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Another banking transaction - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Another banking transaction [ Wednesday, 20 Sep 06 | 10:14 ]
ursine1
[Tags|]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

This month marks the second anniversary of opening up a bank account at “La Caixa”. They had issued me a debit card that expired in two years. Last month I went into the branch office at Sant Adrià de Besòs on my way to grocery shopping at Alcampo. I asked about renewing my debit card and they said that it was valid through the end of this month and to go to my home branch. I know the branch manager at Sant Adrià and he asked how I was doing, as usual.

The first time I used my debit card this month at an ATM, a message popped up telling me that my card would expire at the end of the month and to go to my home branch for a renewal. In the US about this time I would have gotten a letter in the mail with a new debit card and then follow the instructions to actuate it.

The next time I was in the area of my bank branch, I stopped in wielding my debit card, bank book, and passport. In castellano I introduced myself and explained what I wanted. The cajera went to a cabinet and pulled out a box of plastic cards. She found my new debit card and scanned it on her computer to actuate it and gave it to me. She took my old card, cut off the corner, and stuck it in a shredder. She also offerred me a credit card, which I refused, since I am on a cash-only basis, being retired. The new debit card has an expiration of four years.

My experience in the US has been one year validity for the first debit card and then two years for the second. Here in Spain two years for the first card and four for the second.

It is also interesting how little they use the postal system here. I have yet to pay a bill by mail. The one time that I didn’t already have an EFT set up, I paid by using the bar-code reader at an ATM. And during that process I was prompted to have similar bills automatically paid from my bank account. In the States it usually took several bill cycles and signing of documents to do the same thing.

Banking in general is easier in Spain than in the States.

Semana de la Movilidad Sostenible y Seguro

Or the Week of Sustainable and Secure Mobility. Next week, from 23 September through 1 October, my town, El Masnou, has a number of activities planned for getting people out of personal vehicles and using their feet, bikes, and public transport. This is part of a European drive on reducing the use of cars. The central theme this year is global climate change.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pbehr
Tuesday, 26 Sep 06 | 03:44 (UTC)
I looked at the El Masnou website but couldn't really tell if Sustainable and Secure Mobility would be interesting. Have you enjoyed any of it so far? :-)
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 26 Sep 06 | 09:09 (UTC)
Well, it's all in català, but I think will take a free bus ride on Thursday and checkout the foam party on Sunday. You know, they will use any excuse to have a party!

Carles
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[User Picture]From: pbehr
Thursday, 05 Oct 06 | 08:43 (UTC)
Sorry, Chuck, meant to contact you this week but have been sick since Monday and gone as of today.

Will get back to you later. Brian
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