Today, for the first time since the girls' spa day last November in Richard's Bay, I left Sten and Mata'irea for several hours, but not for a reason as fun as pedicures and facials. There is supposed to be a clearance office here in St. Pierre, the northernmost anchorage in Martinique, but the Customs Department has suspended service in St. Pierre. So today, while Sten worked on a myriad of niggling maintenance issues on board, I took the bus down to Fort de France to clear us out of the country.
I took care of our outwards clearance, then wandered down to Rue Victor Hugo to check out the boutiques. In a very cool little shop I found a few things to supplement my threadbare wardrobe and handed them to the shop girl so that she could ring them up. I reached into my bag to pull out my wallet, but couldn't find it. Had I dropped it? Been pickpocketed? A brief moment of panic was quickly replaced by utter embarrassment as I tried to explain in broken French that I wouldn't be taking those items after all. Out on the sidewalk I determined that I had just enough coins in a ziplock baggie labeled "Euros" to grab lunch at a hole-in-the-wall (a far cry from the sushi feast I'd been looking forward to) and get a shared taxi bus back up to St. Pierre. Not quite the girl's day out I had planned. Back at the boat, I was very relieved to find my wallet sitting on the nav station, right where I'd left it.
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