The Truck Is Ours!*

Asterisk. There’s always an asterisk.

Yesterday I had grand plans to go to Cusco, open an account, transfer money, withdraw money, pay owner, come home, get lunch. Ha!

Fernando kindly offered to come with me to help avoid troubles. I was thankful for that, but I felt more and more sorry for him as the day wore on.

We went directly to a BCP bank where we knew I could open the correct sort of account. Arriving there, we saw the line stretching up the street and decided to try another location where a friend of Rafael’s works. I tried calling Rafael, but could not reach him. The friend had offered earlier in the week to help us avoid long lines.

We parked the truck at Fernando’s son’s mechanic shop and caught a taxi across town. While we were gone, Fernando, Jr. was planning to look at why the glow plugs weren’t glowing or plugging or whatever they do to make the truck start on cold mornings.

At the other bank branch, the line was even longer. I set a stopwatch as we got into line. Rafael didn’t answer, but Elisabet got back to me to say he was out on a delivery, and that it was the day off for their friend at the bank. We were in line for almost two hours.

It was so cold. We were standing in the shadow of the bank in the wind for two hours. My feet were ice cubes. As a result, I had barely any sleep last night as I battled with a terrible earache. My Granny is that way. If she was out in the wind for long with her ears uncovered, she’d often get a bad earache. Maybe we have weird ears.

Making the account was a snap. I emailed all the necessary information to the bank in the States. She said all she needed yet was a signature from someone with POA. The fellow arrived at the bank around 4:00 in the afternoon, which is when the bank closes down its international transfers.

Just great. We called the owner to tell him not to wait on us after all. We’d have to try again tomorrow. He said he’d be around the next day, so it would work.

We caught another taxi across town. Fernando is a very large man. His son Octavio was along, and he is almost as large. All three of squished into the back seat of an economy-sized car. Fernando said it was like fitting two big bears and a baby bear in there.

Back at the shop, we had a late lunch with Fernando, Jr. And we found out he wasn’t done with the truck. Turns out, all it needed was a relay replaced. He called a parts store to request the relay. They said it would be an hour. As you know, an hour in Peru is as a thousand years, etc. The part arrived about two hours later.

In the meantime, Fernando told me why he loves President Trump for being so harsh with countries Fernando hates. He is hoping the States anger other countries enough to start a war; he’s pretty sure it’ll happen. He also explained how China planned the coronavirus to secretly defeat the States. And how Hitler has been seen living in the Andes in Peru.

He also wanted to know why Americans are so stubborn about wearing masks and practicing distancing, and why Americans think the virus is fake when the rest of the world has it, too. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to change out the relay, and we were on our way home.

This morning, we were supposed to leave early for Urubamba to withdraw the money that was supposed to be transferred first thing. However, there were delays in the States, so it didn’t happen until about 10:00. And off we went.

But the main road was closed for repair. So we took a dirt road across the mountain. It took an hour and a half. Back into line at a bank I went. One hour later, we were in the bank only to be told the money was not available and probably wouldn’t be until Monday.


What else to do, but to head back home? We took a different route home, cutting off more than half an hour. Fernando said when we get to Izcuchaca, the money will arrive in my account.

We pulled over to buy some things at a tienda in Izcuchaca. I checked my Peruvian account. The money was here. Fernando said he’s pretty sure God is testing the gringo to see what all he can take in one day. “Tranquilo, David! Todo está bien, no más.” “Take it easy. Everything is fine.” Apparently, I appeared anxious.

It was 2:20 when we left Izcuchaca. We had to make a stop at a friend of Fernando’s to drop off a gun, which Fernando had smuggled into the truck in Urubamba unbeknownst to me. He said we probably shouldn’t chance traveling with it in case we got pulled over, and the police assumed I was a terrorist. Glad to know now!

The bank closed at 4:00, so we needed to book it over the mountain. Fernando knew a third way that should be quicker. I was driving this time. The road was littered with huge and deep potholes. I tried swerving to avoid them, but it almost appeared as if I was intentionally hitting them. Octavio said he couldn’t eat after bouncing so much.

Peruvian roads are randomly crossed with severe speed bumps, particularly in populated areas. About half the time, the speed bumps are not painted, and no signs are out to warn you. You just have to keep your eyes peeled. If not, you’ll crash across the speed bumps to terrible effect–as I did a couple of times on this leg of the journey.

We made it to the bank before closing, signed and fingerprinted the special forms to withdraw it, and met the owner at the notary before they closed. At the end of the day, it all ended well. Everything is transferred, and the truck is officially in my name.

Or it will be in about a week or so when the new ownership card is administered. When it is, they’ll call me. But if they forget to call, I can call them. Or I can just drive over sometime next week and check. ¡Por gusto!

Thanks to everyone for your advice and your prayers. I appreciate your support.

The line at the bank. The bank is down the hill.
Masks are worn by everyone everywhere. Plastic visors are becoming popular.
Headed across the mountain
Izcuchaca is off in the distance.
Counting the bills
Getting “lunch” at 6:00 this evening. Sitting near the fire felt good.
Por fin!