Monday, December 17, 2007

Wilma 17

Prior to my leaving to get my motor scooter back, B returned from downtown and his latest foraging efforts. He had both goodies and news! He had found potatoes, three tomatoes, hamburger and six bananas at the downtown grocery store! Fresh meat! We were elated. He also reported that the grocery store now had its’ generator up and running and it was possible to buy cold Coke! No beer yet as the ban on all alcohol was still in effect. He also reported that the gas station was now open.

On his way home, he had stopped by our local bakery up the hill and they had told him that they would have bread by 2:00 PM. The local popsicle factory had somehow gotten a generator and were now producing ice, freezing purified water in bags for sale. They also told him to return at 2:00 PM and get in line! Ahh, life’s little wonders and joys.

Our stove and oven is run off an LP gas tank so we were able to cook and heat water for coffee. I fired up the stove and fried up the hamburger immediately since we still had no refrigeration. The three of us sat down to lunch and gobbled down two Sloppy Joes each. It was sheer delight and a true culinary pleasure.

It was right after lunch that Lola appeared and hailed me to come get my motor scooter. Since 2:00 PM was now approaching, B left to go get in line for that fresh bread and bag of ice. B was also going to first stop by our friend P’s house and give her four of the thirty eggs that L had fetched home at noon. We would have gladly given her more but she both would not accept more and she would not have eaten them before they went bad in that awful heat that follows a hurricane.

So I then left to have my aforementioned adventure of picking up my motor scooter. From there I drove to P’s house to hook up with B and L. I told the three of them my tale of crooks and thieves and they all consoled me that it was a dirty rotten shame but nothing to do about it. We decided that I would return home, grab the gas can and go downtown and try to get it filled. It is only a gallon can, but a gallon of gas lasts a long time in a motor scooter!

After many dead ends and turn arounds due to closed roads and impassable streets, I finally wound my way all the way downtown. The lines for gas was, to say the least, incredible! Normally, the main street downtown is a divided road, one way north, one way south. Because of the sand still piled high on the southbound side making it impassable to traffic, the northbound lane was bumper to bumper with cars, taxis and motor scooters. The opposite side was full of people all lined up on top of the sand. They were all carrying some kind of container to get gas. From the normal red gas can (very few of these) to empty plastic Coke bottles. Anything that could be put into use as a liquid carrier was evident. Both of these lines started at the ferry dock, a good three blocks before one actually gets to the gas station. It would have been hours and hours of waiting in line just to get a gallon of gas. And, given the two facts that I do not speak fluent Spanish and that Mexicans are notorious for cutting in line, the prospects of my even getting any gas were slim. It was an awful decision but I weighed my chances of being successful in this endeavor and decided not to waste my time, energy and nerves at this point. I took the chance that I would have enough fumes to get home and turned the scooter around and found my way back home.

Back at home and we decided that I would leave early in the morning and see if my chances would be any better. Hopefully all the gas they had now delivered would not be sold out…or another gas truck would come over and refill the tanks. Either way, I had to give it a try.

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