July 1, 2005

7/1/05 Almansa Spain

And Your Credit Card Doesn't Work Either

I think I woke up refreshed but I don't remember. It's been 'another' one of those days.

After class, we went to the bank to get a cash advance on my VISA card. It's the worst exchange rate, but it should tide me over until I get my ATM card situation fixed. But NOOO! You can't get a cash advance outside the USA. Guess a few travelers checks would have been a good idea after all.

So here's what we know. I can use the VISA to make purchases but I have no spending money. That might work, but there is always something that you need cold hard cash to pay with. For example a taxi, or a beer. I hated to ask because I didn't know if it would be imposing too much, but I finally asked Amparo if her business could give me a cash advance. In the end, she thought it was a good idea and it was no problem.

But wait, it's not over yet folks. Amparo set up the school and the hostel as two separate businesses even though they occupy the same building. So my charge for the tuition and cash advance went through. But when she tried the lodging charge, the machine said 'nada.' I think I was as close to loosing it as I've ever been.

While Amparo called around to see why the card was rejected, I was emailing my mom (through my uncle) and the bank in Kansas City to fix my ATM card situation. Just like I thought, they'll mail the new card to my billing address, then mom can send it to me. And the passwords for both the ATM and VISA cards should come soon after that. Hopefully by next weekend, all my cash flow worries should be over.

And just to put your mind at ease, my VISA had only been rejected because of connection problems (frequent in Spain I'm told) and it eventually went through OK.

Did laundry and had my final dinner with Amparo. Later after helping Santi move some more furniture (they live in a third floor walk up), we went for a walk in the cool night air. It's amazing here. It was midnight and whole families were out for walks, getting a bite to eat and spoiling the kids with ice cream. Midnight!

Santi was going to take me to the bus stop around 3:30AM, so I knew I probably wasn't going to get much sleep tonight. Finished packing and actually dozed off.