Some days, life here in Luleå is just an adventure!!! I’m glad everyday isn’t anymore, but some days just are!! It reminds me that we still aren’t fully Swedes and probably never will be completely. That’s ok – it gives spice to life!!! And I’m so glad when I can laugh about it!!!
We were refunded some money and since it is a sunny day (rained yesterday, will rain tomorrow) I decide it’ll be a good day to go to town and deposit our checks. So I drive to town, park the car, put my money in the meter and go off on a simple task with some time to spare for a little window shopping!!! A very nice relaxing break! I decide to take the break part first since my task is a simple stop at our bank. I get to the bank with time spare!! I take my number and wait. Finally my number is call and I go up to the window and give them my checks to deposit. The teller looks at them and says, “No, we can’t do that here. It says only the bank it came from can cash it.” Ok, I look at the clock, go back to the car to put some more money in the meter. I’m thinking no problem, plenty of time. I just have to be home by 3:30 to meet the girls at the bus. (This morning I told them I wanted them to take the bus home today so they learn the route.) I’ll walk down the street, look for the bank, do a bit more window shopping, … how hard can this be? Well, I get to the end of the street and no bank!! Where is this bank??? Fortunately, I have one more day with internet on my phone so I quickly look it up. (My year subscription runs out tomorrow.) Ah, next street over. So I get to the bank, take my number, and sit and wait. Oh no, I look at the clock. Five minutes more on my meter. Fortunately, it’s a small town!! I walk back to the car, put more money in the meter, go back to the bank, take another number, and sit and wait some more. This time, I’m called to a desk. I show the man my checks and he starts shaking his head. That is NOT a heart-warming sight!! Then he explains that for him to send it to my bank, it will cost 2/3’s of the amount of both checks together!!! Then he says lots of banks take our checks. I carefully explain to him in Swedish that my bank said they can’t. He just kinda shrugs his shoulders and says that they should be able to – lots of other banks do. Well, I think, I’m here, let’s just cash the checks. No, he can’t do that – it’s a cashless bank!!!! At this, my mouth falls open!!! A cashless bank?? But cash and banks go together like bread and butter!! How can you have a cashless bank??? (No, I didn’t actually say it, but I did think it!!) Well, at least he could set me up so that next time I get a check through them, it will go directly into my account at my bank. A little success! I’ll take it!!! I walk back to my bank and tell them what the man said at the other bank. Now, I have to say, I really like my bank. Many of the tellers know us, they’re friendly, very helpful, speak English and we enjoy talking. At this point, I decide I’ve had it with Swedish for now and begin talking in English. They have a little conference – lots of shaking of heads – and come back with the answer. No, they can’t, they aren’t linked to that bank. So I tell the teller that the other bank is going to charge me 2/3’s of the checks to send them to this bank. A look of compassion passes over her face. She calls another bank that they are linked to hoping they will be cheaper, but the manager won’t be back until tomorrow. She’ll call them for me tomorrow and then call me and let me know if that will work. So I walk back to the car for the drive home. I decide to go a different way, and run into 2 dead ends!! At this point, I turn on the music and blast it!!! Finally I’m home, checks still in hand!! I NEED SOME CHOCOLATE!!!!!!
Next, I get a phone call from the girls. They stopped to get some chips and soda on the way home so they missed their bus and want to know which bus to take now. I tell them which one and that I’ll meet them at the bus stop. Fifteen minutes later, I walk to the bus stop and wait for about 5 – 10 minutes. No girls. I call Jensina, “Where are you?” Jensina replies, “Datavägen. Jiana says we just passed Porsön.” “NO,” I say, “you’re going the wrong way!!!” An hour later, at around 5 pm, they get off the bus. Now THEY need their chips and Coke!!! LOL