Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confusing our Caja

We've had an account for a long time at one of the larger Spanish cajas for various reasons, including the fact that we have some major enchufe with one of the managers, and thus give us kick ass interest rates on our term deposits.

Unfortunately, the local Sant Cugat office gets completely confused every time we go there, since our profiles are complete outliers. First, there's the fact that due to our "beckham-tax" status, our account is an extranjero account. Then there's the fact that my account is registered to my US passport (prior to moving here I didn't bother getting a European passport). Then the address is still in the US, since you can't be an extranjero and have an address here.

So today we bought a car. Well, we actually bought it two months ago, but things move slowly here. The car finally arrived, and the salesman phoned us to tell us that unless he got our money, he wouldn't be able to register it.

"Is a bank transfer ok?"

"Well there is a commission..."

"What about cash?"

"No commission"

So we wander over to our poor little caja where the lone teller is twiddling her thumbs staring forlornly at her family pictures arrayed artfully on her desk.

She looked at me suspiciously, warily awaiting another crazy request that would push her far beyond her comfort zone.

"We like X thousand euros in cash please"


Luckily today was armored car (or blinded car as they call it here) day, so they had the money, but in 20 euro bills. I never realized how much space 20 euro bills take up.

With a shopping bag full of 20 euro bills I walked over to the car dealer and paid up our car. It only took him about 20 minutes to count the cash. It looked like he had a lot of practice. In fact, the most time consuming aspect concerned him trying to hit up the other salesmen for change for my last 20 euro bill.

Makes you wonder if being a bank robber is really the best career choice when the car dealers seem to have wads of cash laying around.

In a mere three or for days it should be ready to pick up.... oh what fun...


Jeremy Holland said...

doesn't look like large cash transactions are viewed suspiciously!

santcugat said...

Hell, until recently you could even buy your house in cash.