Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Son of tired

Posting quickly while dinner races towards the table. Spent the day preparing for (a) our parents' arrival tomorrow, and (b) the anniversary party on Saturday. Walked around town, noting change and constancy and clear blue skies.

Suffering from vague headache, which I think is due to forced-air heating and tightly-sealed houses. I've jammed the window in the guest room open, and will see whether that helps.

Suffering also from cat-hair allergy, which didn't happen either in Lisbon with the Lioness and her pets or with my sister's late cat. Ah well; 'tis an imperfect life of joy and sorrow commingled, as the poet said.

I was reminded of a trivial event in Frankfurt airport on my way here. I wanted to get some Canadian dollars, so headed towards the foreign exchange office, then noticed just before reaching the counter that there was a Post Office bank cash machine next door. So I went there and got a handful of cash, with which I returned to the counter. I handed the bundle of notes to the cashier and said "300 Euros' worth of Canadian dollars, please;" he set the bundle aside and counted out a slightly larger handful of Canadian notes and handed them to me. As I took the bundle, I said to the cashier "You're very trusting, giving me this money without counting what I'd given you." He replied, "I've been in this job for twelve years. I can tell that you're honest." He's right, but still it was a slightly odd encounter.

One might call this "the trust economy:" the feel-good factor of dealing quickly and pleasantly with me outweighs the possibility that I might have stiffed him for—well, what's the downside? that I gave him 250 instead of 300? When my pre-paid cellphone card ran out in Hamburg recently, the service sent me a text message offering an advance on my next prepayment: for forty cents of my remaining balance, they'd advance me five Euros so that I could continue using the phone.

By the way there's only one Internet connection here (cable-modem with a literal single cable) and five people wanting to use it, so my time online is limited. Please don't be offended or surprised if I don't get around to reading/commenting on your blog during the next week.

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Blogger zhoen said...

I'm so with you about forced air heat. And over sealed homes. Our cat seems not to bother even the allergic, so far. Different cats, different proteins. Might want to add some humidity as well.

October 10, 2007 at 3:26:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Jenni said...

I would be perfectly happy to enjoy open air....if it wasn't so blasted hot, still and humid here.

October 10, 2007 at 4:15:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Dryness is definitely a factor in Saskatchewan, the humidity index here in mid-winter approaches zero percent.

October 10, 2007 at 4:22:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Pacian said...

This trust economy doesn't seem to account for the fact that even honest people make mistakes.

October 10, 2007 at 10:15:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Rob said...

Ah, but mistakes happen in both directions. For all the guy knew, Udge could have given him 400 Euros by mistake: he wasn't to know that they'd been counted out by an "infallible" ATM...

For that matter, did Udge count the notes when the ATM supplied them? I usually do, but then I work in a bank IT dept so I'm professionally paranoid.

October 13, 2007 at 1:46:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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