Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Sun again at Sand Bank + Paying Bills

Hey! The sun is out for the first time in days! I hurried up and took a picture of it because the forecast says that we'll be alternating between wet and dry troughs and suggests that it will be "showery" on alternating days.

So here's something to think about the next time you note your electric bill seamlessly getting paid electronically from your bank account...Here, you have to go into the Electricity Department to pay. There is ALWAYS a loooong line full of desperate people who have been warned their electricity will soon be shut off. Yesterday, when Michael went in, there was the usual long line, but it was moving surprisingly quickly. There were 3 payment windows open and all was running smoothly. Until two windows abruptly closed and they were down to one. Luckily for Michael there was just one person in front of him, so he figured he'd wait it out. Except that the woman pulled out a HUGE bag of coins to pay her bill. COINS! surprised Think about it, most bills are over $100EC, some in the thousands.

People in the line gave her a hard time about it, but she just told them to mind their own business. Michael waited a whole half hour while the teller counted out the correct # of coins. Lest he be bored while waiting though, a preacher/taxi driver was standing in line bellowing at everyone that God told him that we would be hit by a tsunami this year, not to mention a terrible hurricane. He also couldn't help himself from going on a diatribe about taxes and politics. The best part though was when the woman behind the preacher asked him to move up and he went into a fit about how young people didn't respect older people anymore. As she tried to explain that the line was going out the door and it might be considerate of him to make some room, he just got louder. Yep, just another day paying bills in St. Kitts.

And, of course, you feel good having paid it when the power goes out for a few hours every week. In our neighborhood, they're working on the street lights. Of course, they don't warn you, they just cut the power...and then you know...

Still don't miss the States though.

UPDATE: Ok, a blog reader alerted me to a year-old online payment service I totally forgot about: www.paykn.com (869) 466-7114. There is a fee per transaction, but I suppose you have to ask yourself what your time is worth. You pay using a debit or credit card, so it's a good way to earn frequent flyer miles. I couldn't figure out which companies were participating, so I don't see how anyone would join up without knowing if their creditors were included (and what extra fees the companies themselves charge). I did send them an email, so guess will see what the service is about.