Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Faith in Humanity Restored!

Ok, I must say, I haven't been extremely forthright about how much of a dumbass I am in previous posts. Basically, I left the US without any way to get more funds than I brought because my ATM card expired like 2 years ago and I didn't realize it until I arrived. So, the 150 pounds I brought with me were supposed to last until I got a bank account set up and could transfer money electronically. But, things cost a lot here, there were many start up costs (like a cutting board, dish towels, ect) and I was lazy about setting up a bank account. Push come to shove, it's friday night and I have 7 pound to my name, 5 of which I spent getting into the club (hey - what was I supposed to do? Cute girls were going.)

So, over the weekend, I met a friend for drinks and dinner and I paid with my credit card and he gave me cash. It was enough to see me through. Monday was a 'bank holiday' so my first chance to do something about this was today. I got up early (read: 10:30 instead of 11), took care of some things at the house (shower, eat, email, job apps) and then headed to the Navy Federal branch near the US Embassy. When I got there, they explained that they were not a cash facility - i.e. they don't carry cash and don't issue cash.

Here's the long-winded point: When I explained my situation, the lady at the "bank" offered to get pounds for me (which they can do elsewhere in the building because they were military) and I could give her the money. It was an extraordinary effort from someone who is probably making next to nothing working in a "bank" while her husband is stationed in the UK. It meant everything to me (I was down to 2 pound - enough to take the bus twice) and it really made me smile. Every once in awhile, when you least expect it, humanity actually shows up.

Anyway, after that, I went to school, got a letter from them stating that I was enrolled and what my address was, and then went to Lloyd's TSB (which is a bank) and filed the paperwork to open an account. It's technically not open yet, but should be by tomorrow. So hopefully, I won't have to worry about this anymore. The lesson, of course, is to get off your ass and square away your finances before A) spending all your money and B) engaging in relentless tourism.

After the bank, I went back to school and did a little research in the library. Ran into some friends on the way and chatted for a bit too. I have a lot to read for class, so I begged off early and headed home.

This school really suits me, more so than Emory ever did. At Emory, I never really felt at home except in debate. Here, I feel extremely comfortable. The people are really nice, they are quick to solve whatever problem you may encounter, and they actually seem to care about you more than just the dollars they're receiving from you. Also, the people that attend the school are pretty laid back and friendly. I guess we're all a bit more mature than the 18-year-old newbie going away from home the first time.

Tonight I'm going to do some more Japan reading and probably play Madden on my laptop (my one computer game for the year!). Some new girl just got to the house today (from Cyprus) and I helped her move her gigantic suitcase upstairs. One good deed begets another, or so they say.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it up the the Yanks to save the day. Europe is used to that!

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drinking.... eating..... drinking??? yes, drinking... who needs food?

8:46 PM  

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