Tuesday, April 12, 2005

banking in the high tech world

In my most comfortable but least touristy non-work clothes I dropped in to Hiroshima Bank. After the first staff realised my lack of Japanese language, she quickly walked me to a counter and shrugged off another staff to round up the most proficient English speaker. Now comes the paperwork and the catch is, although this staff could translate for me the information required for each box, the writing had to be mine.

A signature would never suffice to open my new account. Instead we had to use a personal hanko stamp issued to us at orientation yesterday. The forgery possibilities are limitless. My friendly staff assisting me next verified my name; it seems I am destined to be called "Burnin'"! After a moment she produced the Japanese katakana character translation and asked me to practice first then write it myself in the form box... For all I know I could've been writing Elbis Presley's name!

After sitting in the waiting area for a few minutes, she calls me back, "Burnin' Fowler." She presents me with my new account passbook and explained in her best visual demo that I need to actually insert the passbook in the ATM for transactions!

A big "Arigato" to my helpful bank staff.

2 comments:

Clinton Fowler said...

How's it going there Burnin! I'm sitting over here in Poland, working on forging your Japanese signature! I should have it down to a T in about a year, by that time you may be long gone from Japan? Who knows?
I hope you are successful in getting money out of your account once it has been deposited, otherwise you'll be in real shit.

Anonymous said...

you probably know that the characters written in the circle say, "i am a molester",