The first one happened shortly after I first arrived here, in early May. I decided that I needed to open up a bank account so my per diem amount could be deposited and I didn’t need to keep pulling money out of my Aussie accounts and getting hit with the ATM and foreign currency fees. So one morning, on the way to the office, David delivered me at to the local branch of Scotia Bank, a large Canadian Bank, which is right next door to the Central Bank.
I wandered inside and stood in the line that read “New Accounts”. On reaching the front of the line, I asked for the relevant forms. The woman considered me with a “Poor thing, she has no idea” kind of look, at which point it was explained to me that it would take several weeks to open an account, and I would need to attend an appointment and produce all sorts of information to satisfy The Powers That Be. Yes, even beyond the usual ID checks that we are used to in Australia to check that I’m not a terrorist / organised criminal money laundering type.
“But hang on”, I said, “I only want to give you my money and then take it out again. I am not asking to borrow anything from you!” Again with the look. I duly made the required appointment and left, a tad dejected.
I went into work, and mentioned my adventure to Huddy. Huddy just smiled and shook his head. “You should have told me. When is your appointment?”
Less than a week later, Huddy produces a letter from none other than the Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank “recommending” me to the local branch and asking that they favourably consider giving me my very own bank account.
On my scheduled date, I waltz into my appointment, and the Central Bank has already called in advance to let them know who I am. Suddenly, it’s like the red carpet unfurls, I am smiled at and escorted to the back where The Golden Letter is produced, my details are entered on the system, and voila! A bank account magically appears.
On my way out, pleased and in a hurry, I spot a tall, rather attractive young man in the queue. I smile at him, he smiles at me. He says “Hello”. But, propelled by my urge to reach the office, I keep moving out the door and down the stairs.
To this day, I wonder what might have been if I’d spun around that morning and skidded to a halt.