Thursday, 17 April 2008

On Finances and Credit Cards

So the next problem that I have encountered in this country: my credit card.

My credit card is viewed as a relic of the past. Luckily, thanks to my archaeological training, I am very much interested in relics of the past (which also might explain my interest in older men! OH I'M KIDDING!). Unfortunately, my card is treated as though it fell out of the Pleistocene. As protocol the cashier stares at it, blinks several times, turns it over several more times, and then stares at me and blinks. I blink twice at the cashier - perhaps this is some sort of game?.

Next the cashier will attempt to insert the card into a reader - then look at me with some disdain when the card does not work.

"It's North American." I inform the cashier.

"So you don't have a chip or pin?"



"I don't know. We don't use those in Canada."

"You need to get a card with a chip and pin."

"Just swipe the card, the old fashioned way."

I fully refuse to get a new credit card in the UK. It seems like a bad idea: Let's run up more debt on this side of the globe!! FUN! I can be honest - school cost me a small fortune. I'm fairly sure my student debt load competes with the debt of some Third World countries. Unfortunately the World Bank has denied my request for debt forgivness. So no, I'm not getting a credit card in the UK.

Anyway, apparently swiping cards is considered archaic. Now I can't really understand the response I receive because it has only been 4 years since I was last in the UK - and 4 years ago credit cards WERE swiped. It's not like I am reintroducing a concept from a past era. This is recent, recent history! Needless to say, consider it a fair warning to anyone moving to the UK - you will be considered a wonder of archaeological proportions!

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