02 June, 2015

A Trip to the Big Citeh

It's official. It's now the start of the rainy season, and the first day of hurricane season. I can't forget to mention that it's raining, what better activity to get into than writing. I could have said reading. That would have worked as well with the rain, but writing has it's own imperative.

I started to write this a couple of days ago. I got sidetracked (as happens often down here), so I'll get back on track right now.

I had to make journey to Belize City to get an old root canal redone. It has caused a fair amount of discomfort and some pain for several months now. Even so, I was quite  ambivalent about making the trip. I had talked to Carlos earlier and he was going to drive me down there and back. Not that I need a chauffeur, but with the state of the Isuzu, yes, I do need a chauffeur.

He was going to use his Toyota Hilux pickup. It's not a cheap trip down to BC and back either. There's the cost of gas round trip, wear and tear on the vehicle and other places that you visit on the trip. Then there's the time involved. It takes at least two hours just to get down there to Belize City or Belize as we refer to it. Then whatever time you may have to spend to do what it was that you came down to BC. Since this is outside of his normal work duties, it's kind of like hiring a taxi.

As it turned out, my dentist called and told me that he had made an appointment for me with Dr. Sinai on Wednesday. That was fine by me. The only concern I had was what all Dr. Sinai would be doing this first visit. I thought that it was a good thing that Carlos was going to be ferrying me. I could just see me being all loopy.

Sometime Tuesday we had gotten together with Jeff and Sara, from across the street. They had decided on going to BC by themselves. They intended to visit the Belize Tourism Board. They wanted to take care of some QRP (Qualified Retired Persons) business there. They were also going to retrieve some of their shipped possessions from the Port of Belize.

Jeff and Sara also mentioned they were planning to drive their pickup down there to do that. Dianna and I both raised an eyebrow at that as they still have Georgia plates on their truck. We told them we didn't think that was such a good idea. Their truck would stick out like a sore thumb for a variety of reasons.

Then I got the bright idea maybe if we pooled our resources, we could kill two birds with one stone. Since I was going down, if we went together we could cut our costs. Save wear and tear on  their truck, drop me off at the dentist and just all kind of good things. It would also save transporation costs. We could even include a quick stop at Brodies for some stuff that you just can't do without.

In my case, I couldn't do without three battery operated clocks. These would replace ones that had died. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that they were never going to work again. Oh yes. I also needed a new kitty pooper-scooper. You just can't find one anywhere in Corozal right now. Sara and Jeff were after some cheese. Ok, a short stop at Brodies.

So, on with the story. As we got into BC, up behind the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) was where we found the detal office. They dropped me and off they went to the Tourism Board office.

As it turned out, my visit to the dentist ended up being quite short. It seems the bone damage was worse than either dentist anticipated. Dr. Sinai was planning to redo the root canal for the tooth. But, because of the bone deterioration, he felt the tooth needed to come out. The extraction and bridge were things Dr. Cima would take care of. So, after an x-ray, some probing, and a couple of Novocaine shots, I was ready to go home.

I called Carlos to see where they were at in their process. I expected that I would catch a taxi up to Brodies and wait for them there. Turns out, they had left the Tourism office and were near where I was.

They had had a slight change of plans. They met their customs broker at his office. This made the timing perfect to stop by, pick me up, and we'd all head down to the Port together.

We got there just in time for Sara and Jeff to get some of their paperwork from the Customs Office. Of course it was too late to beat the lunch break at the port. Sara was kind enough to buy lunch for us from a street vendor. We had our choice of BBQ chicken or fried chicken with rice and beans.

We got out of the sun by sitting in a covered area just outside the Port gate. This was where all the stevedores and longshoremen wait till they're called for work. There was a nice breeze so even though it was hot, it was still refreshing.

After lunch, Sara made quick work of getting through the arcane bureaucracy of the Port. It was evident they had too much stuff for the back of Carlos' pickup. They were able to hire a truck from their broker to haul the stuff back to Corozal.

We followed the truck out of the Port and back to the Northern Highway (the George C. Price Memorial Highway). But no one calls it that.

We made our stop at Brodies, I got my clocks and scooper. Sara and Jeff got their cheese. Carlos even looked for some sort of mop hanger for Dianna. Before we knew it, we were back on the road, the truck far in front of us.

We made it back to Corozal just about 5:00 PM. A long day, but a successful one.

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