Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A Fistful of Euros

Cash in hand.

Yesterday I went to the bank and was pleasantly surprised to find that my visit was completely routine. You'd never have known that people in some parts of Europe are waiting for Greece to tumble in to the abyss.

There were no queues around the block of anxious Greek people emptying their accounts of every last Euro in anticipation of a Syriza-led plunge in to an unknown Drachma-based future.

This was very much business as usual. The Skopelos branch of the National Bank of Greece is basically a large office. It's only recently that the branch has installed one of those security doors where you have to press a button and wait for the green light before you can enter.

Once inside there is a machine to issue you with a number marking your place in the queue. In that sense it's a bit like waiting to be served at the deli counter in a large supermarket.

Going to the bank here is a lot like many other activities carried out in public, it's a chance to be social. There's almost always someone you know in the queue so you can smile and nod to your acquaintances while at the same time keeping an eye open for those crafty Greek grannies who view queuing as something other people do. The truth is that if one of those grannies, a γιαγιά, does jump the queue there isn't a lot you can do about it. People here are generally pleasantly respectful towards their elders, something which, as I get more grey hair, I find I welcome.

Anyway, I withdrew the colourful bits of printed paper - well isn't that all money is? - I required and set off to do my bit to boost the local economy by spending it. For the time being I don't think there's much more I can do.

Some people have pointed out to me that they can't see/hear the music I like to add at the end of each posting. I thank them for pointing this out as I really do like feedback. I think the problem lies with whether or not you have a flash plugin, but I wouldn't want you to read this and think I actually know what I'm talking about. There's probably a setting you need to adjust or something. Maybe it's the flux capacitor.

I was thinking of choosing The Clash performing Bankrobber to go with this post, but instead I've gone for something a bit more upbeat with Shalamar and Take that to the bank.

* Picture of Euro notes by Usien, used under Creative Commons Licence.

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