Thursday, April 05, 2007

International Banking - China Style

In just 16 easy steps!

Please note that all steps in this program requiring verbal communication are to be done via translator, which adds a +2 to confusion

1.Enter bank that you are reliably informed will perform this service

2.Receive information that this bank no longer performs said service

3.Go to Post Office (who apparently perform this service)

4.Receive information that this transaction will require the use of US dollars, even though you have Chinese RMB, you are in a Chinese Post Office, you are depositing into an Australian bank account, and no physical money is actually changing hands anyway.

5.Go to bank number two to exchange money, only to be accosted en route by black market money dealers who seem suspiciously aware that you are after US dollars.

6.After deciding that the rate offered is in fact reasonably fair, (and enjoying mild thrill at doing something 'black market') decide that you need to go to the banks currency exchange anyway to authenticate the bills you have been given (step 6a. Realise that you've never really seen US money before and it looks kind of like monopoly money).

7.Express mild surprise that nobody in the bank seems overly concerned that black market money dealers (their competition) use them to authenticate bills.

8.Return to Post Office. Complete form. Submit to teller

9.Learn that Teller thought you were trying to send money to a person, not a bank account in your own name.

10.Learn that you have filled out the wrong form

11.Learn that US dollars weren't necessary after all.

12.Fill out (correct) form. Submit form, passport, and cash to teller.

13.Explain to the teller, with some difficulty, that, yes, the name on your passport is Ben Matthew Shaw, but that your account name is merely Ben Shaw.

14. Assure the teller (again with difficulty) that this is in fact possible and not an attempt to commit nefarious (though small-scale) acts of international monetary fraud.

15.Wait for teller to check notes. Teller will return saying that, though they are authentic, Post Office will not accept the bills that have a small president head on them (older notes) and will only except the newer notes, graced by a larger presidential noggin.

16.Give up. Try again tomorrow.

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