The amount of time I waste here in Mexico is astounding. Countless hours sitting in Starbucks surfing the Web notwithstanding (as those squandered hours are of my own choice and making), in the past two weeks I must have spent an average of six hours making wasted trips to the bank, the cell phone store, Office Max, and even the doctor’s office. Ultimately I leave these places feeling frustrated at having spent so much time sitting in traffic to get to there and waiting for help once I am there, and then defeated at not having accomplished the necessary task.
Here is some insight into some of my recent frustrations with life in Mexico:
- I arrive at 5:25 for a 5:30 doctor’s appointment for Asha; I wait thirty minutes, then ask the receptionist how much longer she thinks it will be until we are seen; she replies that she has no idea, but that there are still two patients ahead of Asha, and that the doctor has been in with the same patient since I arrived half an hour ago . . . .
- I go to Office Max to purchase a cheap desk; I attempt to pay for the desk but am told that all desks of that model are out of stock in this store; I am informed that if I wish to buy it today (Tuesday), it can be ordered and delivered to my house on Thursday and assembled for free; not trusting that delivery on Thursday means two days from now versus some random Thursday in 2008, I decide to check at Office Depot instead. Finding nothing but overpriced and unsightly looking desks, I return to Office Max, deciding to take a risk on the delivery. I am then told, by the exact same employee who assured me of delivery Thursday that the desk was not in stock, in any Office Max in all of Mexico City, and that I could not purchase it. He did, however, have a lovely floor model with scratches that I could buy for the same price as a new one, and then hire someone to take it apart from the store and deliver it to my house, for an additional cost.
- I try to obtain a credit card from HSBC, where it took us three months and four trips to simply get a joint checking account; I am told to return several times with additional pieces of information, each time only to be told that I forgot something that I was never before told to bring. To add insult to injury, I am finally informed that I cannot obtain a credit card without my husband’s signature on the application form because, even though I am a joint owner of the account, I do not earn my own money.
So at this point I have no money of my own (according to the Mexicans), no credit card (and accordingly no cell phone because after three trips to the cell phone store, I was finally told that I would not be able to purchase a phone or a plan without a Mexican credit card), and no desk at which I could sit to do any work, if hypothetically I had a job.
What I do have, however, is a slightly battered spirit still determined to face more frustrating but hopefully fruitful trips to the bank, doctor, cell phone and office supply stores this upcoming week.