In Search of an ATM
23 September 2013
September 23, 2013
All I wanted was to get our Mexican fishing licenses. I went on the internet and found Conapesca, the Oficina de Pesca, here in San Diego. I gave Siri (on the Iphone) the address, and off I went.
Sounds simple enough. Only I didn't listen to that little voice. The one that said I should call and check what I needed to bring before I left. But I had a file of any and all possible paperwork I might need and surely they take credit cards, I thought.
But, no. They didn't take credit cards. This was, after all, "The Government of Mexico- Department of Fishing," and they accepted only money orders and cash. (Let's just call this my first lesson in dealing with the Mexican government.)
"Siri, where is the nearest Bank of America?"
"There are five Bank of America's in your area and two look close to you."
I chose the closest one, which was just less than a mile and decided to get some exercise and walk. I put money in the meter and off I went. Now, mind you, it was noon, 85 degrees and I was wearing flat sandals with absolutely no support. Still, it was a nice walk in which I discovered Balboa Park.
What a wonderland! Acres and acres of parkland with countless museums, theaters, music halls, water fountains and gardens. Not to mention the infamous San Diego Zoo. Much of the architecture is Spanish Renaissance and so, even though I didn't get to enjoy the culture, the sightseeing was spectacular. (Note to self - I must come back here.)
So mesmerized I was with the enormity and style of Balboa Park that I slowed down my steps trying to take in the scenery. Soon I realized that I had only put an hour's worth of coins in the meter and so, if I didn't want a parking ticket, I had better pick up the pace.
I usually ask Siri for driving directions, but these were walking directions and after I got close to where she claimed the ATM to be, I began to wonder if I had made a mistake, or maybe, she had made amistake.
I checked the time. I had been gone almost a half hour already and had only a half hour left. I was so close, according to Siri, but... She seemed to be directing me to a place that looked beautifully landscaped but with no buildings. I checked the time again.
Darn it! I think I'm close, but I have to head back or I might get a ticket. I turned around and walked quickly back to my car with only minutes to spare.
Not one to give up, I decided to take the car to this illusive ATM. Once again, I asked Siri for directions and I was off.
"You have arrived at your destination." Siri told me. I pulled over and parked still wondering where it was she was taking me. I got out of the car and began, again, on foot. (By this time, my feet were really hurting.) I never did find the ATM, but I did find a beautiful rose garden.
Back in the car, I asked, "Siri, where is the nearest Bank of America?" This time I ignored the closest suggestion and went with the next closest one.
"You have arrived at your destination." she told me again.
"Yeah, we'll see about that" I muttered under my breath. I was in a parking lot of an Albertsons. Sure enough, inside was an ATM and I withdrew the dire-needed cash.
So, two miles of walking, ten miles of driving and two hours later, I walked out of Conapesca with our fishing licenses. (Did I mention there was a Wells Fargo ATM right outside the Conapesca, but I wanted to save the $2 fee?)
Oh my, if this is how I get around in our country, one can only imagine what it will be like for me to navigate through Mexico.