Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh, what a great day. The sun's been shining all day long with temperature in the teens. As I bicycled home from work the birds were swimming in the canals. No, the fishes were not singing in the trees. They might have been singing underwater but, fortunately for them, the water is so dirty in the canals that there is no hope in seeing if there are any fishes left. I wonder if natural selection will soon create fishes that use radar, or maybe sonar, to see where they're going.
My NL Credit-card arrived in the mail the other day. I was activating it and I must say few words about internet banking here in The Netherlands. First, only one of the large banks in NL offers the option of internet banking in English. I would've thought all the banks did that, they all do in Iceland, but it seems the Dutch banks don't consider it worth the cost. ABN Amro is the only bank that offers the English internet banking option so naturally that's where my business goes. I must admit they could do it better. When I was activating my credit-card online, the web-page changed from English without warning. I had 3 options, in Dutch. If not for the confirmation E-mail (still in Dutch, but thank god for Google translate) I still wouldn't know if I'd activated the card or closed all my accounts. Logging into my internet bank is neat. When I opened the account I got a little gadget that I connect to my computer using USB cable. Then I browse to my banks web-page and press login. There I'm asked to put my Debet-card into the gadget and punch in my pin number. If the number and card are correct I'm logged in without further involvement and must try to understand how the internet bank works.
The Dutch are clever. I have 2 bank accounts. One is savings account, it has interest but is not connected  to a debet-card. The other is regular account, it has debet-card but the money in it bears no interest. I can move money between them without charge but then I'll have to go online. The debet-card also has "wallet", a seperate account for small amounts of money that can be withdrawn without pin number. Ideal for busfares and similar but if I lose the card this money is lost.

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