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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ATM's

I was reading a friends blog about his time abroad and one post made me remember something that happened to me. I tried to post a longish comment, but due to technical problems with his blogging platform, I was not able to. So I decided to post it here.


Funny how things we take for granted are in other countries. I discovered our hotel wanted to charge me an extra 25% if I wanted to pay by credit card, so I went to take a couple hundred out at an ATM. After trying unsuccessfully twice, the machine-gun-armed guard told me I was trying to take out more than the limit. Daily withdrawal limits were $100 USD.

I went into the bank and got $300 when the teller came back with my cash I realized they had not asked me what denominations. Since things were so cheap, twenty dollar bills were difficult to get change for, so it was all in $10 bills. I felt like I was a drug dealer or paying some ransom with my bulging fanny pack and jacket pockets.

I was a bit concerned for my safety till I got back to the hotel and paid my bill for most of the week (getting rid of about half of the cash) and secreting most of the rest in my money belt.

Funny how things we may take for granted (taking $100 from an ATM and getting 5 $20 bills) are not the same everywhere.

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