Ok, this is going to be more of a rant. I’ve been off line with no WIFI for a little while because I was in the jungle. There will be an upcoming featured post about that. For the most part it was a fabulous experience.
This post is going to be about how frustrated I am right now. I was robbed on the night bus between Puerto Maldonado, located in the jungle, and Juliaca. Two Peruvian woman sitting across the aisle from me must have swiped my money belt when I was sleeping or when I visited the on board toilet. I should have been wearing it, but it was in my bag instead. Serves me right I guess. All my cards and money are now gone. A couple of other travelers I met in the jungle were kind enough to pay for my bus to Puno from Juliaca. Thank God for the kindness of others!
Once in Puno we booked in at a hostel that, thankfully, doesn’t make you pay until you leave, but what about food? I had to get creative to make some money to eat, so I played my flute in public. It worked actually! I made 42 soles, but what’s even better is that the day turned into one of the most enlightening days of my entire journey regardless of my bad luck. That day helped me to see the generosity and kindness of the Peruvian people. It totally overpowered what the other two Peruvian women did. I will be writing a featured post about that day when I have the time, but right now my priority is making enough money to eat today until banks are open again. Hopefully that will be tomorrow, but I am unsure. There are so many celebrations going on in Puno right now. Today was a national holiday and I’m not sure about tomorrow.
Luckily my parents were able to wire me some money yesterday via the Western Union at the Scotia Bank, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to access it. When I told the teller I needed to collect the money my parents wired me they said they don’t have Western Union and pointed me towards the Credi-Scotia a few blocks away. When I asked there they said they don’t have it either and they pointed me to two other places. Both also said no, they don’t have Western Union and pointed me back to a bank I had already been to.
Feeling quite frustrated, I ended up walking into a high end hotel in hopes someone behind the counter spoke enough English and knew the system enough to help me. A very kind man walked with me to a few of the places I had already been. He found out that they do have Western Union, but it’s only accessible between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Ohhhh! I see. Well, why couldn’t they have told me that in the first place instead of telling me it didn’t exist there at all. Then at least I could have gone back to the hostel and done something else.
Today, I was up bright and early and began where I started yesterday, at the Scotia Bank. That’s when I found out they are closed today because of the national holiday. All the banks are closed. Really? Ugh. So, that means I am stuck in Puno for another day. Did I have to be robbed during Puno week? Really God? Is there something I need to learn here?
In some of my posts I have mentioned that it’s interesting how circumstances, like vertigo, can change the course of your plans and then you realize down the road that if the crappy circumstance didn’t happen then you wouldn’t be where you are now. Well, being robbed is one of those circumstances for me. If that didn’t happen to me then I wouldn’t have been inspired to play my flute in public to make some extra money and I would have missed out on my enlightening day.
I suppose there could be more to this inconvenience that I don’t know about yet, so I’ll continue on, pick myself up, go to the plaza and play my flute again. You just never know the good things that can happen when circumstances go awry.