A Day in the Life, Needing a Print Cartridge in Aruba


Looking back, some things are rather comical, but while it is happening, all you can do is wonder, “Seriously, what next??”

Angie needed to print 5 pages of documents to sign, and then scan and email back to deal with banking, and the ATF.   So, the items were serious and needed to happen immediately.   Of course, our print cartridge ran out while printing the first page. Our “spares” were left back in the USA when we decided overnight to fly back to Aruba to deal with Tropical Storm Bert.  So, Angie asked the marina office if there was an office supply place that carried a variety of print cartridges.  One place suggested was PriceSmart. Then, “further up the road, take a left and then the place will be on the right.”  We had checked PriceSmart before for the cartridges, but since it is in theory on the way to the other place, Angie thought she would stop by again, just in case.  She really didn’t have a great grasp of where she needed to take the “left.”

It was a sweltering day, so the bike ride to PriceSmart was a bit strenuous.  This was evidenced by the fact that when Angie stopped to cross the two lane road, she nearly fainted, got extremely nauseous, and started to get tunnel vision.  Instead of dodging traffic, she thought it would be best to sit down under a tree along the road way. She proceeded to sit on an anthill.  With not feeling 100%, she didn’t even care at first.  Then, the little guys went up her shorts.  Yeah,  break time was over, and she found enough energy to do a crazy dance under the divi divi tree.

Of course, she also forgot to pack a bottle of water.  Getting fluids was of primary concern at that point.  She walked her bike across the roadway, across the parking lot, and was able to start chugging water at the PriceSmart  food counter. After about a half an hour, she was feeling a bit better and decided to check PriceSmart’s ink cartridges again.  Nope. HP#63 was not to be found. HOWEVER, they did have an ink refill kit.  Since she didn’t think she would be able to go much further in search of the infamous “other place,” Angie opted for the kit, hoping her ink cartridges were refillable.  She had to go to a website online to find out whether it would work or not.  Internet was available back at the boat.  She got a few more rounds of water at the food counter because she still was not feeling 100%.   However, it would be a much shorter bike ride back, with the wind at her back.  She could practically coast all of the way home.

Unfortunately, when Angie went to use her bicycle, she found her tire flat.  For some reason, it took a frustrating amount of time to figure out how to work her tire pump and air up the tire.  She finally got it working.  Thankful, Angie started towards home.  And then, the tire went flat, just on the other side of the parking lot.  She found a nice 1 inch torn in the side of her tire from when she laid the bike down under the divi divi tree. Not wanting to try to deal with patching it along the roadway, she ended up walking the bike a few miles back to the boat.

Once she made it home, she had to gather up the computer and go find some wifi to see about the instructions for refilling her ink cartridges, if they are even refillable.  Starbucks is always good for free wifi and is a short walk away. Unfortunately,  HP#63 didn’t seem to be refillable.  Angie downloaded  an instruction page for another random cartridge, hoping it would provide enough info for her to try to do it on her own anyways.

Back on the boat, Angie decided to take the black ink refill and jam it into a couple of ports/holes she found on the defunct cartridge.  After about a minute, black ink started oozing everywhere, all over her fingers, and all over the WHITE countertops.  Panic set in and Angie did the best she could to contain and clean the mess. It was ugly.  It looked like black arterial spray.

Eventually, the cartridge stopped hemorrhaging.  Angie wiped as much off of the exterior as she could.  She put it in the printer and was able to print her 5 pages.  She would not get a sixth.   Angie prayed that the cartridge would not continue to leak, all over the inside of the printer. She also needed to make sure she didn’t mess up any of the forms that had to be sent back that day. She would not most likely be able to reprint one without another mess. At least that went well.  She went back to Starbucks with the computer to get everything emailed out.  Yep, she could not remember her passwords.  Back to Uno Mas write them down.  Back to Starbucks.  Emails actually happened!  YEAH!!!! Back to Uno Mas with a massive migraine brewing. The churning stomach, throbbing head, and pain behind the eyeballs was fierce. The sunlight was unbearable.  It wasn’t dark yet, but Angie decided to just go to bed and call it a day, praying the migraine med would kick in.

It took over 6 hours to print and send back 5 pieces of paper that day.

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