Ol’ Betsy

I went to Belize this past week. I left on the midnight bus on Monday, arriving in Chetumal around 5:30 AM. The express bus to Flores, Guatemala, via Belize City, left at 6. As we approached Belize City I asked the driver for directions to the regular bus terminal. He told me it would be alright to just ride along with him for the next 30 miles, as he was going that way anyway. After I sat there on the bus, and kept an eye on his bag, a woman entered and asked me where I was going. She told me I had to go into the office and buy a ticket. The ticket cost $10, so I handed them a US 5. No, they said, its’ $10 US. I nearly spit. I knew full well that, from the regular bus station, it was only $3, Belize. So I told them as much and retracted my five dollar bill. Took a taxi over to the terminal, and then paid only $2 for my fare.

Next day was Belmopan day. Transfer the title and collect $1500 Bz for the truck. As luck and Belize would have it…Bruce informed me the day before, that he had lost the title. Replacing it cost me 3 hours and $45. He told Cliff that all the lights were working. it took us the rest of the day to hunt down the parts and get them installed–5 bulbs and a brake light switch. Then a shunt across the front of the engine compartment from o the right headlight to the left. We made it back to the office with 15 minutes to spare. The evening before, I had removed the tool box from the truck, so I wouldn’t forget it. So we bought a 14 mm combination wrench to get the cap off and a crescent wrench for the rest. We drove out to the junction and pulled off under a big shade tree, pulled the cap off and went to work. At some point, Cliff offered the cap to the man selling produce, and that was taken care of. He later gave us some sandpaper and lent a screwdriver. I was promised the money in US$, and was given it in Belize dollars. I lost between 40 and 50 dollars in the exchange to pesos as a result. I boarded the bus from Cheers at around 8:15, arriving in Belize City at 9. At 9:30 I rolled out of town heading North to Chetumal. At 4:30 I headed out of Chetumal for Merida. I met a Finnish woman with a Finnish name I can no longer remember. We shared a snack before she went off to Playa and I to Merida.

I saw red-lored parrots and vermilion flycatchers. The blooming trees include both red and yellow flamboyant, yemeri, Golden Rain, plumeria, mango, give and take, apple blossom, passion vine, african tulip tree, several orchids and a couple others I don’t know.

I stepped off the bus a 10 PM into very warm air. The high that day had been 107 F, and it was certainly still in the mid nineties at that hour. I walked the eight blocks home.

Connie and I just returned home from our 17th anniversary dinner at the Hotel Residential; then took the dogs for a walk to look at a house for sale on 84 between 55 and 57. Tomorrow the workers come and begin to work on the front two rooms, repairing the ceilings and installing skylights before removing the second floor altogether.

Connie and I spent yesterday afternoon and all day today removing the tile and doors and carrying them downstairs. I removed my first commode today, with a hammer.


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