Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anniversary gifts at gunpoint (kind of)

Today, as Nancy will probably mention in a later blog post, is our third anniversary! It's incredible to think that we've been married for three years already!

Since today was my last day of classes and I had several large papers due today (and one tomorrow I still have to finish), and since we're babysitting the Lewises, we didn't have time to do anything special this year.

Nevertheless, I was determined to get Nancy something today. The road from Midan Victoria to the Lewis' house is lined with florists. They're selling mostly poinsettias and trimmed bushes that look like Christmas trees, but they still have a large collection of "regular" flowers.

After getting off the bus, I headed over to the closest bank so I could test my hopefully-newly-fixed debit card. For some reason UCCU had the wrong expiration date in their system so my card would never work, and would always trigger a warning call and an account freeze whenever I tried it. I finally got that fixed yesterday.

The bank is on the ground floor of an apartment building, and is next to several other offices and shops, one of which was a reputable looking florist. My plan was to test my debit card and then get some flowers for Nancy.

I passed the surly looking guard with an ancient AK-47 and went to the special private ATM booth, only to discover that the ATM was out of order. I mentally scratched that off my list of things to do and quickly left the booth, to the guard's surprise. He immediately jerked up his head and stared me down suspiciously. Apparently not getting money from a broken ATM is suspicious.

I walked past him again and over to the flower shop, his piercing stare unbroken. I stood outside the shop and looked at all the fancy flowers. There were blue ones, purple ones, yellow and red ones--it was incredible. As I stood there in my flower-induced stare, the guard yelled at me.

"Move along! Go! Leave!"

I yelled back to him and told him I was just looking. He kind of nodded and finally looked away, over to the crazy traffic on Boor Said. I looked back to the flowers, deciding if I really wanted to buy any. I don't know how flowers work; did I have to choose which color combination and/or arrangement to use?

As I worried about it more, the guard yelled at me again, this time a lot louder. I turned around and saw him pick up his gun and walk over to me. He came over to me, and indicating with his gun, said,

"I told you to get moving! Leave now!"

Not wanting to provoke him (and his gun) further, I left. I passed some other florists on my way, but I turned back and saw that the guard was still there, watching me from a distance. I figured it was probably wise to not stop again, since the guy probably thought I was a bank-robbing spy/terrorist with an affinity for flowers.

So, have a happy anniversary, Nancy, despite the lack of celebratory flora! It wasn't worth starting an international incident...


  1. I forgive you if you take me out to dinner at Bhua Kao or however it's spelled.

    (I would probably forgive you even if you didn't since I kind of already forgave you since I wasn't expecting flowers. I never expect flowers, but it was a nice thought!)

  2. what a mean guard. What d'he do that for?

  3. Ooh, well, Happy Anniversary anyway! I THOUGHT today was SOMETHING, but couldn't remember what! And a good story is better than a bouquet of flowers--it lasts longer!

  4. I think he was jealous of your blonde hair....happy belated Anniversary!!!!