Friday, April 18, 2014

Please, Take Our Money!

We leave Santo Antão tomorrow morning on the 10:00 am ferry back to Mindelo, which means we will be picked up at 7:30 by an aluguer, to take us around the new coast road to our departure point in Porto Novo.

Because of the vagaries of my communications over the telephone making reservations, from back at home in Seattle, I have no idea what the charge is for our stay. I don't know the typical charge for one day. I don't know if there's a discount for staying a whole week, or if they'll offer us a discount for our various discomforts. We had two loads of laundry beautifully done, and I have no idea what that costs, either.

Our interaction with our hosts has been almost exclusively at breakfast at 9:00 am (which seems to be hours later than the other guests who have come and gone while we've been here), and almost exclusively with Dedei herself, who is a sweet old lady who speaks no English, and whose husband seems to be entirely in charge of financial matters. For days I have been exhausting my knowledge of financial Portuguese, attempting to chisel out of Dedei some idea of how much we need to pay them tomorrow before we leave, early in the morning. For days she has put us off, saying that her marido will let us know in the morning. Yesterday morning a grandson brought us a guest book in which to record our names, which seemed promising for a final reckoning this morning.

We have been getting all of our cash out of ATMs, and as there are limits to what one can withdraw in a day, we are anxious to have enough to pay our bill. "Talvez precisamos dineiro da machina (maybe we need money from the machine)," I tried this morning, as the factura from the marido did not materialize, in an attempt to clarify the urgency of our need to know, but to no avail. Later, later, said Dedei, but how were the clothes?

The clothes were great. She smiled broadly. We left, mystified.

Only about 1% of me believes that, because of the hassles, we'll be charged nothing for our room, so at the moment we are in limbo: what will we pay, and how, and when???

one-fingered on my phone

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