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Travels

An Exchange

I walked down the hill a little earlier today. Washington Mutual doesn’t do currency exchange, but Bank of America does. I had two Â¥10,000 and a Â¥1,000 to exchange. Bank of America charges a 1% transaction fee to those who don’t hold an account. My answer was that I’d rather pay the 1% than be broke. The guy went to get the exchange rate book, and a big color catalog of what different currency notes look like. I had figured that at 120Â¥ to the dollar, the Â¥20,000 ought to earn me $160, with another $8 for the Â¥1,000.

“Sixteen dollars and thirty-three cents.”

“That’s the transaction fee?”

“No, that’s the exchange.”

He re-did his math and decided that I was in line for $163.50. “How would you like your money?”

“Twenties.” The yuppy food stamp.

He counted out more cash than I’ve seen in a good long while now, and I remarked that I was going to fill my tank.

The 1% charge was waived. I attribute this to a combination of his mis-placed decimal point, and to the impression I got that he was sweet on me. He suggested I open a checking account, now with no fees. I responded that I just might do that in the future when I had some money to put into such a thing. As it was, I was immensely pleased that the exchange cost me less than $5.

Flush with cash, and tomorrow my day of reckoning before the administrative law judge, who may determine once and for all my eligibility for unemployment benefits, which could see me with $2,000 pretty quickly, and a lot less worried about problems.

But what I have other ideas I want to play with now. No more War news for a while, just me, Michael’s stereo, a comfortable office chair, and an Internet terminal. Maybe I can get some ideas worked out.

It is nice to have money in one’s pocket.

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