My favorite son. My only son. He is wonderful

I took four vehicles to get from Chacala to the DHL office, and spent less than ten minutes waiting time. Altogether. The cost was 67 pesos or about $6.00US. It was cheaper than usual because I bought a ticket from the Pacifico bus driver directly, and he only charged me 50 pesos instead of 69 pesos. I assume he was pocketing the cash since he didn't give me a ticket. He played a Beatles CD all the down to PV. It was great.

Coming back I fell asleep on the bus. It was packed with people. All the seats were full and the aisle had about 25 people jammed in. It was Saturday afternoon, and all the workers were going home to Tepic for the weekend. The air conditioning wasn't working, and the windows wouldn't open, and apparently no one on the bus had taken a shower before getting on the bus. It was pretty bad. I either fell asleep or passed out, until my seatmate, (a very handsome young man whose clothes were dripping, literally, with sweat, when he got on the bus.) woke me up in Las Varas. I was really zonked.

As I was gathering my things I heard someone speaking English. I looked back and a woman about my age was standing in the aisle with her husband/lover/gigolo/whatever, and she was furious. Anger all over her face. Apparently she didn't feel she should have to stand in the aisle.
She was so anxious to get my seat she almost knocked someone over. I looked back again as I got off the bus, and she was still furious. But probably about something else, since now she had a seat.

The collectivo was waiting to leave when I got off the Pacifico. I got Cokes from the pharmacy for me and Prieto and Ricardo, the two drivers. We drank the Cokes, and then Prieto and I took off for Chacala. Prieto sang songs all the way home. I was the only passenger, and he explained the background of each song before he sang it. Like, "the man is sad, his wife is gone". Then then I sang a little song called "the woman is really happy, her husband is gone".
Prieto didn't that my song was too funny.

I got back to the house and the town water was on. I turned on the hose and drenched myself for five mnutes. Heaven on earth!!!

Then I went in the house, tried to use Skype to call to activate the card. Couldn't get Skype going, so I just called. Took thirty seconds. All my anxiety about the ATM card is gone. Of course, I haven't actually tried to use it yet. Something else to worry about.

1 comment:

Jill said...

If you don't want to stand in the aisle, go on a more expensive bus. I have bad balance, so
I'm not that enthusiastic about aisle standing, but you get what you pay for.