Romania may be part of the EU but it is not part of the Euro currency zone. As such we found ourselves in more or less the middle of nowhere with no cash and no place willing to take credit cards. When we found an open bank we rejoiced that we could get some cash and proceeded to stand in line up for 20 minutes in 30 degrees Celsius heat. When it was finally my turn I produced my sweat soaked bills and passport and the guy typed in my information before looking at me with a stricken face.
Dude: Have you ever changed money here before.
Dude: Are you a customer
Dude starts to look panicked.This is not what he wants on a hot and dusty afternoon, a sweaty biker who has obviously not showered in 2 or 3 days who wants to change her money and had spent the day riding in mud.
He then explains to me that I need to be a customer to change money at the bank. Did I want to go through that process. When I declared yes I did he took on the look of a hunted animal.
Dude: It will take a very long time to open this account for you.
Me: Fine, whatever, do you know where the next bank actually is?
Dude: I can change the money for you under the name of another customer instead if you like. And he offers me the biggest smile of the day.
Me: oooookaaaay, if you can do that.
Inside my head I was thinking I must have lived in Germany for far too long because that just seems dodgey to me.
Patrick slimes his way in to see what is taking so long, and when I told him the above story he confirmed my German take on things by making a strange sound. Dude must have understood what this sound meant, because he then beamed at Patrick and declared “No worries, I just used the account of my colleague instead.”
I wish I was able to record the look on Patrick’s face. Sadly I think the whole story may only truly be appreciated by my banking students in Germany.