Sunday, August 14, 2011

You Can't Get There from Here

One night last week, while I was driving Tim home from work, he saw a KFC.  Craving normal, familiar, American food, he asked "can we stop there?"  I said, "no, you can't get there from here."

That seems to be the case a lot here.  Something that seems like it should be so simple just never is.  I was reminded of that yet again today...

We opened a bank account yesterday.  We would have opened one sooner, but you need your passport to do that, and Tim's passport was in Abu Dhabi (I think) for the past 3 weeks.  They must have thought his visa picture was handsome.  So now we had the visa and we had checks from the sale of my car and from closing my American bank account.  We also had a letter from Tim's company confirming that he was employed and would make X amount.  Ready to open a bank account??  Almost.  The account is open.  We have our credit card applications in, and we're getting emails welcoming us to the bank.  But that branch didn't accept foreign checks.  Ok.  No problem.  I'll just go on Sunday to the one that does.

The bank is theoretically about 10 km from where we live.  It took me an hour and  a half to find it.  The problem is, if you take the wrong ramp, it's almost impossible to just turn around and go the other way.  Tim and I ran into this problem in the same area before... you have to go MILES out of your way to turn around... in a round-about.... which is poorly marked by signs that are a foot off the ground and really don't help you if you only see them when you're already passing them... and you're in the far right lane and your exit was all the way over in the left lane.  So I ended up on this never ending, unmarked road leading me out into the desert.... for the second time since we've moved here.  Except this time I didn't have my co-pilot.  Panic threatened to take over.  I couldn't find where I was on the map, and I was 100% sure what road I was actually one.  I needed Tim.  (this is one good thing about all our adventures.... we really have learned to work together and depend on each other a whole lot more)

Tim listened as I vented about the poor signage and my despair at being once again lost in the desert, and 2 text messages, 3 phone calls, 3 more round-abouts & a few tears later, I was heading in the right direction.  I miraculously pulled up at the bank.  I was quite proud of myself.  Yes, I had gotten a little lost, yes I had shed a tear or two out of frustration, but I made it to the bank!  I had successfully navigated the wilderness and could deposit my checks that I've been carrying around for 3 weeks.  I walked out of the sweltering 115 degree desert heat into the comforting AC of the lobby. 

The gates were down.

I turned to the security guard (who was a good 6 inches shorter than I) and asked "can I deposit my checks from the US?"  He said "oh the bank is closed mum, you come back tomorrow."

That's when the sobbing started.

"But it (sniff sniff) took me over (wimper sniff) an hour to (sniiffffffff) FIND IT!!!!  (SOB!!!!!)"

That poor security guard just stared at me, helpless and obviously wishing I would stop crying. 

It's times like these when I could use a glass of wine.  Oh wait, we don't have our liquor license.  I guess I'll just eat the rest of the cookies in my cupboard and try to make it to the bank again tomorrow.

****On a much happier note, I'd like to congratulate my dear dear friend Rebecca and her husband Tom on the birth of their BEAUTIFUL daughter Lily Francis Stranix.  Good job making such a cute kid guys!  Welcome to the world Blueberry!  Love, Aunt Kari****


  1. Awww, that totally sucks. I had no idea you had to have a liquor license! Is it like a drivers license? Do you have to take a test and prove you can handle your liquor? Or identify based on taste or smell? I hope you get it before football season!!! Sounds like your live is an adventure for sure!

  2. So... if the bank was closed, wtf was the security guard doing working? So sorry lady...

  3. Aww Kari. So sorry that you have to go through all that. :( -Dale