Apparently Facebook’s new search feature will allow people to search for certain key words from a number of sources. Hopefully it will search WordPress blogs as well. This post is about my disaster of an experience with BelairDirect, my insurance company. They only underwrite insurance in Ontario, so this won’t be of any interest if you are in BC, where ICBC handles all the insurance. I didn’t know how good I had it while I lived in BC.
My memories of Christmas as a child have faded. We always had a tree and we got at least one gift. My parents struggled because they both worked, but put every dime into renovating the old farmhouse they bought for $10,000. It was heated with a big old stove with pipes running everywhere and we had no indoor plumbing. We had an outhouse (brutal in the winter) and a well.
Proves that you are never too old to get fired. I’m struggling with whether it is worse to work at the worst job in my life, or getting fired from the worst job in my life?
It’s certainly been a rocky road for the last few years. The reason I ended up here in London was following a woman who ended up cheating on me. My life went straight downhill from there, ending up living in a shelter with no job and no money. I don’t know how I could have done anything differently but my focus was on basic survival and not getting back out West where I belong. Despite my miserable circumstances I hoped that I would at least be able to reconnect with my kids after seventeen years, but that didn’t happen either.
Saturday, December 30, 2007
Headed to the Panama House for my usual banana pancakes. Met Dexter, the owner, who hails from Southern California. He started coming to Panama twenty years ago for the surfing, and moved here five years ago. He also confirmed that it’s not tough to get to stay here, but, of course, he bought a restaurant, so that made it easy. He agreed that Panama has languished in the shadow of Costa Rica for many years, and now it’s Panama’s turn to grow.
Friday, December 28, 2007
My first full day in Boquete. Bit of a crazy one. Sonia had helped me shop yesterday. I bought a coffee maker ($7), cream, sweetener, and coffee. Went to brew coffee this morning and what I didn’t buy was filters. So much for my morning Java fix. I was starving so I headed off to the Panama House – the one that was closed yesterday.
My trip to Panama
The original plan didn’t quite work, but what happened might have been a blessing in disguise. I had sold my truck and bought the car, intending to drive to Boquete, a trip I figured would take about ten days or so, apparently in my total ignorance. When I was turned back at the border and had to make some last minute plans to fly, I was a bit panicky considering it was Christmas Eve and all. Not only would it be very difficult to even book flights, but everything closed up early for Christmas Eve. On my trip back I doubted BCAA would still be open by the time I made it there.
Every once in a while I take stock of my life, partly because it’s therapeutic and to see what I was thinking at the time. One of my regrets in life is that I have not recorded either my words or in pictures many things in my life. Video is a much more prevalent part of our society these days, but it wasn’t way back when my kids were growing up. Particularly because I am now estranged from my children it would be nice to be able to watch videos of them growing up. Both my son and daughter were heavily involved in sports, yet I don’t have a single picture from all those years of hundreds of games.
It was that time again. Three months since my last “out of the country” trip required for my tourist visa. The friend I had gone with before, LizAnne, had just received her pensionado visa, so she didn’t need to leave the country again. I really didn’t want to go and spend four days sitting in a room by myself at the hostel in Sabalito. I was also very worried, with the new immigration laws in Panama, that I might have problems coming back into Panama and would be lost without the language skills. I thought of going to Puerto Viejo this time, just to check it out for my websites, and my friend, Magaly, wanted to come along. Having no money (another story) I decided to get creative and I emailed a number of hotels in the area, offering to do a story for our website. One, Banana Azul Guest House, offered me a special rate of $25 a night, much less than the normal $79, so we booked three nights.
Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, Boquete has been experiencing unusually high winds and driving sheets of rain, something unheard of at this time of year – normally the “dry season”. The river has again flooded and the gale-force winds have brought trees down everywhere, disrupting services like water and power.
There was a job back in Kelowna with a company owned by the son of a colleague I had done business with many years ago. I thought it might be interesting and maybe help me get the job if I asked all my friends and colleagues to send a simple email to him with the subject line “Hire Gary Jones”. At the very least I thought getting maybe thirty or forty emails would help to get me noticed. Okay, so some of my 136 friends on Facebook don’t know me well enough to send what looks like a recommendation, but a lot of them do. Not only that but a lot of them are friends I have helped out when they needed it; everything from help with moving to renovating to taking them out on my boat. A simple one-line email wasn’t too much to ask, I thought.
No such luck. It backfired on me big time when all he got was TWO emails. That’s right – TWO! If he read into it that I had asked all my many friends and colleagues in the Okanagan to send him a simple email, and the response was a big fat TWO, then it’s not surprising that I never heard from him again.
Given my current desperation to get the hell out of London and back to my beloved Okanagan, this experience sure brought me down, which is the last thing I needed right now.