Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Last night I watched the 2002 movie The Pianist (8.5) on Netflix “A polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II” followed by another episode of Persons Unknown.

I went to bed at 11pm, woke up sometime around 3 or 3:30 (forgot to take my enlarged prostate medicine last night – could there be a connection?), and finally got up at 5am.

It’s a very cool morning – about 60 degrees.  I had a coffee and croissant at Los Mejores at 6:30 – no sign of Damaris as expected.

I checked the immigration website and it was updated again on 1/23/14 but my Cedula is still not on the list.

I got an email from James Antle.  He rode his bicycle to Mall de Laureles this weekend and now that he knows where it is we have agreed to meet there on Saturday at noon.

I stopped at Jhon’s office and he has a new student named Carlos.

I stopped in the Viva lower level and took cash out of 2 ATMs and got a rate of 1993 with both.  Margarita, the building owner, and I are trying to figure out what currency exchange rate to use for purposes of my paying her in USD.

I stopped at the Western Union office and asked her what the currency exchange rate is and she said something ridiculous like 1850.  As I was talking to her I noticed 2 armed guards were now standing right outside my door.  The one in the doorway was holding a large pistol but at least he holding it down to his side.  The other guard was on the other side of the narrow hallway holding his shotgun.  I said goodbye to the lady, put my hands up and tried to look worried as I walked out of the office.  The guy with the pistol smiled but not the guy across the hall.

It appears they are building a little separate room (maybe 10’ x 10’) in the hallway just outside Exito.

I stopped at BanColombia and got change for 50mil so I would have the exact cash to pay for lunch and Beatriz tomorrow.  There was only one person ahead of me but she took about 10 minutes.

I priced a set of ear plugs (found with help from a young saleslady) and a stapler.

While I was having a cup of coffee at PacMan in LM, Wilson stopped by and we chatted for a while.

I left the apartment at 1:10 for a 2pm movie at Carrefour (now Jumbo).  I caught a Circular Sur 303 bus (it’s been a while since I’ve gone in this direction) and got off across the street from Makro (grocery store), Home Center (hardware), and Jumbo (like WalMart).  I was inside Jumbo but outside the theatre by 1:45 because it was gated and dark.  I wondered if this was the first showing of the day and they would open at the last minute.  The only other movie info I had with me was for the same movie – but a 5:10 showing at Santafe CC.  If they didn’t open by 2pm then I would have to catch a bus back, stop at the apartment, pick up my other movie & theatre times and start this whole process over again.  I stopped in Carrefour and located and priced the things I wanted to buy before I left.

I was sitting outside the theatre reading my Nook when right at 2pm the lights came on and I could see workers behind the ticket counter.  At 2:10 they opened the gate and I bought a ticket to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (6.6) for 7mil ($3.50).  I bought a small popcorn and medium Pepsi for 14mil ($7).  There were only 4 other people in the theatre for that showing.  One problem I have with this movie is that there are a number of scenes with actors speaking Russian.  In a US theatre the captions would be in English but here they are in Spanish and I could only decipher a few words out of each sentence.  I could have sworn that Mikhail Baryshnikov (born in the USSR) was in this movie but his name isn’t in the credits.  It must have been his twin.

After the movie I stopped in Jumbo real quick and bought a Swingline stapler (with staples and staple remover included) for 17,690, a set of fancy earplugs for 2,440, and a package of 2 AA batteries for 5,990.

I easily caught a Circular Sur 302 bus for the trip back but a couple blocks from Avenida 80 it turned north.  This doesn’t bother me anymore because of so many times I’ve seen the bus attempt to take a detour around traffic.  But this time it stopped and everyone had to get off and get on another bus.  I guess his shift was over.  I believe this has happened to me a couple times before.  

When I got back to the apartment building my key wouldn’t open the door.  I was getting my cell phone out to call Margarita Montes when the door opened and the lady from upstairs let me in and handed me a new key.  I said “muchas gracias” several times.

Since I had finished rewriting the specs for my chess table I copied it onto a flash drive and had 2 copies of the single page printed out for 600 pesos.  Next step is to have Jhon okay the Spanish translation.  Since I was in the area I had to stop at Paisa Pan for a cup of coffee and a churro for 1,600 pesos.  I was surprised to see Pawn Shop (I think that’s what the series is called) on their TV being broadcast in English.  Of course whenever they listed something on the screen it was in Spanish as well as all the commercials.  After that I walked over to LM and had a fresh mango juice at Comedor de Chava.

Margarita and I have agreed to identify the currency exchange rate that I will use for my monthly rent payments.  The last day of the month I will withdraw a small amount from my ATM and that currency exchange rate is what we will use (before my 1% foreign transaction fee).

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