24 April 2014


Well, we keep marching along and making slight progress. We got the letter--2 of them, in fact--from Electric Ireland. One was addressed just to Bill and one had both of us on it. A short time ago, we stopped at the bank again. This was apparently STILL a potential problem. Yes, it was posted and delivered by the post office and it was from a utility company, but IT WAS NOT A BILL. The woman at the bank had to check with someone there about whether the letters would be sufficient. Then she had to call someone higher up than that to inquire. They allowed it and after waiting for a while so she could get this authorization, she invited us into the back to do the paperwork. There was a stack of it. She asked us several times why we wanted a bank account. This is actually a question on one of the gazillion forms. I had no idea what to say other than what I was repeating, "We live here and need a bank account." Finally I said, "We just want to pay the rent." LOL She ended up writing down that we wanted to transfer money from the US bank. Then came a series of questions for her to answer about whether we were coming from a high or very high risk country and whether we would be sending money to or receiving money from a high risk country. Just for the hell of it, knowing full well there would not be an actual answer, I asked her why it had to be a utility bill. She just repeated the policy to me. I understand the policy. I am just curious at what brilliant mind thought it up and why a lease isn't good enough--even a lease that had been mailed to us and delivered by the post office would have been inadequate. I am left to ponder the likelihood of people flocking to Ireland and signing fraudulent leases in order to deposit money in the bank. Perhaps there is a larger problem than I am aware of, but if so, you would think people would be able to articulate that. She couldn't. And like other people we have dealt with, it's not her fault. She was very nice, helpful, and friendly. She tried to answer my questions. She is just working in a rather silly and ridiculous system. In any case, we are still not done. We actually will not have a bank account until after 3 tomorrow, when we have to go back to the bank, ask for this person, lodge money in the account, and get account details. At that point, we can find out how best to transfer money from the US. I must say that this is not an experience that inspires confidence. We will be leaving the US account open with some money in it for the time being.

Before the bank we hit yet another brick wall with regard to getting info about where Bill can get his INR test, which is now several days past due. After not being able to find a person to speak to at the health clinic last week, we went by there the other day to be there when they opened, so Bill could speak to someone as they came in. She was not at all helpful, just telling him that they don't do that there and he needs to find a doctor. The thing is, before we left Maine, Nurse Joan sent Bill all the paperwork she thought he'd need so he could go somewhere here, have the test, and have the results sent back to her. She would call him and let him know what to do. However, we are unable to actually get any information about where to go to get this to happen. This morning we went to a doctor's office in the hopes that they could direct us, but there was no receptionist or anyone to talk to at all. This seems to be a theme. There is nothing else we can do today. Bill will try to call tomorrow and we will see what happens then. In the meantime, he is taking the same dose of the warfarin that he's been taking. He has never gone too high with that dose and the few times he's gotten too low, it has been on the borderline, so he's remained pretty steady. It has only been when he was at 1.8 (he's supposed to be between 2 and 3) and they've messed with the dose that he's gone too high. Being above  is a concern because there could be internal bleeding and stuff, I guess. Being too low means that the blood coagulates easier and he would be at risk for another stroke because of the a-fib. So I have made it a point to avoid serving Vitamin K rich foods and we proceed with his normal dose. If he cannot get any answers tomorrow, we will probably have to just go either to Castlebar or Galway and find a hospital. Presumably there will be someone there who can at least provide us with information. I can laugh at the foolishness at the bank and other evidence of podunkness, but I am not amused when we are dealing with Bill's health.

No progress on the internet connection front. We did not have these kinds of issues when we moved to Alaska in 1995--and that is actually pretty remote in many places.

Bill called the landlord today and spoke to him about getting another set of keys. We have not found a place where we can have these made and according to the lease, we are not allowed to do that anyway. We have, however, been told by more than one source that leases mean nothing in Ireland and no one feels obligated to abide by them. Yet another moment of mind-boggle. I would prefer to save the trees if they are not worth the paper they're printed on, but I don't run things around here--LOL. Anyway, he said he would be in town Saturday and would give us a call. I am not holding my breath.

We are about to go back home for lunch and to charge up the battery on my computer. The library is in an old church--the graves outside are from the 1800s--and there's no place to plug in. We can come back after that so Bill can try to get some of his photos uploaded. For some reason, his computer will not connect at the library.

The apartment is a bright spot among the bizarre and frustrating experiences we have whenever we venture outside to actually try and get things done. here are some photos of our little bright spot!

Suitcases unpacked and stowed away in the wardrobe of the extra bedroom! Yay!

Room with the rack is the extra bedroom and the room above is our bedroom. Below: Wardrobe and dresser in our bedroom, plant stand converted into yarn holder, and red bathroom.

Below: kitchen, dining area, and sitting room.

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