Someday We Will See the Sights

We have to be out of our room by noon, breakfast options are few and far between. We were warned that many things would be closed today since it was a public holiday. This is the day when the Muslims slaughter the sacrificial animals: cows, pigs, chickens, and sheep. Thankfully, it is a family event and not a public one, but all government offices, banks, and many shops are closed. This did not stop the street vendors in our China town area from breaking open for business this morning. Even women who were obviously Muslim by their dress were out shopping around for bargains. As a last resort, we went to the great market in search of coffee. It is difficult to find here in restaurants. The only place there serving java is the White Coffee Company. As it turned out, this is more of a coffee enhanced creamy white drink served hot, rather than real honest to goodness down to earth Arabica bean coffee. We took a long walk to the old colonial train station. The design was interesting, but it is used for a limited number of passenger trains now. By the time we returned, it was time to get our gear and get out of our hotel, but we had two hours to kill before we could check into the new place. Starbucks offers free WiFi Internet access in all of their stores and without a time limit. We hunkered down there and downloaded e-mail, mostly spam with 732 messages caught in the spam filter. One message I wish were spam was a notice from Bank of America. They cut off my ATM card due to suspicious activity; country unknown; if this is an error, please call this 800 number immediately. Well if anyone there had a modicum of critical thinking when they developed that message, it would have occurred to them that if the country were “unspecified” their 800 number was not going to work to call them. It went on to say that $299.49 was withdrawn from the account. Remember the airport fiasco? All I received were messages saying the PIN was invalid or the system could not complete the transaction at this time. So I sent off a secure e-mail through online banking to tell them where I was and what happened. I am positive I will receive a form e-mail telling me they cannot handle this through e-mail as secure as it is and I will need to call their toll-free number. I am planning on being out the $299.49 and never seeing it again. Bank of America is the 2nd largest RIP OFF bank there is. Even the locals have not figured out how to use the phone cards here for make calls from pay phones, my chances are nil. Add that to the fact that the time difference is a major one and I know from experience though they say they have a 24 hour service, it is really only 9-5 PST. I went that route the last time from Hungary. It took seven phone calls and a dozen e-mails. I am just hoping that they have not cut off Ron’s card. If they did, we could very well be in trouble at some point in the vacation. I cannot remember if I have PIN numbers for my credit cards or not. We checked into the new hotel. Ron went to check out the room, said it was okay and I paid for three nights. I am hoping that the stains on the sheets and pillow cases are only ones that years of washing were not able to remove. I intend to sleep in my clothes and with a towel over the pillow. We took in Little India today. Definitely not as lively as China Town, but we did get a good meal at an authentic little place. Our seatmate across from us told us that this was a special menu today since “they” are celebrating a holiday. We were not sure if “they” were the Muslims or the Hindus and did not ask. While we were eating the skies opened and a torrential rain started. It was coming down so hard; the restaurant had to close the doors that normally would have made it open to the street. We were fortunate to have found seats inside or we would have been soaked within seconds. By 8:30, Ron could not last any longer and wanted to return to the hotel. I pleaded otherwise and lost the battle. When I opened the wardrobe, I found a creature and shut it with rapid fire dexterity. I would rather have slept in the coffin room than one with visitors. Tomorrow may just include another move. I am sleeping with my clothes on, the sheets are not the cleanest and Ron has to have the a/c on all night. I am freezing. It sounds like the Malaysian Speedway outside and some Indian singer is crooning next door until the wee hours.