Another interesting week in paradise. It has been stormy and raining every afternoon, but is worth it for the rainbows.
And great news on the book front. It is now available from Apple ibooks, Nook from Barnes and Noble and Kobo. It will shortly be rolled out to a range of regional e-books formats such as Kalahari in South Africa and Whitcoulls in New Zealand. Also I had a nice interview here which I hope you enjoy.
But there were no rainbows with the saga of the telephone. We decided that as Orange would not work, we would stick with Claro, even though the signal here is not good, so back to the Claro office it was to get the new phone. Bear in mind I have 2 phones in my name with Claro and have had for 8 years plus internet. Unfortunately being an existing customer means nothing at all. Found the phone we wanted and handed over my cedula to do the contract.
The cedula is the national identity card and all Dominicans and resident foreigners have one. Mine is out of date, as are those of 99% of Dominicans. Claro then told me it had been cancelled as it was out of date. I have been using it out of date for ages with no problems. They said go the the Junta, which is the electoral office, and all they needed was a piece of paper to say I was the same person as that on the cedula which the Junta would give me. I said well I can prove that here. Look at the photograph, that is me. Look at the signature, that is mine. Here is my British passport with the same name as the cedula. Ipso facto that cedula is mine and I am me. Oh and here is my up to date residency with the same name and cedula number on it. Did that work? No. Go to the Junta and get a piece of paper saying you are the person on the cedula. I pointed out that I was a foreigner and the only Junta office which dealt with foreigners was in the capital, Santo Domingo which is 4 to 5 hours away. No they said. The local one will give you the paper. Don't worry they will do it in a jiffy and you can come back and get your phone. So off to the local Junta we went. Long queue which meant very long jiffy. Eventually we met with a man who said that he couldn't give me a piece of paper to say I was the person on my cedula. I had to go to the capital. What a surprise. We went home. Then I had the bright idea of asking a neighbour who works for the Junta in a different town. Often here knowing the right people makes all the difference. She was at home but she called her office and told me, no worries, yes they will give you the paper, just pop into the office and pick it up. Drove to the office. No, they said, can’t give you the paper as there is nothing wrong with your cedula so you don’t need the paper. I nearly lost it then, but managed to scream inside rather than opening my mouth. They told us to come back the next day when the head of cedulas was in as she was at a meeting. Next day the neighbour went to work telling me she would sort it. Her husband was at home, and came round to say she had called and yes she had the paper and would bring it home that night. We decided to go and pick it up, but called her beforehand when she said no she didn't have the paper as I had to go to Santo Domingo to get it. Speechless. So I gave up, and have decided to get off my backside and become a citizen instead to save all of this messing about. That should be an interesting process.