Thursday, July 20, 2006


Here's another thing you won't believe if you're British - the fuss and kerfuffle of getting into a bank! [British banks are so, well, open...] First you have to leave all bags, even your handbag, in a locker outside, taking with you only any money, cards or papers that you need. Then you have to ring a buzzer and go through the first security door, where you are presumably scanned; finally the second door will open and you can enter. It is just as bad getting out!
However, the service inside is now usually quite fast: I can remember a time when, whatever you wanted to do, you had to wait in at least two different queues, one to process your request and then one for the cassa or cash-desk. [And I use the word "queue" loosely here, as there were always people better at elbowing their way to the counter than me.] Now at least everything is done by one clerk and there is even a privacy line [drawn nearer to the counter than it would be in Britain. I have already commented that the concept of personal space is different.] There are also so many different banks here these days that there are hardly any queues.
All the same, because of the security systems, allow plenty of time for going to the bank, though not as much time as you need for the dreaded post office!

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