May 23, 2010

On Friends and Banks

On Friday, I’m flat broke, and after work I pass by the ATM machine to pick up some cash. For some reasons there is no money coming out of the thing.
After last Sunday's lovely man, some lovely ladies.

You’re probably have no money left in your account,” suggest friend H, who is standing next to me.
No, I’m sure have money,” I reply.
Oh, that darn thing never works,” suggest friend B, standing on my other side.
No, it usually works,” I assure her.
Maybe it is empty,” says B.
Or it has no paper slips left. Don’t ask for a receipt,” H. advises.
But no matter how I try, I get no money.

Suddenly a message on the screen reads ‘We cannot contact your bank.'

Maybe the phone line is dead,” H says.
Don’t worry,” says B, “I’ll pay for the drinks.”

On Saturday, I pass by the ATM machine of my bank. Same problem. After 3 attempts, I get a message.

Your card is no longer VALID.’ In capital letters.

I check the expiry date. I still have 7 months to go. So I enter the bank.
Oh, we cancelled your card on Wednesday. When there are suspicious transactions, we cancel automatically and issue a new one,” says the teller, and she gives me the new one.
What suspicious transactions?” I ask.
I don’t know,” she replies
Well, shouldn’t you call me?” I ask.
We tried, but nobody picked up.”
I know they didn’t call my cell phone. Maybe my home number. But hey, I’m a working woman.
I get my new card, a new PIN number, and out I go. Back at the ATM machine, I try 3 times.

"Your card is no longer VALID.’

Back to the bank teller.
Oh, it will be working as of 4 o’clock this afternoon.
How lovely.The line at the bank is long. Too long. Do I really need the money? No, it can wait till 4, I’m thinking.
S, M and little H in the pool

Well, four o’clock comes. And what do you know? The bank card is still not working, but now the bank is closed. Until Monday morning.
Why don’t you come to my beach”, says M. another friend. “I’ll invite you.”

I tell you, with a banking system like this, you need friends like mine.


Anonymous said...

but what does the H stand for?:P

angie nader said...

good friends are very important!

Patrick said...

Two days ago I went to Rmeish. We ate at the last restaurant next to the border. Such a weird spot, the restaurant is unfinished, but they serve first class Lebanese food. From that spot you see the Lebanese villages scattered around on the hill. Till they tell you that those villages are in Israel (you really see no difference in architecture etc). Since Rmeish is Christian the Israeli soldiers ignored the village and moved around it during the last war.


Georgia Paterson Dargham said...

Just catching up on a few older posts and I wish I'd been on your site a few days earlier - I also experience the premature invalidation of my bank card "for security reasons" this weekend and snooty looks from the cashier on top! Banks, huh. But you have to admit they actually understand money here!

Dani said...

This is exactly why I have been in Lebanon for six months, and have yet to open a bank account!

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