jeudi 2 février 2012
I'm not quite sure what the main purpose of French banks is, but I've found that they are the least reliable places to perform monetary transactions. (The French like to go to the post office to do their banking. Maybe the bank is the place to go for stamps?)
I needed to pay my grad students their stipend, so I called the University's banker, the appropriately-named Mr. LeSot ("the fool") and prepared him for my arrival. "Please have xxxx,xx euros ready for me," I tell him, because I know, as a long-term resident of the Hexagone, that one must order one's cash withdrawal in advance. You see, French banks don't actually have any money in their tills.
She suggests I take the large bills to the Post to break them.
(I almost asked her for 10 books of stamps, but held my tongue.)
Do Not Announce The Name of Your Business
making me think I've misdialed. So I always have to say something like
("I've reached the Ministry of Education?")
"Bien sûr [quelle idiote]. Vous n'êtes pas au Pizza Hut!"
("Of course, [you idiot]. This is not the Pizza Hut!")
I can't figure out why this is taboo here, but you'll never see one of those "Open: 9am Closed 5pm:" signs affixed to the merchant's door. Maybe it is just so they can arrive as late as they want and not have to be accountable to the customer for their tardiness.