I have collected all my 5,2 and 1 cent coins and decided to change them up for notes, I knew this was going to be difficult and I knew it was not the same in the UK where one can pop to their local supermarket and use their coin machine in exchange for supermarket vouchers. So with heavy bag in hand I started at my local village bank where I was told that I can only exchange coins at the bank where my account is held so off to Chania I go. I approach my bank in Halidon St queuing, or crowding as its formally known, for 20 Mins only to be told I need to go to the bank opposite the market.
By the time I get to this bank I am sweating carrying my coins, another push and shove 20 Mins later I am told I must go to the main bank in Polytechnou St, I slowly march to hopefully the last bank, again I wait to be served and am now told that they do not cash in coins and I should go to the bank in Halidon St, ‘I have been there and they sent me away’ I said, so the clerk phoned the bank in Halidon to which she translated ‘The coin machine is broken, so now you have to go to The Bank of Greece opposite the market or you could try the fruit shop next door’, What, the fruit shop? I go to the fruit shop first without any hope and true enough the nice lady laughed and said she would only take about €1 worth of coins, I left quickly and embarrassed. The Bank of Greece is on my way back so I decide to give it a try even though I have now lost the will to live, I’m also hungry and thirsty and have probably lost a few kilos of belly fat but I do need to off load these coins and time now is against me.
I get to the Bank of Greece obviously now looking suspicious and probably stinking of sweat. The bank is curiously empty which led me to ask the front desk ‘Are you open? ‘Of course’ said the clerk, so with my last breath I throw the heavy bag full of coins in front of him and pleaded with him to take them, ‘Is this your Bank?’ He said to which I said it was not, with the warmest smile he said proudly as though this would end my tour ‘Ah then you need to go to the Bank in Halidon St’.
Right that’s it I give up, home it is and I now know why Greece has no money.