Monday, April 1, 2013

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

This is the 3rd morning in a row I’ve woken cold symptom free so I guess what happened 3 mornings ago was just an anomaly. 

I checked my USAA account and my last small pension deposit showed up but they are all still displayed in black ink with a description of “Uncategorized” so I’m guessing the money isn’t yet available.  Since Sunday isn’t a business day I’m guessing the pension money will be available on Monday and my Social Security will begin to show up at that time.  (Wouldn’t it be ironic if the money became available on Easter Sunday when all the stores were closed?)

2:20pm and a guy walks up the middle of the street yelling something and carrying toilet “innards”.

We have been invited to her friend Judy’s house for Once.  (Remember “once”, pronounced “own say”, literally means eleven but it has also come to mean “snack” as working Colombians traditionally would take a midmorning snack at 11am.)  Reina tells me they live only about 5 blocks away so it should easily be within walking distance.  Luckily today isn’t so hot and it’s overcast.
How quickly things change!

Before we left Reina gave me 150mil and some story about borrowing it from her sister and paying her back out of the money we owe Helen or something like that.  It’s all getting too confusing for me to keep track of everything not to mention the problem trying to figure out translations perfectly.  She also asked me take my debit card to try just in case.  And instead of Once we are going to have a little birthday celebration for Reina (April 1st) at Judy’s.

Since we now have some money we need to stop somewhere and pick up ice cream and cake.  Since we are so familiar with Exito we took a taxi down to Los Malinos Mall which is close to their house.  We stopped at one of the ATH ATM machines and surprise, surprise it gave me the 300mil pesos I requested.  (It’s nice to see the dollar getting stronger!  Today 1830 pesos to the dollar.)

We then walked around the mall but couldn’t find any suitable cake & ice cream.  We checked some of the shops outside around the mall but no luck there either.  So we took a taxi back past our house and then about halfway to downtown and stopped at Carrefour.  There we found a nice large cake, a large tub of ice cream and a bottle of wine.  Reina also picked up balloons, candles shaped like a 4 and a 2 and some other things.   She was unsuccessful at finding a piñata so she also picked up some little candies and little toys.  All this came to 117,750 pesos.

At Evan & Judy’s I played about 4 games of chess with one of the brothers from the paper factory (Andres which I think might translate to Andrew) and another guy I’ve never seen before.  (Won them all!)  While I finished my last game the hostess gave everyone what I would describe as a large slice of hamburger/cold cut/lunch meat (not sure what to call it) on an arepa.  Then everyone gathered around Reina and I sang Happy Birthday to her in English.  Then they lit the 2 candles they had placed on her cake and she blew them out.  Then they lit another larger candle that was in the middle of the cake and I would describe that as a small roman candle.  Next we had cake and ice cream and I apparently made some type of faux pax because I took a piece of cake on a plate and gave it to a teenage girl sitting nearby.  Then Reina divided the candy and toys in a plastic bag and I held it up over the children’s head and she tore out the bottom of our “piñata”.  

Playing chess with Andres.

My 2nd challenger.  Andres was much better.

Reina's 42nd birthday cake 

Blowing out the candles.

Fireworks on a birthday cake!

Let me see you blow out that candle!

Cutting the cake.

Gotta have the vino!

When we got home I checked USAA and it still shows up in black as Uncategorized.  Maybe Saturday is considered a business day after all!?

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