I think it was about 8 weeks ago that we opened a bank account here in Koné. At that time we we were told that we could get a bank card. How many bank cards? One. Hmmm, I can’t have one? No, sorry, only one. Okay. Then we were told it would take three weeks for the bank card to be made and then sent from France. I was baffled by this process but at the same time, I had never banked outside of Canada.
In the weeks that followed, I learned how to use my “chequier”. I was intimidated at first. Yes, I have written cheques before but never at a store. Maybe at a Pampered Chef party or to a school fund raiser. This way of buying things totally amazed me. You sign the cheque, pass it over, they print the date, amount, title, ect et voilà you are finished! Off you go with your purchases, I must admit, I felt like it was 1984, and I was my mother at Sobeys, the little one, on St.Peter’s Avenue, for those of you who remember. I can still remember her getting out her cheque book and writing the cheque every week.
Much to my amazement today, during my weekly, Friday morning stop at the bank to get the status update on the bank card, I found out…it had arrived! Wow! Then I was quickly told it would not work until tomorrow. Hmm, okay. And tomorrow you have to put it in the bank machine and activate it. Okay, not to bad. But, then you still can’t use it until the next day. So it will still take a bit to be able to use the card. I had heard through the grapevine that I too could have a card. Dare I ask? I asked and much to my disbelief, the answer was, absolutely! So, maybe sometime in March I will get a bank card too, with Mme on it!
In all this back and forth to the bank I did learn a few things. That you still need to fill out withdrawal and deposit slips, or as my sisters and I called them in our childhood, “cheques” That in some places in the world you really do need to memorise your account number. And that there is something to be said for having personal service at the bank.
So we are off this morning to activate it. I hope I don’t dare lose this card!