St. Louis, MO

Came round past Cardinal`s stadium, catching a glimpse of the stadium lights and red t-shirts, before turning down S. Broadway. Took a seat at one of the damp patio benches at Beale. The bar staff hurried to dry the chairs with recycled newspaper and cover the speakers with garbage bags. Ms. Kim was going on, sweetie. Rain or no rain.

The band warmed up. A big man with a gap between his front teeth was at keyboard and a tall skinny guy with shaggy hair and a pushed back fedora– you know this guy –played the sax. At 11pm Ms. Kim took the stage and sat sturdy in her chair while she sang the blues long past the Cardinal`s lights shut off . It was a Thursday night and people had to work in morning, but no one dared walk out on Kim. No one wanted to.

Setbacks

There have been a few annoying setbacks during the trip thus far– like my headlight going out back in Tuscon. (I`ve yet to take the time to stop and replace it. My solution is just not to drive much at night.) And my PayPal account was frozen for a random security screening, making it impossible to transfer funds to my bank account. And just when I got the PayPal account up and working again, I get an email from Bank of America saying a fraudulent charge was made with my debit card and now my debit card will no longer work.

I noticed this email on my drive to St. Louis, so I sat in a random parking lot under a Cracker Barrel sign to figure out if there was a way I can get any money.

B.A. Rep: “Your bank in Massachusetts will issue you a new card.”

Me: “Is there another way I can get a new debit card? I`m in the middle of a two-month road trip and I`m not near Massachusetts.”

B.A. Rep: “Where are you now?”

Me: [I look around and see corn fields.] “I think I`m in Indiana.”

B.A. Rep: “Uh. OK.”

Me: “I`ll be in St. Louis tonight. Could I go to a bank in St. Louis?”

B.A. Rep: “No. That`s in the west and your home bank is in the east.”

Me: “Oh. St. Louis is the west?” [sorry– when I think of the west, Missouri is not what comes to mind.]

Me: “So, is there any way I can retrieve money from my account?” [I`d like to leave the corn fields and Cracker Barrel at some point.]

B.A. Rep: “When will you be returning from your trip?”

Me: “Maybe July 25th or so. I`m not entirely sure.”

B.A. Rep: “You don`t have an expected date of return?”

Me: “No.”

B.A. Rep: “Huh. That’s kinda cool.”

Though he was amused, he transferred me to someone else and told me to enjoy my trip, and of course thanked me for being a customer of Bank of America. I think I`m about to figure out what Western Union is all about.