A few months back, my internet wasn’t working. The lights were on, but as the kids say, no one was home. I wasn’t too concerned, as it’s not common, but not uncommon, either. This was a Friday and I ran some errands and then went to relax on my bed with a book, rather enjoying the excuse of not being able to work or worry about the world spinning off its axis. Or missing out on pictures of some shit I didn’t need to see.
I ended up falling asleep and didn’t wake up until later in the afternoon. I decided to not worry until the next day and rather enjoyed myself with some wine on my balcony, watching my world go by.
The next I called my internet provider and was told they were doing an upgrade and I have to return my modem for a new, better shinier one. I packed up my modem and hiked down to the shopping plaza where I pay the bill.
I was a bit hung over and thought the free air would help. Of course, by fresh air, I mean stench of garbage and black clouds of exhaust in the heat. There was a lot of confusion trying to communicate until a woman in line got out her phone and helped us out with her interpreter’s app.
Not long after a woman came along who spoke English and she finally told me I had to go to the main office. This was the last thing I wanted to do all hungover on a Saturday morning. There was a young man in line who worked at the mall as a driver and he told our interpreter he would drive me there for 100 pesos. She said it’s a moto.
That is a motorcycle taxi. used to take them in Sosua but I hadn’t here. I have graduated to public cabs. Anyhow, I agreed and off we went.
Holy heart attack, Batman! The weaving through the traffic and cutting between cars was quite enough to wake me up thank you very much. At one point we went between a semi truck and a van and I had to check twice to make sure I still had my kneecaps. When we got close enough to see the building he cut through a parking lot, realized it was closed and then just drove over the concrete parking blocks to get back to the main road.
I decided that was close enough and got off. I hiked up the hill to the office and was shocked to the core to see at least 60 people there. Everyone there with their modems. I took a number and then stood against the wall. Finally, a seat became available and I got to sit down for my three-hour wait, My three-hour wait. Sing it to the theme of Gilligan’s Island.
They had brought out extra chairs to accommodate everyone but people showed up with two and three children in tow. It was brutal, but I was sitting and it was air-conditioned. At one point, the young lad behind me was talking on his phone in English so I asked if he would help me when my turn came, just in case.
It was a long afternoon of waiting and waiting and I had no phone, no book and no water.
Turns out English wasn’t the problem. It was me not having my passport. It had never occurred to me I would need it. After a lot of pleading they let me off with an expired Ontario Driver’s licence.
Once I was out I was so relieved it was all over that it dawned on me I hadn’t really thought about how I would get home. I walked.
Fast forward to last week. I went down to the plaza to pay my bill at the kiosk and the lad there pointed out he didn’t have a computer. I went away and came back a few days later to find the kiosk gutted and a note on the front. The only part I could make out was ‘sorry for the inconvenience’. They aren’t.
The closest place for me to pay the bill is at the main office, which is not convenient. At all. I’m not walking all that way and it’s two cars to get there and then two more to get home.
I went to pay my phone yesterday, a different company and asked the lad there if he spoke English. He did.
Long story short, they two lads that were here to do my installation spent a lot of time picking cat hair out of their eyes, noses and mouths. But at least I will be able to pay the bill across the street.
Interesting side note. They called me today to confirm my address and all that, and I missed the call because I had no idea how to answer my phone. I got a new phone in July and this is the first call I had. Sad, lonely cat lady.