Last night after so much heartache, disbelief – who knew that losing a wallet would be so terrible? - we all returned to our apartment. I went out to the local pub so I could get online (no internet at our apartment, but it’s free at the pub!) I needed to cancel our credit cards and freeze our bank accounts and I knew it would take hours. THAT was the big nightmare.
Hannah went with me and after my 4th skype phone call to yet another “press 2 for lost cards…” automated phone call (by the way, those calls are impossible to make in a loud Dublin pub – just sayin’) I was very, very thirsty.
I asked Hannah to take my last €5 up to the bar to get me a cider. She was 30¢ short, but an American fellow at the bar offered to come to her rescue. She quickly explained to him that she was just in high school, and was getting the cider for her mom (who’d had her wallet stolen)
I watched as the fellow chivalrously paid for the drink, and I could tell Hannah was a little blown away by the experience when she came back to the table.
Gerry said later, “Well, she feels terrible about leaving your bag behind at the bus stop, but it’s got to be a great night when a guy buys you your first drink…”
For The Birds
Cards canceled, Han and I returned to the apartment and we all watched The Birds on TV. The kids had not seen it before, it was EXACTLY what we needed; we laughed and laughed as a family, and somehow we were able to get our heads on straight.
The cleansing properties of a wonderful, terrible, suspense film are highly underrated.
It sucks that I happened to have most of our credit cards (all but one American Express card) in my wallet last night, something I NEVER DO.
And, further, it sucks that I had ALL of our money (well, all but a €50 euro bill Gerry had) in my wallet.
But sadly, I did. Those are the breaks.
No Rest For The Wicked
This morning I was up early and walked all over the Dublin city center looking for ANY bureau de change that would be open on Bank Holiday – none were.
I stopped in at the Garda (Police) station only to discover that the crime report wouldn’t be ready until Tuesday. Bank Holiday.
I also looked into a hotel for Monday night in case we had to stay over another day, and I talked with a very nice guy at one place who offered a good rate AND said they’d accept American Express. It felt so good to have a back up plan in case we weren’t able to take our scheduled bus to Lifford.
So we loaded up the luggage train and took the light rail to the Busaras (Irish for Bus Station) where – after emptying our collective pockets and coming up with €60 – we learned we were €5 short for the family fare to Lifford.
And, of course, the bus line would not take American Express.
I knew that the folks at This Is Knit would help us out, but they were closed for Bank Holiday (oh, how I am learning to HATE those words) We could have called our host family, but we had no cell phone and the pay phone or my computer’s skype just wasn’t accepting the number I was typing in. I am evidently missing something very basic and very important about dialing a phone in Ireland.
Short of having the kids tap dance in front of the statue of Michael O’Connell, we just didn’t see how we’d scrape together the last €5 euros. Such a small amount, but when you don’t have a phone, don’t really know anyone AND it’s a bank holiday, it might as well be €500.
The Kindess Of Knitters
We dragged our sorry suitcases back to the hotel I’d investigated earlier and explained our situation to the new woman at the desk, who happened to be a knitter. AND, because knitters are very kind and special, she volunteered to lend us €5. Hannah was the first to say, “Yes!” – and we all agreed. The kind woman was lovely, and I gave her a few of my books as a thank you.
Once again back with all of our luggage to the Busara (It was very smart us to by a 1-day light rail pass the day before – and even smarter for Gerry to put it in HIS wallet, huh?) to triumphantly purchase our ticket, onto the bus for Lifford and 4 hours later our host family was driving us back to their lovely home. Huzzah.
They’ll be leaving for St. Paul on Wed, they’re just a wonderful couple and we’ve bonded pretty well already. It’s lovely here, and if the local banks can’t give us a cash advance on our Amex card, our hosts have agreed to allow us to paypal them some funds and then ‘cash a check’ for that same amount.
So we’re good – we are safe – and we are very lucky. It could have been much worse. We’re all good, we all have our passports, I have my camera and my knitting, and we’ll get the cards replaced and the money is just money.
And we will never put all of our “eggs” in one wallet again.
Now if I could just figure how to get my driver’s license replaced we’d be golden!
A huge, heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to anyone who helped us scrape together our stolen funds. Your love and kindness are overwhelming!
If I haven’t already, I’ll be writing to each of you when I’m not half asleep tomorrow! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!