Today’s post is for mature audiences only.
I am beginning to think I am cursed. Tuesday afternoon I left my ATM card (you remember, the only one we have) in the bank machine. I have never done this before. Ever. I was distracted, this is true. I realized this on day Wednesday morning in the van, routing through my purse, ready for a day of power souvenir shopping for my trip to the US on Friday. Quelling my panic, I informed Mr. U and proceeded on my way since I was flush with Maos; the card, I reasoned, was either at the bank or on my dining room table. Loaded with tchotchkes, I returned home to find the card not on the table. I proceeded to the bank.
Dragging Voldemort, He Who Cannot Tell Time, in for translation (huh?), a questionable move in the first place, we told the teller the problem. She pulled out an envelope. Inside were four cards. One of them was ours. I could see Mr. Understanding’s signature on the back of the card through the glass panel. Voldemort could not effectively tell me why we could not get it back, stuttering as he tried valiantly to get the words out, so we called Box of Rocks who spoke with the teller, the cell phone diving into the little bin and going out the other side.
The teller, who I am going to call Bureau Betty, informed us, via Box of Rocks, that we would have to show a passport to compare signatures (normal) and get a letter from the issuing bank advising that the card was reported as lost, complete with company chop (seal), in order to retrieve the card (abnormal). It would take a week for the issuing bank to deliver a new card. I told Box of Rocks that my friend’s stolen Bank of America card was delivered to her transcontinentally within 72 hours. “But this is XXX (insert country),” Box of Rocks explained, drawing the painful ordeal to a close. Really, it could be any of the countries I have lived in but it was pointless to wheedle further, especially when faced with a great wall of bricks.
What once was lost is now found – but must be declared lost. Maybe it is just semantics. Lost, found, does it really make a difference? Why would anyone waste their time retrieving a found card that has been declared lost?
Mr. Understanding lived up to his name and was calm, collected, and gracious during our frequent phone calls thereby earning himself the title of Global Husband of the Day Award. I promised him a box of Good & Plenty, his favorite candy, from the US as a reward for being so sweet.
I pondered these things riding my bike home from the gym this morning; a thigh chastening half hour on this dealie called an Arctrainer headed off a full blown anxiety attack over my impending voyage. The sky was blue, the air was clean, and there was a light breeze. On the ride I spotted a beautiful butterfly with turquoise coloring on its wings. Lovely. Positively serene as I pedaled back to Glama Villa, a short, filthy man on a bicycle nearly swerved into me on a rather isolated street corner. This is really not that unusual but he kept coming at me. It took me nearly 5 seconds to register what was happening. What was that deformity of his he seemed intent on showing me?
Banana Jo, a recent British émigré to gay Paris, was recently taken aside by a French woman and given a lesson in local behavior. Parisian pervs, it seems, delight in flashing foreign women and propositioning for them for William Jefferson Clinton Oral Office Specials. Banana Jo was treated to a language lesson by her French friend usually reserved for the third year of in-country living. I laughed when I read her email and thought smugly to myself, “Ha! That won’t happen here!” Well, for sure I can’t say that in Mandarin.
Hence the delayed reaction when Mr. Wang Bang came crashing into view. “Bu hao!” I finally shrieked, my idyll and ego shattered faster than Britney can self-destruct or Angelina can adopt a new baby. “BU BU HAO!” I was grateful Mr. Wang Bang kept his DNA to himself and grudgingly admired his exceptional sense of balance. Unlike a former US president who lost his license to practice law in his home state and who recently penned a book entitled, Giving – How Each of Us Can Change the World. Talk about your global gifts. Thanks, but no.
Living in foreign countries is supposed to broaden horizons and expose one to new cultural experiences. Be it at the bank or on the street, I am not sure my nerves can take any more “firsts”. It’s enough to drive a girl into the arms of Glen Fiddich. The kids, for sure, won’t be riding their bikes outside the Glama Compound!
Future postings to follow from the birthplace of the National Anthem, home to derelict deceased poet and author Edgar Allan Poe and the Mighty O’s, with many a rendezvous on which to report.