Friday, July 23, 2010

The Things I Find Annoying

So it's been a quieter than usual week. Which has been lovely because I've been in a mood this week and needed the time to myself.

It started with the Currency Debacle. I skipped gym on Wednesday and thought I would pop down to my local FNB to get a few dollars in cash and reload my Cash Passport card since, after checking the website they are listed as a place that stocks them. So, after arriving at the first FNB, I am told they don't have a forex division so I hop into my car and head to the next closest one that does have a Bureau de Change. And there I sit, and wait. And wait. Literally at least 20minutes went by. And when my turn was up and I handed over my Cash Passport card, the guy looks at me and says sorry we can't reload this card because you didn't purchase it at an FNB.

See, in pretty regular print they say: "Just take your card to any participating branch of the bank or retailer where you bought it, and they will reload the card for you." Now me, I don't think this makes it explicitly clear enough that you can't freaking take you Cash Passport card into just any retailer etc. that stocks them and get it reloaded, you can only go back to a branch of the retailer you bought it from. How freaking naive is that?! Yet again, another instance where services are not making our lives easier, when did the world come to this and how on earth did we let it? (Can you tell I have been more than frustrated by laws and services lately that are not making life easier for me, the consumer / law-abiding citizen).

So I walk out of there with a blank look on my face completely flabbergasted at the giant waste of time I've just been exposed to. After numerous calls and trying to get more information from the Cash Passport or Travelex websites (because using the Store Locator on the Travelex website will have you believing that their only African branch is in Nigeria) I discovered that I'd originally bought my card from an FX Africa branch (I have now written this onto my card because you can bet that I will have forgotten by the next time I want to use it!). And of course this information isn't available to me by logging into my account online ... they had to look it up and phone me back.

And then there's the part about me having a Euro card (I think I got it for my Spain-Portugal trip) and now needing dollars and although the card will allow me to load Euros and then withdraw dollars / whatever local currency Peru uses, I will get screwed over with the exchange rate. So, I went back to the drawing board and decided to give my local FNB another chance ... will be off to get a USD card from them tomorrow (at a mere R110 additional fee for the new card).

And yes, you might think this is all quite madness and why am I bothering, but I feel slightly safer by not taking my actual credit card along to Peru with me in case it gets lost or stolen or whatever. Plus the cash passport is pretty much the same as having a debit card over there but obviously the funds are limited to what you loaded it with. It just makes me feel safer.

The other law that doesn't benefit us but makes our life more difficult that annoyed me supremely was on the weekend when I went to pick up my Pill from the pharmacy. I detest pharmacies generally because I can't abide wasting time in queues ... and there is *always* a queue. And I accepted when they changed the law to limit us to only be able to get a prescription for 6months of medication at a time. But now apparently they've made some new stupid law that means I can only get 3months of this 6month prescription at a time. Forcing me to have to go to the pharmacy again in 3 months. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But I'm not changing my Pill or stopping taking it the next 6 months so this law seems naive and inconvenient to me. I mean really, are they worried we'll take all 6 months worth in one go? Is that somehow worse than potentially taking 3 months worth in one go? Are they trying to stop the illegal sale of contraceptive pills to people (in case I might be stock-piling and on selling these things?!?)? I simple do NOT understand. Aargh. it annoys me just thinking about it.

And then last night I went out with @samanthaperry and @Rubyletters to Xmas in July in Parkhurst :) It was a great evening spent wandering 4th Avenue and enjoying a chance to have a look in all the cute little shops that line it (usually they're closed whenever I'm in that part of town). Have I mentioned before how I love walking-cultures and find it so liberating being able to walk around Joburg and have everything open :)

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