For the last two mornings, I have tried to obtain an ATM card with my husband’s assistants. The first morning I failed to bring my passport; the appointment was actually scheduled for Friday but someone, who shall remain nameless, strongly suggested I come into the office and get it over with since he had botched the date and I was in the car anyway. Naturally, I did not have my passport with me so I could not complete the process. To cheer myself up I thought I would pick up with Season 2 of The Closer, but no, the DVD hovel was closed. My frustration was just beginning to ferment, but was kept in check at this point, as lunch and a mani/pedi with Princess Ai Lin were in the offing.
Duly groomed, I returned yesterday with two assistants, one English speaking and one Chinese only speaking, passport in hand. The local branch, a 10 x 10 meter room with 6 attendants servicing 100 people, was steamy at 10:30 in the morning. I was told I was “lucky” as the office was not crowded. As we snaked our way through the line for 20 minutes, I noticed that neither assistant had anything in their hands but cell phones. Is it possible, I thought, that they have memorized Mr. U’s bank account information? Curious, I asked if they had this information.
“Oh no, we don’t need it.”
“Yes, yes you do. We share the same account,” I replied. “I just need an ATM card for the same account. That is why I am here.”
Looking at me as if I had sprouted two heads, they told me that it would only be possible to set up my own account and then my husband could transfer money into that account for me. Then they explained that you can only have one card per account, there are no joint accounts. I called Mr. U, who bless his heart, had much bigger problems to solve but who spoke to me as if he were leader of a bomb squad, having ascertained from Ass. 1 and Ass. 2 that this was in fact the case. Hanging up the cell phone, I got out of the front of the line, mystifying the women trailing me, and returned to the office where I secured in my possession the working ATM card, joining countless families who now share one card but not one account.
Later at the Metro store, the Costco of China, and my new home away from home, I took out $$$ from the ATM. And then I took out some more. Today and tomorrow I will do the same as Mr. Understanding is traveling next week and we might want to eat or pay customs duties on our shipment or some other foolishness; I cannot, in good conscience, leave Mr. U cardless for a week. As keeper of the card, I have to keep track of these little slips of paper printed in Chinese; when the machine was finished printing the monitor said to me “Please take advice.”
Back at you. Where do I start?
NB: Again, my apologies for to my readers for lack of posting. The internet was kaput yesterday and before that it was spotty; sometimes I can get emails but not access to this website.