Saturday, January 23, 2010

where's the bank?

On friday I went down to southern cross, the main railway station for downtown, a hub of all the trains for the city as well as the large interstate lines that go out into the country. While down there I figured I'd run an errand and deposit a big sack of coins from the bedroom nightstand.

I stopped off at the main newspaper stand and asked where the nearest bank was. The guy replied after some thought "There's no bank here. Only ATM down there" and pointed to the other end of the station. I felt that "there's no bank here" was fairly definitive. It almost made it sound there were banks formerly but they had finally managed to get rid of them. So I kept on walking, looking for a branch, any branch.

Soon I spotted two college age kids handing out bottled water for NAB (National Australian Bank). Surely I thought these people would know. "Uhh, nearest bank. You mean the nearest NAB (shakes bottle enticingly)! Not sure. I reckon you should head downtown". Already being downtown, I figured mission accomplished. "So your instruction is to keep on wandering around until I eventually find one?" "Yep" "Why thank you, that's a great idea!" "Too easy, cheers!"

Finally I stopped in a watch repair place and asked. The jeweler appeared pleasantly surprised at the prospect of a customer but when he found out I was just asking directions he replied disdainfully "Aww, everywhere's a bank, mate!" To which I said "In that case, I'd like to make a deposit!"

I think something may have got lost in the translation, he didn't think it was that funny and eventually just walked away. A couple blocks later I found a cluster of six banks, all of them closed. Note to self, banks open at 9:30 fridays.

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