Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lazy days of summer

Here in Belize that phrase has a different meaning for me than it did up in Oregon. Up there it seemed that the weather is still warm, but the nights are getting a little cooler and you should just sit back and enjoy the slow, winding down. Here, it's just too hot to do much else. I feel guilty as lots of the local folks (Rene for one) keep working all day, heat and all. It just wipes me out. It will rain for a while one day and then be hot for the next few. Today dawned cloudy, but didn't feel like rain, so I quickly did a couple of loads of laundry. I'm probably repeating myself again, but I do laundry the Belizean way. I either haul water or use the hose to till a washer that agitates, then I move the clothes to a tub on the side, which spins the clothes. It's reminiscent of the wringer washer system my grandmother used. Anyway, I hung the clothes on the line, ate a bite of breakfast and then had to head to town to get the Trooper licensed. This wonderful event is once-a-year, as is the insurance, and a pain in the "neck" (insert your own body part of choice). We always have to wait our turn, which can mean a long time unless we assert the fact that we were there ahead of others. Then they may or may not inspect the car. Now we're talking here about a 1990 Trooper with 280k miles. We checked all the lights before leaving home and they all worked. We just had the emergency brake fixed, so we felt in pretty good shape. Well this happened to be one of the times that he wanted to check the car. The left headlight is held in place by a piece of wire and always heads a little bit off to the left. He pointed out that it was not very bright. Was he refering to me or the car? Of course the sun was blinding us and boiling my brains out, but I couldn't argue with him. Luckily, Art popped up about then and whispered to him that this car is not driven at night and is only our security system. Hi smiled and let the rest of the check go. Way to go Art! Of course then there is another fellow to double check the paperwork and then you go to the cashier. Here we had to wait in line behind a couple relicensing a taxi. They were shuffling with the money an bro't out a wad that looked like hundreds of dollars. Turned out to be his fares, so was two's (yes in Belize they use paper twos that are blue) and fives along with a bunch of US ones. The clerk had to sort it all, turn the buills around, shuffle, shuffle. I was ready to jump the counter and do it for them, but they finally agreed on the amount and it was our turn to hand over $200 and wait for the poor girl to hand write all the papers. My little voice has to keep say, "this is a 3rd world country, it's an emerging nation, it will be over soon!" Miraculously it was. The weird thing is that here, rather than getting license tabs, you get a sticker for your windshield. We always put the sticker on the passenger side. Now, they're demanding that the stickers go on the driver's side. It's to make it more convenient for the transportation inspector to check when he stands in the middle of the road at a checkpoint. Of course, you might hit him as your vision will be impaired because of the stickers, but ours is not to reason why. (Little voice says, "get a grip Gale, you'll be out of there soon). Oh joy, I get to do this again next month when the license for the pickup expires.

After we left there it was off to Three Flags (market) and the bank. The line at the bank can be long and take forever, so we stopped and got a coke before heading home. We had a bite of lunch and then, our energy flagged and it's an afternoon of reading and just gentle chores. I'm seeing the practicality of the mid-day siesta. My trouble is that it's stretching out longer and longer. Wow, looks as tho' I may be retired!


Wilma said...

Hi Gale,

we are trying to prepare ourselves for this way of doing business, but I have a sneaking suspicion that no matter how prepared we think we are that the reality will hit us hard! Thanks for writing about your day to day trials and triumphs.

Our house here in Minnesota goes on the market this Friday. Our fingers are crossed ...


Dreamer farm said...

Oh my gosh, Wilma. That is so great. Good luck. Everything here is manageable, just different. You're so right about not being as prepared as you think you are. We're surprised all the time by difficulties and sometimes by the lack of. You folks will have different trials than we do because of your location. It looks wonderful there. So exciting. Keep us posted. Gale

sandy a said...

When we got our car titled in Belize, I was surprised to see that the title was a handwritten form, with the printed seal of Belize on it...looks like something I could make on a printer.