You’d think that after more than 65 years that I’d have just about used up all the stupid moves available to me.
They say that “experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”. Ok, so I had yet another experience and I hope I learned.
Well, two days ago I discovered that there is no reason to keep my wallet, with all my credit cards, insurance cards, driver’s license, a good amount of US dollars and other items in my with me at all times.
I wasn’t thinking about the fact that you can’t exchange Greenbacks for Euros here or that I had no need for my US drivers license…or that my various insurance cards are not valid here. In spite of all this I went everywhere with all that stuff in my wallet.
I also never thought carefully about what would happen if I lost my wallet, which I did. I have no idea exactly how it happened but I don’t have it anymore with plenty of US cash, about $150, and about $80 Euros, or my three credit cards and debit card, etc, etc, etc…
Where did I loose it? Hard to say as Brenda and I walked all over the city, stopping at green grocers in the market, along with various other stops along the way. Sadly, as Brenda did most of the credit card transactions that day, I have NO IDEA when I lost it as I can’t just think about the last time I used it. None, nada…
It might have dropped out of my pants pocket, which I generally keep zipped closed and fallen in the water when we were heading back to Pandora in the afternoon or it might have dropped somehow when I was pulling my camera out of the wheelie bag that we were dragging everywhere. I have no idea.
Anyway, I spent several hours that night compulsively poking through Pandora, time and time again, hoping against hope that my wallet was stuck aboard somewhere weird. They say that doing the same thing over and over and yet expecting a different outcome is a marker for insanity. Fair enough…
At this writing, two days later, still no luck. I also retraced my steps from that day and again, no luck. Not that I expected anyone to turn in a wallet stuffed with cash and other valuable things, well valuable to me… I even lost my membership card from the Antigua and Barbuda Royal Navy Tot Club.
I called Bank of America and they said that as long as there are no weird transactions posted, that we can keep using the same cards (Brenda’s of course but the same account). Dud I mention that I lost my wallet? Thought so…
The nice guy at BOA also told me that they could send out new cards and we’d likely have them within about 5 days, allowing time for them to make their way through Customs in Martinique.
Anyway, so far so good, with no suspicious transactions. Fingers crossed. As you can imagine, I was really upset when I could not find my wallet and didn’t get a lot of sleep that first night. However, after spending some time on the phone with the, ever so soothing, BOA rep, I felt a lot better. He suggested that one option is to do nothing and hope that no weird charges are posted as that will trip the canceling of the card, which would be bad.
Not sure what I will do so for now, perhaps nothing, that’s easy, and I’ll just keep my fingers crossed…
So, back to Fort de France, where we are currently anchored. The last time we were here was two years ago, less than two weeks before the pandemic shut down everything. And, once again, this weekend, Carnival will kick into high gear, for the first time since our last visit.
Brenda and I are not certain that we will be comfortable with being in the midst of thousands but we will have to see how the week progresses.
The view from the harbor, with a modern city on one side and a French fort to the other, offers an interesting contrast of old and new with tropical rainforest in the distance. The city skyline is dominated by the St Louis Cathederal, constructed in the late 19th century, the sixth cathedral to occupy that spot. It’s five predecessors, the first built in the 17th century were all destroyed by earthquakes or hurricanes. This one is constructed of cast iron which has held up well for more than 100 years. In spite of many old buildings there are also ultra modern office buildings to the north.And an ancient fort to the South. Every morning at dawn, dozens of locals swim off of the beach, making their way about a half mile out to a channel marker and back. The group seems to be overwhelming women that talk loudly as they make their way out to the buoy and back to the beach, clearly taking their time, chatting the entire way. The fort dominates the southern side of the harbor and at the very end there are design features that look just so French. I can almost hear a French soldier up on the wall tormenting the English, just like in the Monty Python movie, The Search for the Holy Grail. It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful harbor is in the middle of a busy city and with water so clear that you can see down 25′.What harbor shot is complete without a photo of Pandora at anchor? And, with Carnival beginning later this week, it’s getting busier every day. Most nights there are local groups practicing drumming, the constant beat that is so much a part of the celebrations. Brenda and I went out on Sunday evening for a drink and watched as a truck holding dozens of huge speakers made it’s way past us. The crowds were nothing like we will see when the celebrations begin in a few days. As you can imagine, this sort of partying brings out all sorts of interesting characters. How about this set of buns? And, it is a guy. I expect that many women would kill for a set like his. He seemed to be having a great time showing his stuff. I also saw a woman with screaming green hair and an outfit to match. Sadly, no photo…There is plenty of skin on display here in the French islands. The other night, while Brenda and I were enjoying a G&T in the cockpit, a couple motored slowly by in their dink, I guess in the midst of an evening harbor tour. Perched in the bow, unconcerned was the women, topless. Sorry, no photo.
On a nearby small boat, another couple, and every afternoon, she is out doing chores in her birthday suit. “Honey, can you help me reach this block?” Boy buns, girl buns. I need to be fair, right?There is a very long dock on the waterfront to tie up dinks to, it’s several hundred feet long, part of a waterfront park. Adjacent to this is an extensive historic area with narrow streets and alleys. Some of the buildings are scruffy but most very interesting to look at. I enjoyed this café with loads of plantings. It was Sunday when I took this photo when most everything is closed.I thought that this building had some interesting details. Note the contrast of the modern office building in the distance.
There is also a large daily green market, likely where I lost my wallet. I could have purchased a lot of bananas with all the money in that I was carrying. I sure hope whoever picked up the cash had a lot of trouble converting those US dollars.As of today we aren’t sure if we plan on staying here in Ft de France for Carnival but I’ll admit that it is tempting. I guess that depends on how confident we are that our two vaccine doses and booster will be in keeping us safe.
I have no idea where my wallet is but perhaps this photo of Pandora from our friends Stephanie and Jim on Hero offers a clue. Nearby, at the end of the rainbow, perhaps?No wait, is it here aboard, at the end of the rainbow?There you go again Bob, betting on leprechauns. Don’t forget, you are in France, not Ireland so it’s not likely.
Ok, ok, At least I won’t have to worry any more about loosing my wallet.
Live an learn. I wonder what I will learn today? I cringe to think…