Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The cats are disappointed

We have sort of settled into our temporary apartment in Carmel. It is compact and there is little danger of us losing anything in it. The cats are disappointed with the straitened circumstances in which they find themselves and probably think that Cate has lost her job.

We have been assuring them that this confinement is only temporary and that they will love their new house which has many rooms which they will be able to explore.

It took them a few days to settle down and Monika spent some time under the bed.

Some things have been more challenging than others. We had extraordinary difficulty buying gas because we don’t have local credit cards and you cannot use a foreign credit card – and people are astonished at the sight of cash.

It took us 5 minutes of negotiations to be able to pay cash – and it was a close call as to whether or not we would get any gas at all. We had to nominate the amount of gas we wanted and then pay in advance. At the conclusion we asked the attendant if there were ever any other people who did not have local credit cards.

She said they had an English girl there once. She did not say whether or not the English woman was successful in buying gas or if she abandoned her car in the driveway like we were considering doing.

Most conversations about anything at all start with people asking for your social security number. We fall at this hurdle and are being punished significantly because of this. We are paying penalty rates on our house insurance because we do not have social security numbers or a credit record.

This makes as much sense as many other things that have happened. What does my credit record matter if I am paying in advance?

However – I love my local Kroger store and have signed up for their rewards program. Apparently the more I buy – the bigger the discounts I get on gas at Shell gas stations. I will be happy to get any at whatever price.  

We have a pool in our apartment block and ducks swim in it. This makes me happy but is unlikely to impress the other residents.


  1. Poor kitties, not being able to roam for half a day before coming back to the base must be so very frustrating!

    Ha, the credit card issue! I was not even able to pay with an American one at the pump because I was confused about which zip code they wanted. At least the days of paying by cheque are gone, no more showing to picture IDs. I remember a sort of urban legend going around, about a guy wanting to pay cash and he was asked for an ID (sounds more plausible now than back then, what with no one carrying cash anymore).

  2. I meant to write "two picture IDs".

  3. Welcome to the land of the free

  4. I am glad you have ducks. I would like to be able to hide under my bed, but either the space is too smaLL or I am too big. I try to be imaginitive when I play hide-and-go-seek with Cooper.

  5. Apropos water fowl: Have you ever visited Arija's blog? A fellow Australian, she captured the most wonderful nature scenes, ducks today ->Arija's blog. Enjoy the virtual travel!

  6. The ducks in the pool says it all.

  7. Merisi: I have to get used to it. It will be months before I have a credit card. I will have a look at Arija.

    EBB: Thanks

    esbboston: The space is so small I am amazed the cats can fit under there. But they are over it now.

    fmcgmccllc: Yes indeed.

  8. glad you are settling in.. sorta! oh yes the amazing vegetable section at a Kroger! You need to find a bed bath and Beyond store..
    You arriving in the States of course meant that I was to leave, well not for a year but still. Hubby has a new position in Lima Peru!

  9. oh and if you need help give me a shout. should be able to talk you through about anything..

  10. Trina: I have already found my BB and B store. Thanks for your kind offer. Wow Lima - another language for you to learn.