Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Duh, What’s a Euro? Part 1

My adventure began back in March. The Orff Institut requires a bank check or money order denominated in Euros. Three hundred and fifty of them to be exact. So I had to figure out how to get this money to Austria with my application.

First I tried one of my credit unions. No idea. Then the other, larger one. They suggested the Chittenden Bank. I withdrew some cash from that credit union, then ran down the street and hit the ATM for the remainder and went to the Chittenden.

Problem #1 - I wasn't a customer. We got past that (after all they were going to make $40 just for writing a check.) The nice, competent young woman had to ask around to figure out how to do the transaction - nobody seemed to know. I guess Vermonters never go to Europe.
Problem #2 - It was after 2:00 PM. Trading in Euros was suspended until the following day. I paid my $492 anyway hoping that the dollar wouldn't weaken appreciably overnight.

It did. We had a snow day (actually an ice day - it usually takes ice to close a Vermont school; otherwise we suck it up and go.) I get a mid-day call from the bank. I'm 52 cents short on the transaction. The dollar did weaken slightly. They couldn't make the trade until I drove in with 52 cents.

It was a freaking ice storm for crying out loud! Finally the teller relented and said she would put 52 cents in for me. The transaction went through, the next day I picked up the check and repaid the teller. Whew! I sent off the application and check with a passport photo and spent $24 on postage for the privilege of getting a receipt and a delivery window of less than 9 weeks.