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Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

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The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Miscellaneous fees

As I racked my mind earlier trying to figure out how to squeeze every pesos I had into my aunt's bank account I came to realize that despite what everyone thinks living here isn't all that cheep. Now it's not the initial price of the services that will get you in your pockets, it's all those miscellaneous fees they add on.

For example I had to get my air conditioner cleaned due to a leaky ceiling that deposited a thick black film over the vent. So after about two weeks from when I initially requested to get it cleaned someone finally showed up to do the job. I wasn't there when they were cleaning it up but when I came back one of the care takers in the dorm told me that the air condition service men where going to need 250 pesos to replace a broken thermometer. Hmm, other than being dirty I didn't really realize anything else was wrong with it. It seemed to be wroking just fine to me. Also I never knew that the thing had a thermometer in it. I mean it's not like one of those more expensive air condition units that turns off or lowers down when the room gets to a certain temperature. Basically once you set it, it just continues to run at that same the rate no matter what the room temperature is. It would seem to me then that a thermometer would be pretty useless but hey if that's what they say it needs then I guess that's what it needs. After all I'm no air conditioner specialist. So before taking off to go back to class I left a 500 peso bill with the care taker. When I came back I knew I didn't exactly get the amount of change I was expecting but I never thought about it much or even bothered to look at the receipt until today.

20 pesos for transportation and another 20 pesos for snacks. WTF?

First of all when I was shown the part they were going to replace it looked like it couldn't have weighted more than 2lbs. Plus I was told they were going just across the street to get the thing. So how are they going to charge me for delivering a piece of equipment that probably weighted only 1 1/2 lbs at a distance of less than a two minutes away? Even if one of them decided to ride a jeepni the whole 10 yards to the shop it would have cost him no more than 14 pesos for a round trip. Now I could understand if it were something like a sack of rice but even the boy who delivers my water doesn't ask for a fee for delivery, and the darn jug looks to be at least one third his weight.

Second of all I didn't see any potato chips on my desk when I came back from school. So does that mean they charged me 20 pesos for the snacks that they ate? I asked to get my air conditioner cleaned I didn't ask for someone to come to my room and eat. I don't even know what to say about this one. I mean who the hell pays some one to come over and eat? And more so who has the nerve to charge some one for doing that when they are supposed to be fixing your air conditioner? Hell, if there is a job that pays you eat I want that job. I could do that all day. I hope to see who this fool was and have him try do that same shit to me again while I'm there.

Anyway that wasn't the only surprising thing I found out that day. You ever see that Futurama episode where Fry goes to check on his bank account? He had about 93 cents in there since the last time he checked but after 1000 years in suspended animation the interest made him a billionaire. Now it had only been 2 years ago when I opened my savings account at the university bank and I wasn't expecting to make that much but I did have considerably more that 93 cents in there the last time I checked, 5,000 pesos to be exact. So I was a little bit giddy to see what I had accumulated when I came to withdraw my money for the first time since opening the account.

To my surprise it turned out the 5,000 pesos I had put in to that savings account yielded me a total -1,409 in interest. Wow... Did you read that correctly? I earned my self a m-i-n-u-s 1,409 pesos on my account. That means they deducted a total of 1,409 pesos from my original balance. And you know this whole time I thought what I had opened was a savings account to save money. I didn't know what I had opened was a take my money away for your snacks account.

However, in all fairness as Bambi said in the fine printing it does state that if you don't keep pouring money in to your account over a period of one year they'll charge you a fee for not using it. personally I have never heard of such a policy back in the States. Yes, they do charge you if you don't keep a minimum balance in the States but there was no mention of a minimum balance to keep at this bank. Also as I look at my statement I was actually accumulating a tiny bit of interest during that first year but after that they started to suck it dry like some blood hungry mosquitoes.

Blogger education

Now let me give you a brief idea of how banks work. You and a lot of other people give their money to the banks. The bank then uses that money to invest in other things and to give out loans which ends up making money for them not you. Then when you want to get back some of the money that you gave them they charge you a fee for using their tellers or ATMs. Pretty sweet huh? Essentially they borrow your money and charge you for them borrowing it. Now, in attempt to keep from getting a ticket straight to hell when they die, these bankers offer you a chance to make a little money for your self. It's not actually much but it is a little something depending on how often you try to spend your own money. That's why checking accounts make no interest while savings account make a bit. After all how can they make more money with your money if you are spending your money.

So by leaving your money in their bank you are doing them a favor and they usually give you a little bit of interest back in return. But out here when you leave your money alone for too long bankers start thinking of it as a young calf lost in the jungle. And we all know that the only way a calf gets left alone in the jungle is either because the mother is dead or has abandoned it. So like to a pack of vultures your account becomes fair game for the bankers to start picking away at until there is nothing of it left.

Hey now, life's not exactly fair when you are living in the jungle.


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