Sick of the cold – the cold made me sick (Brooklyn, USA)

What would a countdown be with a last minute cold that makes you sneeze and sniff nonstop, not to mention feeling achy? My head feels like a brick and my nose is beyond red. Joy.  But I ignore these things in general and only tend to them when I’m finally winding down for the night.

Today I called my bank to inform them about my upcoming trip. I have a great credit card that charges me an arm and a leg for a foreign transaction fee but they could charge me even more if they actually let me use it abroad. Everytime I try it my transactions are denied. So in order to prevent potential money emergencies I let the bank know where and when I’ll be going. 

The call was painful. The guy on the phone, not Indian for once but unfortunately not much better at mastering the art of enunciating comprehensive English, had clearly never seen a globe before. I have to remind myself that this is in no way unusual in this country, however taking “Malawi” down as “Maui” and then “Maryland” is a bit questionable when I had just explained that I’ll be traveling around another continent and outside of the U.S.  To save some time and probably the embarrassment of having to write down complete gibberish on his sheet when it came to the country names he then suggested we simply call it a trip to South Africa, although it’s actually even more likely that he didn’t know that South Africa is a country much like the others, it just happens to be in the south of…well, Africa.  After a painful 35 minutes on the phone I asked him to read the list back to me, mostly for entertainment reasons, but he declined and gave me a confirmation number instead. Oh boy.   This actually reminds me of an  earlier incident in which I had to do some password recovery work with someone over the phone. The actual details escape me now but basically the whole problem was that I often use location or city names as passwords or their reminders and the customer service rep couldn’t spell the simplest of them because she had never heard of these places. I’m talking major cities here. It was humiliating for both of us… and I learned my lesson. Since then I have been using words that definitely need to be spelled out as it’s basically impossible for an English speaker with no other language skills to pronounce them. So, there!

Aside from the call I also had a great lunch in the city today, steak salad that looked appetizing but I couldn’t taste as my taste buds have been defeated by the cold. I then tried to find a replacement bulb for my huge lava lamp because obviously that is a priority when I’m not even going to be here to look at it. It was a failed mission as the bulbs for these lamps no longer come in the required wattage.

I then rode my bike over to my friend’s house as the weather for the next 3 days is supposed to be bad and I just needed to do one more useful thing today. My list of to do’s or to “look up”s has shrunk considerably as I’m just too lazy for these items now. They can wait. I did however sync my ipod a million times to load the newly purchased audiobooks onto it. Somehow that was a disaster, the audiobooks do appear but not where they should and although I know exactly what settings they should have they are all over the place and nobody on the mighty internet knew why either. I’ll manage (if I even get to them on the trip).


And now a word about world politics. Tunisia, yay! Well done, with the getting rid of the president and all that. But quite selfishly it does worry me a bit that the other countries up there (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan) are thinking of being copycats. I mean…I’m all for freedom all around, but whatever happens, can it please be over with by the time I’m up there? Around May/June would be fantastic. Thank you!


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