Friday, September 26, 2008

Boy, am I bitchy today!

Yeah, that's right: bitchy... No, it is not a misspelling of beachy... I feel far from beachy today....

I feel, I feel... almost as disgusted as my profile portrait ;-)!

You see: my stomach hurts. A lot! For a few days now and alka seltzer, pink soup and even immodium seem not to make it better. So I need to find a doctor and make an appointment.

My real estate agent, Aida Martinez, (AIM Realty), who is a local Cabo Rojan, and a very nice person, recommended two. I call, ask if the receptionist speaks English... and hear no.

(I am surprised. Just a moment ago I called a local vet to make an appointment for my cat and the vet's assistant spoke decent English. While the doctor's assistant doesn't. Is it because most people who take care of pets here are English speakers... and the vet would not make any money catering to Spanish speakers only??? Told you I was feeling particularly bitchy today...)

She does not even try. Nor does she utter a polite disclaimer " I am sorry" or "lo siento". (And SHE is an American citizen, while I am not! The b... word again...) She just says "no".
Yet, instead of deciding right then and there to end this attempt at conversation, I do try my Spanish.

I explain that my stomach hurts and I need an appointment. ("Yo tengo mucho dolor de estomago y necessito pronto una cita con doctor ..."). She asks my name, tells me October 2nd and asks what kind of plan I have. All in Spanish, but that much I understand.

I have a stomach pain now and she tells me to come a week from now? And without specifying an hour? Or telling me the address? So I ask ... and she gets irritated and speaks now in this rapid fire Boricua, which to me is almost totally incomprehensible.. it does not even resemble the Spanish Spanish I know a bit of. Sigh...

I ask her to speak slower, she speaks even faster. And this only about specifying time and address. And keeps asking about my insurance and telling me "no". I tell her, don't worry, no se preocupe, knowing I am unable to explain to her that my "plan" will pay for any doctor's fees, but she tells me "no".

A rude, obstinate idiot, who should never be allowed to work with people. What kind of a doctor, I think, hires such a stupid bitch as his assistant?

Do I want to see such a doctor? I decide I do not want - let me rather die of stomach pain : he should have had enough sense to hire someone more educated and nicer. (Unless she is his wife... or lover... but then I definitively do not want to see him: the guy's judgement can't be trusted!) So I throw the receiver down in frustration.

And then I laugh at myself: why am I not mad at myself for not knowing adequate amount Boricua? Good question. Perhaps I am getting too old to learn effectively?
I did not have a problem in communicating in Spanish with medical support staff in Spain... they often do not speak English in the public medical system there either (but private doctor's assistants did), but they at least spoke Spanish, slowly, distinctly, like to a foreigner... ;-)

My stomach hurts... a lot... and I am sick of Puerto Rico... again (yesterday I dealt with car licence... don't get me started!!!!) and I want back to a civilized country: be it USA (which is not quite civilized, either, but at least medical staff there knows how to behave... and speaks English), be it even Spain... anything, ANY COUNTRY would be more logical and better organized than Puerto Rico!!!

Told you I was particularly b...y today, didn't I???

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cabo Rojo got floooooooooded!

Yesterday driving to work on small roads I absentmindedly drove into a waterfloded part of rd 311. First when I was in about the middle of it and the water pushed by my car created a fountain over its mask I got slightly scared thinking "I should not have done it"... especially that my Mazda is really low. I remembered, though, to push steadily, do not stop and do not drive too fast. Uff, I made it! But a few hundred meters furtehr down the road I noticed an even bigger, scarier looking flood over the road and three cars, including 2 pickups turning away. So I turned away, too. I followed the other cars through a maze of narrow village paths and got to a major road.
And now in El Nuevo Dia I see what the part of rt 311 that I did not attempt to cross looked like (see picture 29) from the other side ! Boy, am I glad I did not attempt to drive through it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

sunset before the storm

That's what the sunset from my balcony looked liked yesterday. And soon after that another tropical depression happened. Rain and light and sound effects all night. The cats were running wild disturbing my sleep. This morning I had an early meeting in a place I was not quite sure I knw how to find, so I got up early, braved the torrential rain, drove in the water pools one could drown in .... just to be told - when I finally got there - that the meeting was canceled due to inclement weather. Soon after I learned that my office was closed, as well, for the same reason: rain, fog, tropical depression. So I went home, picked up my laptop and decided to go to Borders, try my luck with internet... since I still haven't manage to unpack and install my TV (why? I have no idea how to do it and the maintenance guys are never there where I am), much less to get cable internet.
The connectivity at Borders is spotty today - you guessed it : tropical depression - but it is better than nothing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

He really is LUCKY!

The lucky chavo!

On Saturday I did laundry and airing in the morning: most of the stuff I brought from the casita, although clean, had this somewhat musty smell, so I decided to wash it again. I hanged blankets and bed linens on the balcony: both on a clothes line and on all the railings ....and went to work for a few hours.

Came back and noticed one of the cats missing: Fortuno. I called and called but to no avail.
Familiar with the cats hiding habits I decided to give it a few hours: perhaps he found a well camouflaged place to sleep? Behind the refrigerator? Or the washing machine?

But when Fortuno did not show up at the evening feeding, I decided he must have somehow fallen off the balcony... and ... with it being full of laundry, I somehow did not notice.

Went down, talked to kids playing on the beach. They assured me that they did not see him, but would call me as soon as they did ( I offered a reward for his return, just in case). Then I walked around the entire resort calling my cat... and when I was almost back to my building, I noticed something in the bushes across the place I use to park my car. I called "Fortuno" and there he was! Cautious at first he smelled my hand and let me pick him up and carry home.
The jungle cat fell two stories down and was totally unharmed! Moreover, a cat, who never saw a multistory building almost found his way home. A lucky, lucky cat indeed!

Today I am off to Home Depot to buy a plastic net to secure my balcony (as much as possible) from cats "raining" down from it in the future.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well, if you think the pace of work here is the island laissez faires, think again!
I started my new assignment a week ago, and
  • had to deal with the first part of my move (from Aguada - successfully accomplished, thank's heavens, though I had to spend four hours cleaning my old place myself - something I haven't done in a very long while, - because the person I hired to do it failed to report to work both on Monday and on Tuesday... and did not answer my calls),
  • both Hanna and Ike, which "winged" us, dreanching us with rain, wreacking havoc with upturned trees, fallen power lines, no electricity and water for a few days,
  • trying to coordinate the second part of my move - from Patillas - dealing with well meaning - I presume - but not quite up to the task help (and this is putting it mildly),

... when a bomb hit me:
the organization, that I am working with now, decided to hold a BINGO on Sunday, the 14th, giving me - practically, considering all the other things, both professional and personal I have to do and deal with at the same time - less than a week to design a promotion and execute it!

....And I have never even SEEN a bingo being played in my entire life, much less participated in it, so I am clearly at a disadvantage here :-(((

I guess this is the thrill I was looking for to "adventure up" my so called golden years, when I chose my retirement "encore career " :-)))

But I hope all of you, living near Mayaguez will help me spread the word among your neighbors and friends. Here is a flyer for the general public you can (please, pretty please... it is for a very good cause) print and distribute to help AMPI ... and me:



BINGO FaMiliar

La Asociación Mayagüezana de Personas con ImpedimentoS, Inc.

invita a toda la comunidad MAYAGUEZANA


AL GRANdioso BINGO BENEFICO, El cual se llevara a cabo:

FECHA: domingo, 14 de Septiembre de 2008.




HORA: 1:00 P.M. A 5:00 P.M.

HABRA entremeses, aLMUERZO, postres, refrescos, REGALOS Y MÁS.

Para mas información llame al: 787-832-7460

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September - an interesting beginning

During the first night at my new place Poseidon decided to have a fit about something and unleashed a spectacle of all night long lightning and thunders... just as electricity indoors died.
My cats got frightened out of their wits, scrambled onto my bed... and punctured it... so I woke up sinking to the bottom of it. Great! All I need right this moment is to buy a new bed!

But wait, it got better. Torrential rain accompanied me on my way to the second day of work. Between leaving the car and entering the building, despite having an umbrella, I was thoroughly soaked. Back to the car, where I had lots of as yet unloaded items, among them a bag with dry clothes: not very professional: jeans shorts and tshirt, but since my "professional" silk skirt and blouse did not look professional being wet, either, it had to do.

And a good soul offered me pink moroccean slippers, embroidered with stones. Very professional shoes, indeed. But they were DRY!

Anyway, not an hour passed and we received a flash flood warning and the office got closed.

On my way back I drove - dangerously - under a tree that fell over electric lines and when I got home I discovered an overturned palm tree blocking my entrance.

In the late afternoon the situation improved somewhat, I got electricity back! It stayed on until 9 pm, when Poseidon decided to unleash another sound and light spectacle... believe me, you'd rather NOT live directly over an angry sea at such time!

This morning there was neither electricity nor water... either at home or at work... but the sky cleared, the sun came on and with it electricity, at least at work.
Isn't Puerto Rico fun?