March 9th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

Errands, errands.  Odd how little jobs which are just accepted + accomplished as a matter of course back home, here are raised to an importance out of all proportion, almost becoming the sole raison d’etre for the day.  I don’t think travelling can be regarded as a carefree life.  Rather, it seems to heap cares upon one – hows, wheres, whens (occasionally even whys.)  Anyway, I sent Val off packing to the AmEx office, while I went round to change some money, + then move on to other tasks.  However, while I was still waiting in line at the Moneychanger’s, Val came trotting merrily up.  The girl who had dealt with us yesterday was only a relief, + today the regular guy had had no hesitation in paying out all the money straight away.  So we’d had all that walking to do for nothing!  Ho hum.

Next, tried to get some kerosene, but they don’t seem to have any in the city, so back for a glass of milk then to the hotel.  Round 2.  A secondhand bookshop first, to exchange the William Faulkner book I’d bought (+ read), but they had nothing that was any good, so we gave up on that.  Then we split up again – Val to go to the PO, me to the bus station to reserve some tickets for tomorrow.  Couldn’t find it, so came back to pick up my glasses in for repair, + there met Val again.  She put me straight on how I’d gone wrong with the bus station (getting my avenidas mixed up with my calles) so off I went again – booking us out of town at 4 tomorrow.  On the way back, called in at Steve’s pension, + tho’ he wasn’t there, “Barnaby Rudge” was, so William Faulkner swiftly took his place.

Returned for a positively nasty meal – we cooked up some soya meat with leeks.  The leeks were nice, the meat rubbery + tasteless, + then left, feeling both full + unsatisfied.  Went back to Steve’s, mainly to fetch a book – exchanging Gore Vidal for Hemingway.  Chatted for a short while – usual subjects: food, travel, + then, when they disappeared to go back to the Hindu place, Val + I went to the pictures.  A long walk to the other end of town, but a very plush cinema, + good film – “The 4 Seasons”.  Not ambitious, but very well done.  Then hot chocolate + donuts – a very satisfactory end to the day.

And after the frustrations of yesterday, quite a positive day… in particular regarding our AmEx adventure.  Note that I refer to “I sent Val off packing to the AmEx office; I doubt that I had that sort of authority – we very much decided things together – but I certainly wouldn’t refer to it in such a way nowadays.  So I suppose that’s some sort of progress.

Barnaby Rudge was a real find.  I am a huge fan of Dickens, and this, to make things even better, was one I had never read (or even knew about, actually.)  Perfect to transport me out of Central America and into Georgian London, on a regular basis.

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