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Published: March 30th 2007
In March when I decided to take a trip to Great Britain I asked my (British) bank in Paris to take out cash in sterling currency. They couldn't do that. I took European currency (euros) trusting to be able to change it into pounds and pence without problem. In Rugby I changed some of my euros but the exchange rate was not in my favour and I felt ripped off.
When I realised I would need more money than I had first planned to spend, I thought it wouldn't be a problem to withdraw cash from any agency of my bank in Great Britain. Without a card, however, I was told it was impossible.
I phoned my bank from a public phone in Carlisle asking them what to do. I was told it was quite legal to have money sent from my branch in France to any branch in Britain. Yes, but it had to be sent to a bank account number...
I'll make this story short. By the time I actually received the cash over the counter, it was Friday afternoon and I had spent a whole week sorting out this issue. Each day I was
wondering why it was such a big hassle. I felt very unsecure. I cried. I got mad. I hated the way I was treated.
It gave me time to stroll, take photos and watch television in my hotel room. It gave me an insight of how the people of Great Britain see the world and the European continent. I was amazed.
Cash problems can happen anywhere when travelling. I would love to hear other travellers' stories on the subject!
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