Turns Out You Can’t Buy Me a Ko-fi.
The *only* way I can be helped financially is through Western Union.
Readers and writers on Medium have tried to help me. But nothing seems to work except for my son, who sends me $50 via Western Union, sometimes twice a month.
When my son sends me $50, this is what he texts to me. Why it says ‘Frederick Scott’ I don’t know, except those are my first two names on the passport. ‘Frederick Ermlich’ would probably work too. I’ve noticed that Panamanians seem confounded by my middle name… I think.
Aaron adds a comment separate from this image. He writes “50” for $50. There’s never been a problem, and the transfer is immediate. He maybe takes in cash to a counter — I don’t know and don’t ask. Anyway, if I don’t know the amount they won’t give me the money.
I’ve read that you can send money from debit and credit cards too. Credit cards might have cash advance fees.
I also believe that there are online and phone apps for Western Union. Since there’s an office here in town, I just use the shoe-leather approach. Or sandals-leather…
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Lucky for me the neighboring country Costa Rica has a U.S. Social Security office and the ability to open a bank account for me. I’ll be asking them to set me up with a VISA card and maybe an address. Maybe not though — there really are no such thing as addresses in Panama or Costa Rica.
That pesky address issue is why I can’t use Stripe or PayPal or anything! But the market of refugees like me keep Western Union going.
If Panama decided to deport me for any reason I’d go to Colombia or Costa Rica, or Mexico.
I don’t think they would deport me, but I’m always ready, just in case.
Just please, please, don’t ever make me go back to the U.S. Among other reasons I don’t have clothes for anyplace with real weather. Here it’s just hot or warm and humid, or slightly cooler and not quite so humid. On very rare occasions it’s uncomfortably hot and humid. Even that I don’t really mind, but the natives do. Go figure.
Anyway, I don’t own a blanket or jacket. Neither is ever necessary, except probably (definitely) up on the flanks of Volcan. It gets cold, but doesn’t snow.
I’m not doing so well with my long-term survival. Every month I’m short on foods and sundries. This month, right now, I’ve lost a lot of weight and I didn’t have it to lose in the first place.
I am philosophical, and being more Panamanian than Norteamericano these days, characterized by “tranquilo,” I won’t have any screaming shitfits. Still, I am a survivor, at least until my old age catches up. For now I’m voting for survival, and if anybody writing or reading on Medium want to help me out, I won’t say ‘no.’
And if Medium is offended by this article and the video, well, f#%k@-em. They are Northern Californian white supremacist racist age-ist jerks… and capitalists besides… Really, I’ve about had about enough of the money they haven’t had to pay me over the years, and with my money and words flowing to them for free.
This video explains some things I’d rather not let the algorithms see.
So don’t buy me a coffee. Instead,
Buy me a Western Union stagecoach…
Or, you know, send one filled with gold.
… Fred Ermlich
PS: I’m adding a pretty “feature picture” right here: