Day 8: Banking in Sicily

So much for a good night’s sleep! First Pearl vomited — on my bed — around 2 am and I had to clean that up. After getting rid of the worst of it, I stuck the comforter in the shower ran some water over it and figured I would deal with that in the morning. No rest for the weary though,  while cleaning up the vomit, I discovered that Pearl had peed and pooped in a corner of the kitchen. So I had to clean that up too. She NEVER has accidents! I hoped this was not a trend. Half an hour later I’m finally back in bed and sleeping soundly.

Pearl was a little sluggish, but hungry in the morning, so I gave her some of the chicken and the juice it had cooked in, but no rice since that had all come in the early morning.

A trip to a bank or some kind of cash machine was a necessity soon. I had planned on paying for the car from Rome to Civitavecchia by credit card, but the driver’s POS was not working, so I ended up paying €140 cash. This left me very low on cash especially after buying a bunch of staples for the week. 

I was not looking forward to this adventure. Everything I read while planning the trip, had warned me that banking in Sicily was not going to be as easy as it had been elsewhere in the world. Once you get past the language barrier that is. My first try was the Bank of Sicily. I waited in line to use an ATM only to find a notice saying that only customers of the bank and residents of Sicily could use the ATMs. Back to the drawing board. I had noticed a couple of ATMs outside shops near the apartment and wondered about using those, but first I wanted to check with somebody local. I contacted our landlord because I figured he would know. He’s been an Airbnb host for a few years and must of had this question before. He thought they were safe, so we went out to try them. Unfortunately neither of them worked.

Fine, now it was lunchtime so back to the apartment to have a sandwich and figure out what to do next. I had a delicious sandwich with my provisions from the market and gave Pearl a little more chicken. She really wasn’t herself. She didn’t want to play. She just wanted to lay on the couch. This was worried me a little, but it was too early to worry too much.

While I ate I went online and looked for suggestions for foreigners banking in Sicily. A lot of it was old or inaccurate, for instance they suggested you go to the bank of Sicily. I did find a few references to Bancomats and thought that might be something to follow up. I also rechecked my money wondering if maybe I could make it until we got to Siracusa where my landlady had said she would help with anything I needed, but I only had about €60. That be tight for food for the week plus bus or train tickets to Siracusa. Also, if we did have to go to a vet I didn’t know if they would take credit or if I would need cash. Time to find a Bancomat.

Google maps suggested the bank of Sicily but I already knew that wouldn’t work. However, there was another bank not too much further — BNL. I recognized the name from one of our walks and even had an idea of where it was. I even found it without too much trouble! I put my Master Card into one of the ATM machines, because in my experience they are more accepted at foreign backs. First I tried to get €300, but after going through all of the steps, it spit out my card instead of money. Okay, I had read somewhere about low withdrawal limits, so I tried €250. Same thing — the machine spit out my card and then did it again for €200. Now what? On the off chance that it might work, I stuck in my Tangerine card and tried for €250. It worked! I thought about immediately getting out more, but that might be tempting fate, so I controlled myself and rushed out before anyone came and stopped me.

Time to celebrate with a cappuccino and maybe a piccolo cannoli. Yes I knew it was too late! You’re not supposed to order a cappuccino after noon, but you know what screw it. I wanted a cappuccino and I was going to have a cappuccino. And do you know what there was no reaction to my order. No raised eyebrows, no one asked if I was sure, they just gave me a cappuccino. And not even a real cappuccino a decaf cappuccino!

I honestly don’t know what happened the rest of the day. I FaceTimed with family. Ate leftover chicken and pasta with a salad and walked some more.
I only had a couple of changes of clothes so as long as i was washing the comforter, at least the messy part and all around it, I also washed some of my clothes in the kitchen sink. I towel dried them and then hung them on a drying rack which I placed in front of the bedroom heater. Not as good as the warming racks in some bathrooms, but it would do.

Pearl still had diarrhea, so I wasn’t taking any chances! I was walking her every couple of hours at a minimum. Our last walk was around 11 pm. Or so I thought!

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