Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Monday, June 6, 2016

FRANCE LURCHES UNSTEADILY INTO THE STONE AGE

There are times when I wonder whether this charming country will ever make it into the twenty-first century.

I had a small disaster  in my apartment -- a water leak from the floor above that destroyed a large chunk of my ceiling. It has been repaired, and my insurance company has actually sent me a large check [minus a deductible, of course] for the damages.  Now I wish to deposit the check into my French bank account, which I opened twelve years ago with the large international bank BP Paribas.  There is a branch of BNP Paribas in Place Maubert, a stone's throw from my apartment.

HOWEVER:  In France, one may only deposit money at the branch where the account was opened, which in my case is [or was -- more of that in a moment] the main office in Place de l'Opera, a complex Metro trip from my apartment to the Right Bank,  Apparently the bank does not trust me to give them money -- TO GIVE THEM MONEY -- unless they "know" me!  I put "know" in scare quotes because over the years I have had a series of "conseillieres," none of whom knows me at all.

But international accounts are no longer handled in the main office.  That service has been moved to another office on rue de Notre Dame-des-Victoires, which is even harder to get to by Metro.  I have sent an email to my new conseilliere asking for an appointment so that I can make a deposit.  I live in fear that she will say I must go to Place de l'Opera, where, however , they will say that they no longer know me.  Do you suppose they are even interested in getting money?  They are, after all, a bank.

I don't even want to talk about what I would have to do to take money out of my account!

3 comments:

David E. said...

This is not Stone Age thinking. These are anti-terrorism measures. Who's to say an American Lefty Anarchist living in France hasn't been turned into a sleeper cell member while the flics weren't looking? Who's to say such a man is not laundering money for a grouchy old bearded buddy in Tikrit or Raqah? You can never be too careful!

But, yes, in all seriousness the National Security State has returned us to the Stone Age, with all its tribalism and primal fear.

David Auerbach said...

When I was living the 11th, many years ago, I needed to get cash (which was francs). This was well before the ubiquitous cash machine and somewhat before easy linkages of checking accounts to cards. So, I went in search of a cash advance, which I would, in advance, pay off by mail back to the USA using a paper check. Got that? I thought my luck was going to be good, since my Visa card was with Chase and there was a Chase branch right near me (at Place de la Nation). My French being poor, I looked up as well as I could ways to say *cash advance*. At the bank, I waved the card, pantomimed cash and used all those phrases I had researched.
"Quoi?" "Vous voulez quoi?"
Vast puzzlement on the part of the teller. Finally, I the pantomime got through and she said: "Ah, cash advance".

Robert Paul Wolff said...

well, David, she will never be admitted to the Academie Francaise, the protector of the French language!