Ain’t it amazing how fast the wheels can fall off? And how quickly follows the body panels, the chrome, nuts and bolts, lights and indicators, and finally bits of the chassis. Leaving the poor sucker ( me ) sitting in the middle of the proverbial road in a carseat.
That’s what happened today. One simple f-up, which I wasn’t even responsible for. Can you guess? An ATM swallowed my Visa card. The machine tells me it’s working. OK. I insert the card. The ATM flashes the message ‘out of order’. The lights around the card slot flash – ‘expect some action here’. Nothing. It doesn’t return my card. Pretty soon it shuts down.
With the help of some locals, I call the number on the machine. They ask me every question they can think of, and 20 minuteps later tell me I might get my card back in 3 working days. Or not. No apology, let alone offer of compensation.
After calling my bank in NZ, the extent of the sh*t starts to dawn on me. My phone is running low on credit. I need to be able to call people. I can’t check in to any hotels with no cash. Luckily the scooter is well-stocked on gas. But I have no real food reserves.
Yes, I know, I know. Beginners’ mistake, shoulda shoulda got travel insurance. But even if I had that, it’s a long weekend here, and how are the insurers going to give me cash.
I tried Western Union, but can’t for some reason can’t SEND the cash ( online ) to RECEIVE here. Maybe it’s Kiwibank, but by the time I’d discovered that, they’d closed.
An understanding worker at a local bank I have an account with ( but next to no funds ), was kind and sharp enough to call the hotel, and ask them to extend credit of sorts. I get to stay here, and pay later. So I have a roof over my head, and for now, a little food.
For now. Not sure how I’m gonna reassemble the jalopy ( see above ) tomorrow.