October 25, 2004

Moving target

I'm going to Antanarivo, Madagascar for Christmas. Yes, I know, I'm a lucky duck. The trouble started with the price of the ticket which is exorbitant. It's about the price of a really good new computer.

The travel agency doesn't use credit cards and my checks are worthless because they are made out to US dollars and not CFA francs. This means that I had to send our driver (no comments please) to cash my rather large check. He comes back with wads and wads of bills that, all piled up, are about 5 inches thick (about 10 cms for you wusses that use the metric system). I felt like the richest woman in the world. I was under strict instructions from our lady at accounting to count all this money. I felt giddy just flipping the cash from thumb to index. She also double-checked the amount with me and I suspect that she was taking secret pleasure in handling this much money. We tallied this up a couple time (just to make sure it was correct of course).

Then I set off to the travel agent, which of course made me a moving target. No one really bugged us but I'm convinced that my faced turned the color of the money I was carrying (in this case purple and green).

She received me with open arms and I felt very very loved. She took my envelope that I was clutching rather firmly to my chest and proceeded to count all the money slowly and staple it by wads of ten. It was excruciating and I honestly did not appreciate that smirk on her face. Each flip of the crisp money was deafening and felt like a quick sharp stab to my heart.

Now, I am "the price of a brand new computer" poorer and I still don't have my ticket. She said she'd send it tomorrow. I'm sure glad I know her sister because I can always hold her hostage.

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