Changing money – a lesson learned

So I make my way to the Alpha bank here in Naxos. The bank is only open until 2 o’clock and it was 1 o’clock; I had to hustle. It was a 10 minute walk and when I arrived the line was out the door. I asked the manager if I could change money at this bank. His response was, “Yes, you can change here. No problem.” Great.

I waited an hour in that line. I was the second-to-last person there now that the bank was mostly empty since closing 45 minutes ago. I walked up to the teller, cash in hand, and waited patiently until he stopped doing his paperwork and asked “What would you like?” I say, “May I change this money, please?” I swear he looked at me with a smirk on his face and asked, “May I see your passport?” Almost as if he knew he checkmated me. “Um, passport to change money? I didn’t bring it to the bank. Is there any amount I can change without it?” He quickly replied, “No. No passport no change.” And looked back down at his papers.

At first I wanted to punch everyone working in the bank in the face, and then a few moments later I wanted to cry a little. The bank was now closed (and will be closed all weekend) – it was all for not. Some of you may be thinking that it is obvious that you need a passport to change money. Well, I didn’t and I haven’t had to until that moment. So – that’s that. Lessoned learned. I think the manager saw how deflated I was and said, “No problem, you can change the money next door at the tourism office.”

I walked with my tail squarely between my legs to the tourism office. “Excuse me”, I said, “may I please change money here?” The person behind the desk looked at me and said, “you need to go to the bank.”

You really need to know when a mission is lost and it was quite obvious I failed it today. It was time to give up and return to the hotel.

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