Friday, October 21, 2011
Too Much Pride?
We were surprised at how much the Pride had grown during our 6 month absence. Right before we left in the spring, Don had cut the bush way back. We've been reluctant to trim it again because it is a haven for butterflies and hummingbirds. It does block our view, but only of the opposite hillside. With rainy season upon us, I suppose we'll have to start trimming before the Pride overruns us.
It's another cool (72 degrees), windy, rainy day. I'm watching the rain blow past the windows at 45 degree angles and then horizontally. Don is wearing a long-sleeved shirt (with shorts and barefeet) and we've just finished cups of hot tea. I'm thankful that we don't have to go anywhere today, but tonight is our pizza and card playing night with the Cowans, so we'll be out.
It's not often that it is easier to do something here than in the U.S., but we were able to renew the car registration yesterday in just a couple of minutes. Amazing. We purposely drove to the bank near French Harbor because it is usually less busy and some of the tellers speak English. It's an easy process here: no inspections, no proof of paid personal property tax( they don't even have such a tax), no proof of anything needed and no DMV. I simply handed the bank teller my registration card from 2010 and said I wanted to renew and handed her 1500 lempiras (about $70.) She printed out a new card for 2011, stamped it paid, had me write my cell phone number on her copy, and we were done!
Which reminds me of the fun I had in St. Louis, trying to renew my car registration before we left the country. It's not due until February, but I'm not going to be there then. I read on the DMV website that you can renew up to 6 months early, so I got my car inspected, found my paid personal property tax receipt and went to the DMV. And was turned down. Reason? I didn't have my 2011 paid tax receipt. "How can I have a 2011 receipt? Those bills don't come out until November, and I will already be gone." She shrugged, suggested that I go to the county government office and get a waiver or pay early. So I did. Nope, not possible to pay early; they don't know what the tax rate will be (really? it's only a month away). Waiver? Nope, not eligible. And my inspection certificate is only good for 60 days, despite what the paperwork says (120 days).
This leaves me with only two options: wait until I return next year and pay the fine, or have someone else take care of it for me. We'll try the second option, if I'm really lucky the personal property tax bill will come out early enough for it to get forwarded to California, paid, mailed, stamped paid and returned, and then put in the hands of our friend, Carl, before the car inspection expires at the end of November. Carl won't be able to get the car re-inspected because it is in Alabama. Carl suggested that it might be easier to just sell the car in Alabama. Puedes ser (could be).
So, sometimes life is easier down here.