I managed to sleep in on Saturday morning. At least until 8, but it was very much well received. From bed, I called and skyped Joe for a couple of hours, and went about my morning.
I left the apartment at about 11, to get the bus into town. I had briefly checked the bus schedule, but misread the Saturday timetable. In the end, I had to walk about a mile or so to the bank. It was ok, it was quite a nice day.
On arriving at the bank, I’m told the banker today is busy right now, and to help myself to coffee. I take this as a chance to catch my breath and rehydrate with sweet, sweet workjuice.
After not even five minutes, David, my helper today, calls me over. David was a vwery nice man. We slowly went through the process of opening a bank account together, and he very patiently explained to me how everything works. You might think that it’s simple, but banks here work a bit differently, apparently. In the UK, a bank will practically pay you for keeping money in it (as interest), but many banks in the US require a fee just to stay open. I guess that these are admin costs. These fees can be waived if there enough funds in the account, or if there are enough transactions each month. So I wanted to be sure at every step.
So we go though it all, read, sign, read, sign, password, sign, read, sign. And then its time to make my first deposit. We go outside to the ATM, and I take an opportunistic snap.
This is David. Once we get back in, the branch manager, Kay, introduces herself, I get my scanned documents back, and I’m on my merry way. David tells me the nicest way to an at&t store, via a walk along the Columbia river.
It was a grey day, but nice enough. When I do arrive at at&t, I’m greeted at the door by a sales assistant. They take it in turns to lurk inside the doorway and pounce potential customers the second they start looking lost. I’m greeted by Bang. (His name was actually Bang). I tell him I need a cheap phone for 4 months, and he talks me through the options. I end up sinking $15 on a 2002-style flip phone, and $30 on a month of unlimited calls and texts (that’s all they offer in a rolling no-commitment thing), and I go about my way.
Bang points me the way home back along the south edge of Richland. On the walk, I try to call my uncle in New York, but he’s got other things on his mind – a good friend of his has been taken seriously ill. So we agree to talk later in the week.
On the walk back, I jam out to some Vampire Weekend and Frank Turner.
The route home takes me past Fred Meyer, the GIANT store where Darkhan thought I could buy Tupperware, but we couldn’t find on Friday night. So I stop in, look lost, find help and get my Tupperware. After that, I just head home.
After drink and food, Evan invites me over to watch a film, so I head next-door, and we settle in to watch Serenity. It had been a while since I’d seen Firefly, so I was constantly asking Evan for prompts. But the movie was good. Eventually though, the day was over, and it was time for bed.