Thursday: Anniversary Celebration


It is bitterly cold. There is snow piled up all over the place. The city tells us that snow removal will last through Saturday at best. (and still, side streets will not be plowed, so parking is still a problem).

I took an Uber to the meeting.

A year ago, this week, in the dead of Winter, at (-30c) outside, I called a taxi. I was not yet an Uber customer. That night, with a week to go until Christmas, a taxi driver drove me less than 1.5 km from home to the church for the Thursday meeting. That taxi driver had more than one terminal in his car. And our debit cards, here in Montreal, have smart chips in them. A shrewd thief knows that he can tap a maximum amount out of a card, before the fail safe will ask for a pin to complete the purchase. That night, he tapped out $99.00 and 49.99 on two terminals in his lap. And offered me a third terminal to complete the $8.00 fare.

I did not know that this had transpired until I got home that night and $150.00 was missing from my bank account. I called the taxi company and reported the theft. Then I called the bank and stopped payment of funds for those two transactions.

Bank cards are transaction specific. And the bank could tell me exactly what amount was tapped out, at what time, and by whom. Three transactions appeared in my file. Two taps and a manual card insertion.

It took me nearly a week,  and almost threatening a bank employee with turning my Christmas into a complete failure, to get her to release my money the Friday before Christmas.

Hence … I will NEVER take another taxi in Montreal, ever again.

I took the Uber, and got there, Uber early. I cranked out coffee and set up and had time on my hands, until my friends showed up.

To my surprise, the entire group of young people who go to the Monday meeting, all showed up at the Thursday meeting to hear one of our young women speak. I love my young people, they mean with world to me, because I have been blessed to watch them all grow up and get sober.

One of our Thursday women baked me Chocolate Cheese Cake. My friend Juan, gave me my chip, and it was a really great night.

Tomorrow my best friend comes in from Ottawa, and we will do cake and chip all over again for the Friday community.

One cannot but be grateful for the people who show up to celebrate milestones.