Five Dollars: Free with Every Banana. Unorthodox Californian Banking Practices

Withdrawing money abroad can cost a lot in banking fees.  I solved this problem in California by strategically buying Flip Flops and Bananas.  You can, too. 

I suppose  title youthe above title may mislead some readers into believing that the State of California has incentivized banks to pay people to eat bananas in an effort to encourage healthy eating practices.  While critics of Californias regulatory habits might not be suprised by such a policy, it is not (to my knowledge) a policy which is currently in effect.

The following is not about government-sponsored pecuniary incentives for eating tropical fruit.  It is about circumventing ATM fees while travelling abroad.

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Ignoring Spot (the exchange rate, not the dog)

“So you mean to tell me that whenever I withdraw money in a foreign currency, the official exchange rate can be ignored and any amount of money can be taken from my account?  And I have no way to determine what that rate will be before I withdraw the money, and I will have absolutely no recourse!?”

“Um. . .  Yes.”

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things you can do with your fridge

carrots1

So I’m sitting there, thinking about my underwear. A few steps away is a giant chess board and a hot tub. In the evening I will be served large quantities chocolate cake, along with ice cream, for free. But it is about my underwear that I am thinking, when I finally ask myself: What’s the point? What’s the point of wearing a pair of underpants that are as much air as fabric? Underpants crowned with an elastic band that hangs off the fabric as limp as any one of you passed out on the toilet? HOW DO THEY EVEN STAY ON?

Static electricity, I assume, and in this sense, my underpants were a tiny daily miracle. Perfect static cling aside, the garment (recently washed (!)) was not dry when I was ready to leave, and so into the trash they went. One less pair of underwear to stick to my bum. It’s a cold train, to be sure. Everything must be worth its volume and weight. That’s why all those glass stones got abandoned in Spain.

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Visual Riddles: Iceland

can of beer in the snow
This was being storeed by some trusting citizen on the curb of the parking lot at the public pool. I suspect someone was really looking forward to cracking it open as soon as they got out of the hot tub.

In Húsavík, it wasn’t uncommon to see a full can of beer half-buried in the snow.  You might wonder: why not use the fridge? but sometimes it’s too far away, and it’s easier to just pick up your beer on the way to wherever you plan to drink it (apparently).

It’s a practice I’m sure most people wouldn’t dream of adopting in a larger town.  Or in a town with teenagers.

Which, now that I think of it, I don’t think I saw any.  Just little kids and grown-ups.  How strange…