Problems in Paradise

Last week was a week that I don’t care to ever relive.

We started out with very little money, and tried in vain to get money to Mexico through Western Union.  It was nothing but a hassle–a hassle that did little to life stress from my shoulders.  Without my debit card, there was a little I could do to improve our situation.  It also put a damper on my traveling plans: Turns out that no, you can’t rent a car without a card.  No, you can’t make shuttle reservations without a card.

“This is just life,” I told Victor, encouragingly.  “For everyone or just us?” he fired back.  So, it came down to the last day before payday–and we had fifty pesos between the two of us…

Friday morning I had a flight booked to Georgia to be a bridesmaid in my sister-from-another-mister’s wedding.  Priya has been a saint through this whole Mexico experience, and really has freaked out very little (considering there have been some minor inconveniences…)  This is why I didn’t share the following prior to her wedding:

At 10:30 Thursday night, I realized that I had left my passport in my classroom at school.  Furthermore, I had also kindly left my keys and i.d. for my substitute to use.  So, after buzzing around the house in a state of panic, I sent a note on Facebook to my principal.  Lucky break #1: She sent a cab to the house to pick me up, gave me her keys AND a note to the guards for me to be able to access my keys and classroom (and ultimately, my passport to travel…)

Overwhelmed with gratitude, but forty pesos poorer (from the taxi ride), we returned home and made a plan for the next morning.  See, I still didn’t know if I would be able to access my paycheck at the bank.  Sometimes there are delays or hangups, and money doesn’t end up where it should.  Lucky break#2: at 5:15 a.m. we were able to withdraw pesos for the weekend.

On to the school!  This was complicated.  The school is really amazing: a pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, computer labs, etc. so it is heavily guarded.  It is also fortified with tall fences and gates to keep out unwanted pests.  I was on the wrong side of that gate.  I explained my situation to the guard, but he wasn’t really willing to take my word for it–or the principal’s note.  While he went to check with his boss, an older guard showed up.  In broken spanish, I explained what I needed, and after a tiny argument between the two of them–I was granted access.  And an escort to my classroom.

I made it to the airport with minutes to spare–and went through security and immigration without a hiccup (Lucky break: #3).  I only had to wait for my plane at the gate for 15 minutes, and then off we went.  On to the next stresser.

With no cell, I really had no way of knowing if my reservation in Hilton Head was taken care of.  Lucky break #4: it was.  My sister had called, and I was the only one on the shuttle!  This was a bit irritating after the rigmarole that I went through when I wanted to reserve a place.  Apparently, I really should have called 24 hours in advance.  Psh.

On to the weekend and the blessings that awaited me…

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