Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Exciting things to look forward to..

I have been nice and ill over the past few days. It's been both horrid and pleasant. Horrid being ill, but rather nice to have the luxury of actually lying in bed and being ill. Anyway, aside from being able to watch back to back episodes of Masterchef, I have been able to have a think about the possible move back to the UK. My list of positives has grown:-

1. I can park the car facing any direction I like in the street, so there. And I shall. Just because I can. Though I will lose the privilege of parking 'Berlin-style' unless I want the car towed. Schade..

Really, I am a Berliner at heart. I can't be arsed reverse parking either. 

2. I won't need to wait for the green man when crossing the road, though it's highly likely I will continue to stand waiting until until the green man tells me it's safe to walk because I have been successfully re-programmed. I will however use this knowledge when I see people standing by traffic-free roads waiting to cross as a way of identifying German expats (potential friends).

AARRGGGHH! To walk or not to walk?? I have given up the ability to look up & down the road and judge if it's safe to cross for myself. Where's the Tufty Club when I need it??

3. I will no longer have to bank with the Commerzbank. Though god knows I will no doubt miss their charming ways. I am not entirely comfortable slagging off a company in a public place, but well, they deserve it. I have had more bank cards from them in the past 2 years than I have had in the rest of my banking life. Even if you include the Mr Spendy passbook I had as a kid, I am now into double digits with the number of EC cards they have cancelled on me. They are convinced it's my fault (even though my UK cards still work just fine and they are nestled in together) and the last time I was told that it was most likely my "cheap jewellery (female bank clerk helpfully points to the silver Tiffany necklace I am wearing) causing it to de-magnetise", or else I "need to buy a better bag" because my Orla Kiely obviously just isn't good enough for their cards...(!?). Not that she was sitting there exactly dripping in De Beers diamonds herself, but I can admire a woman who can wield her banking power and admonish the customers for their poor purchasing choices. Though Germany better be careful: with bank clerks like her encouraging people like me to go spending the mortgage money on diamonds and Hermes bags.

Though if they want to 'help' me upgrade, I would be happy with this. 


  1. AHAAAAAAAA! I am not alone with needing stupid amounts of bank cards here! It's not just a Commerzbank problem, Postbank has that issue too! My cards always seem to work in every machine EXCEPT POSTBANK MACHINES?!!!! I am on my 3rd card now and still have problems! One Postbank staff member finally said to me how awful the cards are made and how he has had to replace his numerous times too! I could have sung to the heavens that someone was admitting it instead of placing the blame on me or simply not believing me that I don't have the problem with other machines (happened today too!).

  2. I think they just use really cheap chips in their cards here. There is no other reason why this happens so much. They always try and win the argument on this by saying it's something I have done, but they never have an answer for why it is that my UK cards still work. Sometimes I can go from one shop where my card works and then go straight into another where it won't. And is the strip totally different from the chip? I thought when you put your card in the cash machine it also read the chip, but if it does then that also confuses me, because when my chip fails (which is because of my cheap jewellery/bags/clothes/haircut obviously) they tell me to get cash out of the machine using my card - so that must be the strip, right? AND I thought it was the strip that was affected by magnets????? So I get cash out and then they cut my card up... oh, it all makes sense. Somewhere. In a darkened room in the depths of the Commerzbank there will be someone who knows what is going on.


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