August 5, 2008

Traveling 101

OK. I like to think of myself as a fairly experienced traveler. I've been places, done things. Hit my share of Third World -- and otherwise -- countries. But since I left, it's felt like a series of bonehead moves.

I went to extraordinary effort to make sure we had adapters, but I didn't bring an ATM card that works? What's up with that? Paul and I have credit union accounts, and we've known for a while that the ATM cards don't work outside the country. Fraud they said (and to that I say, so what's the point?) But we knew that when we signed up for it, and sort of had some contingency plans, but never got around to it.

I know, story of my life.

So anyway, I decided to use my French account. There's still some money in it, the exchange rate is good and the ATM works. As long as I remember the password, anyway, and I forgot it months ago. I don't know why; it's the same card/password I'd used for nearly 8 years. But I did. But Paul, too, had a French card on the same account. And I thought, without checking, that he had it with him. Because I remembered his password. But we get here and discover nope, wrong card.

Fortunately we came with a wad of cash, and we exchanged it at the bank the old-fashioned way. But who travels without a valid ATM card? And failing that, cash? Traveler's cheques (they're so old-school --I used to scoff at people who used them).

Guess the joke is on me.

And by the way -- the press center is set up for regular plugs. Good thing we spent $40 on adapters at Best Buy. We didn't want to have to "scramble" once we got here.

What's that about the forest for the trees?


cindy r. said...

oh my gosh, traveling without a valid ATM, how will you manage -- seriously... if you need help call -- i'll wire you money. the cat is fine by the way. gosh, it sounds like it's one big headache. Hope you have plenty of aspirin. How's the food? How's the hotel room?

Nate Ryan said...

No worries, Leah, your status as a world traveler will be cemented forever in my mind by your spot-on instructions for my seamless trip to Paris!

I'm enjoying reading your blog as much as PaulO's! How's that for high praise? :-)