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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strapped for cash

In order to relate to you the latest in a long series of embarrassing situations, I have to give you some background information - so bare with me! The other day, I went to withdraw cash and the ATM machine ate my card after three failed attempts at punching in my PIN. This was on a weekend, which meant that I had to wait until Monday before going back to the bank and getting my card and some much needed cash. I'm not usually such a bimbo, by the way. I have the original number written down, but it's not working so I guess I must've changed the PIN some time ago because now, for the life of me, I can't remember what it is. I'm usually pretty good at remembering crap like this, but you know, it happens - sometimes your forget the PIN for your ATM card and you're left with no cash over the weekend and forced to revert back to your high school days and borrow money from your parents (thanks mom and dad, will pay you back soon, promise!). Anyway, I digress...

Later that day, I stopped by the grocery store - pre-loan from the parents - thinking, no problem, don't need cash, will put groceries on my credit card. I forgot about the guy who carries the bags to your car and when he took my groceries and started walking with me to my car, I panicked. I was so flustered as to what I should do. I could've taken the groceries and said I can carry them myself, but I totally forgot I was cashless until he was already walking with me. I then asked myself, should I snatch the groceries from the guy and insist on carrying them myself at the risk of him thinking that I'm too cheap to tip him? Should I let him carry my groceries to the car and just tell him the honest truth, that I didn't have any cash? As I was wondering what I should do, I realized I was wasting time and getting closer and closer to my car, making option one now impossible. I took out my wallet and frantically started digging for one stray thousand lira bill that I hoped was tucked somewhere in between pictures of my niece and nephew and old credit card receipts. By this time, we were at my car and with each bag he placed in the trunk, my panic grew.

As he slammed the trunk shut, I opened the coin holder praying for some change ... and my prayers were answered. Hallelujah! I found nearly LL2,000 in coins, not ideal but better than nothing. I explained that I had no cash and apologized for tipping in coins (looked down upon in this neck of the woods). The guy was very pleasant and told me not to worry, no tip was necessary, but I insisted he take the coins, which he did. So, I traded in a huge embarrassing moment for an only slightly embarrassing moment. Not bad.

(PS Still haven't figured out my PIN and am still the cashless wonder of Beirut!)

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