Thursday, July 3, 2008

Duh, What’s a Euro? Part 2

(I recommend reading the previous post, part 1 so this makes more sense.)

I waited and waited for a letter of acceptance from the Orff Institut. I was starting to get squirrelly about plane tickets and housing. Finally after several weeks I just went ahead and applied for the housing.

This time I decided to go for a wire transfer. The bank info was on the housing app. So equipped with this info and several hundred dollar bills I waltzed back to the Chittenden Bank. This was going to be a breeze.

I wasn't a customer. Yes I know. Since you aren't a customer you can't do a transaction over $500. Yup, this is for $400. So a very competent woman filled out the wire transfer application. Every i was dotted and t crossed. But it was after 2:00 PM again (some of us have work for a living.) Could I just pay $10 more than the current trade price and pick up the change whenever? No we can't do that.

So I arranged with the woman that my wife would bring the money in the next day. I got assurance that this lady would actually be there. So I advised my wife to go after lunch to make sure.

At about 1:45 the next day I got a desperate call from my wife. She had been there over 45 minutes. There was some piece of info she needed to do the bank draft. Bank draft? It's a wire transfer I said. Thank heavens she called. I told her the paperwork had been totally filled out, all she needed was to hand over the cash.

Well the lady I had seen the day before was out for a late lunch. They went digging though her drawers and found the app. End of problem.

So I had sent another bunch of money off into a European black hole - still no acceptance letter. Finally I e-mailed the Institut and got a reply that my acceptance letter had been sent out several weeks before by regular mail. This can take forever. We had a German exchange student several years ago who would need to send thing in October to have any chance it would arrive by Christmas. Well this letter must have been put on a slow barge via the Indian Ocean - I still haven't gotten it.

A few weeks later I was telling this story to friends who informed me that there was Western Union at the local Rite Aid!