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Friday, 3 October 2014

Pre-travel tribulations. And some random photos from our trip.

It was the day before we headed to the Airport Hotel. The house-Ralph sitters had arrived. All was going smoothly … till I decided I should get a last bit of Australian cash to cover our final home-soil expenses.





I head to our local Woolieworths shopping centre, to our local ATM, insert the trusty plastic card and key in the trusty PIN.

"Not a valid PIN."

"What! Yes, it is." Don't you love the way these machines think they know everything.

Key in trusty PIN again.

ATM spits out card.

I reinsert and redo trusty PIN, because I know it IS a valid PIN. Stupid machine.

ATM gobbles up trusty plastic card.

OMG! This is the card attached to our travel money! This is my ONLY trusty plastic card which is not a credit card. OMG!

Canal du Midi, France.

The stomach does an enormous lurch. What have I done?!?
I wander across to the help desk at Woolieworths, heart thumping, knowing full well that the lovely Woolieworths girl will not be able to help me … but hoping for a miracle.

"No, but you may be lucky. I think the ATM man is at Centre Management."

Wow. I race to Centre Management, heart thumping. I know there would be no way ATM man could return my card to me anyway. I'm still hoping for a miracle. But, ATM man is nowhere to be seen.

I talk to myself calmly, "It's okay. You still have your credit card and MLP has his trusty plastic card. Just go online and transfer the travel money across to MLP's account. All is well. Stay calm."

Finally, with the necessaries for the farewell dinner with house-Ralph sitters in hand, I head home, dutifully ring the bank and cancel my trusty plastic card. As you do. Have a laugh with the poor bank consultant on the phone about my situation. As you do. And continue to try to still the thumping heart.

Montargis, France.

Soon, it's time to collect MLP from his last day of work.

I pick up my other carefully-made-ready-for-travelling wallet and … find … my trusty plastic card waiting for its overseas adventure. I'm so organised.

What! NOoooo! I've just cancelled that card!

But, what card did I put in the ATM??? I certainly thought it was my trusty plastic card, maybe it wasn't.

Do ATMs accept Spotlight cards? Library cards? Cafe loyalty cards?

So, I re-ring the bank.

"Hi, I just spoke to you a short time ago and you helped me cancel my card … but I've just found it."

Please give me a miracle.

"On, no, I can't help you. Once the card is cancelled I can't un-cancel it. Your new card will be in the mail."

"Yes, but I leave for Paris tomorrow."

"Oh, no, sorry I can't help you."

NOooo!


So, when MLP slides into the car beside me, happy that he is now on holidays, beaming with the thought of his first trip to Europe, I relate my story from hell. He thinks for a little and then says, "That would have been my card the ATM gobbled up. Remember I gave it to you to use yesterday."

NOOOOoooo!

Now, neither of us have trusty plastic cards to access our travel money! OMG. What have I done!

And that explains why it looked like my trusty plastic card. I'm not totally insane after all.

Our local, Waterloo, London.

Now, I'm seriously heart thumping. I can envisage using my credit card for our entire holiday and stacking up extra fees, upon extra fees, upon extra fees.

I'm on the verge of tears but, instead I swear, really swear. A rare and memorable event for me. MLP recognises this as a sign of extreme stress and calmly says, "It's okay. I have another debit card. We can use it."

And so we go home to ring the bank to cancel MLPs trusty plastic card, much to the amusement of the bank consultant. And spend our holiday transferring money from my account to MLP's account to MLP's other account. As you do. But, it works and we have a great time.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur.

Our house-Ralph sitters email us to let us know our new plastic cards and PINs have arrived and that they are enjoying the access to the extra funds for their holiday. Funny!

Happy, funds-enriched house-Ralph sitters.

There's always something,

right when I think I have it all under control.

Right when the packing in the garage has worked a treat

and the staying at the Airport Hotel is looking so good.

There's always something that makes the best holiday story.

Care to share yours with me?