Poros has three banks, and three ATMs. The National Bank is usually busy but at least they have a number system and chairs to sit on. Alpha Bank where I was headed had only a few people in the queue. 'Great' I thought and lined up as number 3.
But there's a catch.
Alpha Bank is marching determinely into the 21st century. Most transactions here have to be tapped out on big ATMs, recently installed inside the bank. The girls behind the glass will help you work out what the hell to do but any withdrawals, deposits or bill paying must be done at the machine.
I have never used these beasts so I'm in the line to get some help from a teller. I have mastered the ATM outside. Now is my time to bumble and stumble further into the 21st century. I've been putting this moment off for about three weeks but the money has to go into bank or I'll end up spending it all on our daily bread and petrol for the quad. Once you start it just disappears.
So, I wait. Half an hour and it is almost my turn. But there is now a queue at the machines too so even if I get my teller we'll have to wait another half hour for our turn in the machine queue. I mutter nasty things in english and greek and give up, retreating out the damn security doors. You press the button and wait for the green light and then pull or push the door. I always push when I should pull or vice versa, even though instructions are written clearly in two languages. I vowed to transfer my meagre savings to the National Bank.
The National Bank hasn't moved quite so quickly. They must consider all their older customers who come in to have a chat while checking to make sure pensions have been deposited by the government. Always a possibility here the governement won't give us our pensions, though we seem to have passed the crisis point. Now we check to see exactly how much more they've taken away each month. 18% less from the 1st January 2019.
Across the strait there was once a small branch of the Alpha Bank in the village of Galatas. The bank got robbed twice so they closed it down. The first time they were held up by bandits with a kalashnikov. After that all the security doors were installed. The second time around the robbers smashed the security doors with sledge hammers. Both robberies took place in daylight in front of dozens of witnesses but they got away with the loot. I don't think our police here are well enough armed to confront them.
This day is much longer than I thought ...........
next installment, the courier
I have just been watching for the umpteenth time the film 'Battle of Britain'. What a classic.
So many more, an all star cast.
It still had me glued to my seat, wiping a few tears, smiling at the sheer englishness of it all. It's on again at 2pm tomorrow. Might just watch it again.
Isn't it weird, how these necessary errands, can eat up time???? Not to even mention, "wearing-us-down", at the same time????ReplyDelete
Pensions... Do all citizens, of a certain age, get pensions?
Eat up time is certainly the right phrase. It took all of the morning and I still didn't get everything done in this small town.Delete
Not everyone gets a pension. You have to have paid into some sort of national scheme for many years
Luckily the days of nasty, arrogant, de-mob suited, young men in French banks is now over. Very rarely do I visit my now unmanned bank; preferring to use the ATM in my supermarket, where I am very rarely made to wait for more than two minutes. Bliss.ReplyDelete
France is way ahead of us then. I know NZ was discouraging people for using the tellers the last time I visited. That was 12 years ago and they too it seems are far advanced.Delete
Sounds worse than here although, I, also, use an ATM most of the time.ReplyDelete
I certainly use the ATM for cash but have never deposited money this way. Always thought it was nice to have it all laid out in the bank book. Am going to have to change my habitsDelete
Many years ago. When I wasn’t yet married, I was working in the national Australia bank. We were robbed on a Friday afternoon by three masked men with very big guns!ReplyDelete
I still break out in a sweat thirty years later everytime I have to walk into a bank
Not very nice at all
Eeeks. It is quite another thing to just hear about and another to live through it. I presume you use machines as often as possibleDelete
The banks that are left here are now mostly just a premises for machines. If there is a human being member of staff the queues for her/him are long, showing that many people still like to deal with a human and not a machine. I have got used to most things computerised in banking. I recently went to a bank and asked for a paying in slip so that I could transfer some money to someone because my app wouldn't let me create a new payee and the girl said there was no such thing in their bank as a paper playing-in slip anymore. I felt very old fashioned and quite simply, old!ReplyDelete
Gosh, what a rigmarole to do your banking. It seems we are very spoilt over here!!ReplyDelete
It is so much easier than in Athens where the waiting can last hours. I will get used to those machines. It's just getting the first transfer done. I still haven't been back but I'll go again this week. Mid month it should be quietDelete
I'm glad our banking systems aren't that slow. i work in a customer service industry and I think we would get told off if we weren't reasonably quick. As for movies, I'm watching an old Joan Crawford one from 1964.ReplyDelete
Joan Crawford is a classic! We have just got another new satellite channel and it looks as though it is mainly vintage viewing so I hope I find more decent movies to watchDelete