Readers' Submissions

Land Of Service

  • Written by Cocodile
  • July 20th, 2005
  • 4 min read


On a Friday afternoon some time ago in BKK, I suddenly got an out of money error, so I went to the closest ATM, inserted my card, punched in my pin, and waited, waited and waited more and more, but shit happened, the machine seemed to have frozen completely, of course still in possession of my card, so I decided to ask for some assistance, but the bank was already closed, only a small window was open, behind which some lady employee was sitting whom I told my problem to, she seemed very amused, and without really listening to me, she told me to come back on Tuesday, but that of course was no option, had more than 3 days to go at the end of my money, so I kept on insisting to speak to somebody else, hopefully less empty-headed, and she called a guy who seemed to be the manager, and I stuck my head through that little window again and did my story, well lucky for me, he was less amused, maybe due to a lack of humour, but still told me to come back next Tuesday, after which I still politely tried to make him understand that 3 ½ days without money in BKK is a long while, and could even bring me in serious trouble, upon which it apparently started to get through to him that I wasn’t planning to leave without my card, so he called somebody at the HQ, to whom I told my story for the third or fourth time, and after returning the phone to the guy, he also spoke to them again, and told me to wait.

Suddenly he produced a key and came outside, so I thought no, this can’t be true, but It was, the fucking bastard just had a key over there at the office, but wasn’t totally interested in helping me, I think that somebody at the HQ told him that without all those stupid Farangs, he might probably be picking rice instead of being a bank-manager.

Anyway, he opened the machine, and got my card out, so I was almost happy, but before getting my card back, he wanted to see some ID, my argument that it could only be my card because I was the one that rang the bell, and could tell all the details about the card didn’t convince him, apparently he must have some kind of logic, but not the kind we know, Jim.

So I had to walk my ass off to my hotel to get my passport, because at 5 all the folks at the bank would leave, or do you think that they would wait for me to return ?

Fortunately the hotel was quite near, it only took me 2 x 20 minutes at hi-speed in the tropic heat.

Ok I got back with my passport, and to my great happiness I was allowed to come inside, and that was a real relief, because this little "plompem" already cost me about 45 minutes of "quality time" waiting outside the bank, entertaining the folks inside.

Of course the necessary copies were made from my passport, ATM-card, and every copy had to be signed by me, I even got some piece of paper, which was unreadable for me, but I got the impression I had to pay for this "service", but nothing has been withdrawn from my account yet.

After all the formalities were completed, I got my card back, and was allowed to exit the office, and do you think I got something to drink ? nope, I was not even offered a glass of water, and apologies for the inconvenience ? don’t even dream about it.

Because it’s impossible to fill some crap about an ATM-card with 800 words, (even for Dana)

I have some other bank-related stuff.

I think the most of us have the dilemma, that when we go back "home" we want the love of our life to have a good life, because in general she’s not used to work 11/7 at the 7/11 for 4500 Bt a month, and to prevent her getting tired, or even worse serious ill, the best thing to do this is to provide her with some extra baht, but of course not too much at one time !

Well, there is some form of electronic banking in LOS, it for sure is not the same kind as we know at home, but the most important thing is: IT WORKS !!

But before you have it working, it will take some serious time, if you don’t follow the rules:

1st you have to print out some internet-form and fill it in, then you go with copies of both passports and bankbooks to your home branch, where they send the stuff to the head-office, but don’t try to go yourself to the head-office, because that doesn’t work, if everything goes well, then after a few weeks (if you’re still lucky) you have the possibility to transfer money to another account, and all that through internet, but strangely enough it doesn’t work between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Electronic banking with some human interface ?

Thailand can be big fun indeed, but if you get in some sort of trouble, in general there will be a very few who will help you out, your existence there is by the grace of your ATM-card so be careful out there, and whatever happens, keep smiling……..

Stickman's thoughts:

You sound like a right whinger. I have had problems from time to time in Thailand and have found that smiling, communicating in Thailand and being genuinely polite has seen the problems solved very quickly indeed. Yeah, sometimes it can be a drama or two, but that is not the norm, for me at least.