September 18, 2007 The Cons continue

Posted in Rodger's Russia Book | Posted by rodger |






I brought enough cash along to last a month and I have ATM cards if I need them, but I don’t want to pay the usage fees if I can avoid it So, today I took nice, clean, unblemished American dollars to the bank for conversion to Rubles.

The nice lady in the bank said they only took very good bills. Mine were too wrinkled and one had a spot of ink on it. She would never, she said, be able to get anyone to take a wrinkled bill from her. She said, however, that there was an exchange nearby where they took “bad” money,

In spite of the fact that the bills were in almost perfect condition, I went to the “place where they took bad money.” The woman there went over every bill as if she were doing a forensic investigation, noting every little wrinkle and running her fingernail over imagined blemishes. Finally she announced that she could take “some” of my bills for a 10 percent discount from an already discounted exchange fee and with a small service fee on top of that. I blurted out “tee balder” (you crazy!) and snatched the bills from the tray.

She was, of course, just trying to get a hefty discount that would go into her own pocket.

Later my mother in law said that I had done a bad thing. I used the personal pronoun “Tee” when I should have only used the impersonal “Vee” when insulting someone.

So far, the ATM is the only thing around that has not tried to cheat me,

Haven’t gotten much writing done yet, but times are interesting.

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