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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Burning cash 

Yesterday as I sat around a friend's place while he painted, I commented, rather jokingly, that it would cost me hundreds of euros to actually get out of this country. And I wasn't even talking about the plane ticket.

For the entirety of the sunny part of today, while I snuffled and sniffled, I dialed phone number after phone number. "Yes, please, I'd just like to close my account before I fly out of the country." A slight pause and then, "No, I'm not coming back, which is why I just want to close my account please." Tap, tap, tap with the pen on a spare piece of paper which was intended to take notes of things I must do but remained blank for nearly 3 hours of phone calls. "Okay, but the thing is, see, is that I'm leaving the country in a week." Is it wrong to lie to this extent? I need all these things done before my landlord comes round next Wednesday to look at the place to make sure I'm not leaving a chest of drawers on accident. "Sure, I could mail you a letter, yes. But how long will it take to close the account after you get my letter?" Nod, nod. "Right, but that's a bit longer than a week, isn't it?" My eyes rolled a lot in between comments. "Can't I just come into your office or a shop and hand them a paper, or even fill something out there?" Raised eyebrows followed closely by a few sighs. "Right, I see. Well, I'll try to get you a letter tomorrow then." Lips pursed and eyes closed in frustration. "Oh? So you mean I can go into a particular shop and, right, okay. Oh, right, how much would that cost?" Blood drained from my face.

"Right, and that's just to close an account quickly?" Tap, tap, tap. "Oh that's normal then, I'd have to pay it anyways. Right." Numbers scrawled across the paper, and a few acronyms for the people that I am trying to close an account with. "And I can pay that right there in the shop with the paperwork then? Oh. Well how do I pay it then?" Pen poised to write down something of importance. "Right, but I won't actually live here after next week you see, so if you send me a bill to this address I won't get it. Wouldn't it just be simpler to pay it all in the shop then? Right, I can take cash, sure." Oh for the love of gawd, people! "Right, so I'll go into the shop then to close my account and take how big a chunk from my savings then?"

I'm contemplating just burning a bunch of cash in a fire pit and ditching the country without having to deal with the bureaucracy that is Austria. I figure it might even help get rid of this cold that will not go away. Good idea, bad idea?

Oh, you're writing again! Welcome back, as it were. I hope you get your piles sorted and your cash burned and your kitty happily to Vancouver.
Thanks Udge :) So far, so good.
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