Under the guidance of a friend here, I went to a different ATM today. He said they don’t charge any fees and dispense in American dollars. I thought, OK, I’ll give it a try. I needed to get American dollars for an upcoming trip to the Sinai. To confuse the matters even more, the currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. Changing the New Israeli Shekel into Egyptian pounds is apparently a bad rate of exchange if you go to a local money changer. But, changing the American dollar into the Egyptian pound in the Sinai, that’s the ticket!
I went to the Bank Leumi on King David Street. The screen is in Hebrew but when I put my card in the slot, the writing magically appears in English. Praise be. A message in English appeared on the screen, in big letters. THERE WILL BE NO FEE CHARGED FOR THIS TRANSACTION. Then, I had a choice to press one of two buttons. One said Cancel and the other button said, I Accept.
I read, and then reread the message. I actually stood there and wondered if it was a joke or a trick question. For one nano-second I wasn't sure what to push. I forged ahead and pressed I Accept. I took my money and quickly left.
I saw my friend later in the day. As I was telling him the story I was thinking in my mind, what nitwit would entertain the thought of pressing Cancel…why would they even give you a choice. “Yeah”, my friend said as he listened to me, then he said, “what did you push?”
I don’t know, it’s crazy here.