Monday, October 27, 2008

Places in the city...

It's a rainy Monday. More like a misty Monday. Here in Santiago it mists more than it rains, which makes it easy to be able to still be out and about despite the precipitation. I had a pretty busy morning, and luckily today all went well. For the past 3 weeks or so every errand I had to run turned out to be some headache with bureacracy, being sent to another office, being told my situation was beyond their control, etc, etc. But, it looks like the tide is turning a little (maybe being here now just over 2 months helps). I started the morning going to the bank, last time I went to deposit money I was charged without being told, 20.88 euros for something about being a non-resident. Since they didn't tell me I didn't realize I had been charged until the next day when I looked in my bank book. I went to the bank to ask about the charge and they couldnt tell me exactly what it was so supposedly they were going to get back to me. So today I decided to figure things out on my own by depositing some money in my account to see if they were going to charge me again, and then perhaps someone could explain the past charge to me. And today, I was told the charge was due to a request they have to make to verify my info in the US (it seems like the passport would verify my residency there, right?) and in fact 12 euros had been returned to my account from the 20 they had taken out (I would still prefer to have all 20 back, but this is a little bit of progress) and I was able to deposit money today with no hidden charges! So at least i got an answer and found out I won't be ridiculously charged every time I go to the bank because I am a non-resident.

After the bank it was on to the post office. You have to take a number to be helped in the post office, and it was quite a small non-elaborate place filled with people, so I admit walking in i was a little overwhelmed. But the guard helped me get a number, and I started waiting to see my number A202 on the screen. Person A201 never showed up, so the clerk thought, and put up my number, when suddenly person 201, who was at the wrong window, stepped in front of me. It's pretty common to be cut in front of in the Latin world, the idea of waiting in lines isn't looked highly upon, so with my prior experiences and due to the fact that she had the number 201 and was just a little lost, I decided not to lose my patience. But, when she left guy 200, who hadn't addressed his envelope and thus couldnt get his order done as number 200, stepped up to the window, and I started to get a little annoyed. But, in the end it all he had to do was send a letter and it took about a minute. Finally it was my turn, and the lady was really nice to me, seeing as I had waited extra time with 2 people going before me in my turn, and she helped me figure out the best way to send my letter, and in the end what I thought was going to cost at least 5 euros to send only cost 1.66!

After the post office I stopped at the supermarket to pick up some bread, and they had the barra rustica that I like and there was no line to wait in. I was pretty excited because usually getting bread aroung lunch time can be difficult as everyone has bought up the bread for lunch (ps...dont forget lunch time here is somewhere between 1:30-3:30, I usually eat at 2:30).

Then it was on to clases particulares with my two girls ages 7 and 9, and although my plans had to redone this morning when I realized my othe plans had not been printed (I don't have a printer so D prints things off for me at work), a little game I made at breakfast of go fish with clothing and colors was a hit.

So, even if it is raining, and even though it is a Monday, and even though I've been struggling with the craziness of Spanish government and bureacracy, today has been a really good day. Hope the week is starting off well for you too.

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