Globalization has bound the world into a singular community. Travel, though, sometimes upends this notion. Having left New York a few weeks back, I find myself waiting for my identity to catch up with me in Dublin, which as everyone knows, has experienced some banking problems over the last few years.

My own began simply. Whether for affairs conducted in Ireland or for affairs conducted abroad, I required a local bank account. Nothing fancy: deposits in, checks out. So, after amassing the requisite tokens of identity- passport, residency card, utility bill, promise of first-born- and making an appointment for 4 days later at a bank (obviously overcome with the demands for their services!), I spent an hour in the office of a “qualified financial advisor”.  She dutifully took down my details and photocopied my supporting documents.

But then, I found myself rejected. Having moved into a new apartment and waited a month for my utility bill, it seems that my name was written in a typeface unacceptable to the bank. Rather than call the local utility, it was easier to reject my application under demand that I bring new evidence of my existence. Protesting, I was assured that this situation would be rectified the following week. So I waited.

Hearing nothing, I called the bank again and was told that they were waiting for new corroborating evidence. This was an oblique notice of rejection (a native Irish speaker has since informed me that the old language does not have a word for “no”, hence this example of a positive masquerading as a negative: beats the old English double negative any day!!)

The upshot? I wait for my utility to send a new bill. I wait for them to change their typeface. The latter may never happen. Meantime, no banking in this inter-connected world which from this vantage point, seems a vast and unattainable idea whatever Tyler Brule might say in the Financial Times!


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The Slow Lane: Waiting For Godot in a Dublin Bank


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