Today was a busy day to get some things underway. Beautiful and mostly sunny today- I set off to the bank to see if I could arrange for a wire transfer. When we opened the account last week (in Montevideo), it was explained that due to US regulations, any amount over $10K brought into the country had to have documentation to prove where it came from (sale of house, etc.). At the time, when we had our english speaking guide there to help us, I didn't have the paperwork. So today (on my own) I went down the local BROU branch to see if I could get the transfer approved. First thing I did was take a ticket. Oh have I forgotten to tell you about tickets in almost all the shops? Let me digress...
Almost every shop, bank, hardware store and everything else you can think of, has dispensers of numbered tickets, which you automatically take and wait for your turn. The other day at the hardware store I was the only customer. I went up to the cashier to ask a question. They politely pointed to the dispenser. Then they directed me back to a second person at the back of the store who helped me. Anyway another thing to get used to.
Back to the bank (ticket in hand). After a short wait I was directed to one of the desks. After establishing that we weren't going to be handling this transaction in english- I proceeded. Now here is what I "think" happened. I told the man I had sold a house and wished to transfer a certain amount of money from my bank in the U.S. I told him the woman who opened the account in Montevideo had asked for confirmation of the source of the money and presented him with the title company's closing statement. He said there was no problem and directed me to one of the windows. The teller thought I was prepared to make the transfer at that moment, but I explained I would do it online and just needed the routing numbers. She gave me a sheet of paper with the numbers and circled the ones I would need.
Now, that is how I think it went down. We'll see what happens when I actually try to make the transfer.
Then I needed a cell phone. Since I do not have a cedula (akin to social security card), I cannot get a cell phone on a plan, just buy the cell phone and pay for minutes, in advance. However, they issue you a cell phone number that you keep as long as you are have that phone. I got a little Samsung phone (nice little color screen and very nice) for $25.00 and then bought 77 minutes of time for $25.00. I can take up to 4 months to use the minutes, so they will not go to waste. Since I know hardly anyone in the country they will last a long time. But we will have a phone to use in an emergency. Actually did the transaction in German, since a visitor from Germany happen to be in the shop and translated my requests into spanish. Strange world.