Ah Italy…you are a funny place to live sometimes…

bank run

Sorry…but being the American I am, I cannot ever imagine going to my bank and finding this sign taped to the door:


It says that teller services are closed today.  And they are sorry for the inconvenience.  Really?  It is that simple?  So too bad for you if you need to deposit or withdraw money???  How is this possible?  The ONLY time I have ever “seen” this happen in the United States was in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  Remember?  There was a run on the banks because it was the beginning of the DEPRESSION and the bank posted a sign similar to the one I took a picture of.   I was in such a hurry, I did not have time to go in and ask the bank manager what was going on.  But the truth is I have been living here so long that I know better than to waste my time looking for an answer to such a silly question!

I found an amusing story slightly related to mine.  Another frustrated customer.  Well…ok…he was really a bank robber, but still….I can only assume he was disappointed just like me!  Seems that he also went to a Unicredit bank and asked the teller to hand over all the money only to be told that the cash drawers were not accessible that day.  So he had to settle for 80 euro he took from the bank manager.  Ha, ha, ha, ha!  What a funny story.

Anyway, this is normal stuff here in Italy.  I really have a long list of “normal” stuff I should spend more time writing about, because there are many comical things that go on here.   And I say comical…but I am not sure why, because I lost a lot of time the other day trying to figure out how to get the money I needed.  But this is life in the old country!



Photo Attribution:

Bank Run:  Pahl, Georg

18 Comments on “Ah Italy…you are a funny place to live sometimes…

  1. I LOVE it!! Oh yes-there would be a mutiny if this happened in the states. I remember you told me a story about waiting in line for a really long time at the post office and then they could not mail your package and would not give you a reason or some sort of thing!
    Crazy that that happens over there but people over her so spoiled that sometimes they need a dose of that sort of thing!!

    • I know Sheri!!! Isn’t this stuff nuts!?!?!?! And don’t get me started on the posta! That place requires an entire book devotes solely to their exploits!

  2. Dutch banks provide their own frustrations (for example, only one machine, no tellers, to take deposits in a branch that has more than enough space for more deposit machines), but at least they are usually open when they’re supposed to be!

    • I guess all countries have their moments. The important thing is to focus on the good points….which I try to do…but on occasion, I can only say: GGGGRRRR

  3. Ha ha… that’s so Italian! You’re right, the only thing you can do is laugh about it. In fact, if you didn’t laugh I reckon you’d go mad pretty quickly! On the plus side, if you don’t manage to get the money you can just tell people it was because the bank is closed and they’ll just shrug and say “e cosi…”

    • Yes! I must admit I love the: “e’ cosi” approach to life here…..you must be experiencing this big time with all of the renovations you are doing!

        • ha, ha, ha, ha…..yes!!! “piano, piano!” My other favorite…I have to tell you my father really liked your “e’ cosi” comment (he grew up in Trieste). He said that you really got it spot on with that comment. Anyway…buona domenica!

  4. hahaha that bank robber story!!
    The Dutch aren’t quite so bad, though I did once have a strange experience at one of the biggest banks here. It was when I first arrived in NL and I wanted to open a bank account, so I eagerly got in line to speak to the one employee seemingly working on that busy morning. I’d been waiting for about twenty minutes when a rather stern, borderline-aggressive woman started interrogating everyone waiting in line, one by one.
    ‘Can I help you with anything?’ she asked me when she reached me. Nice enough, I thought. I told her that no, I was just waiting to open a bank account …
    She then told me that this was impossible and that it was ‘too busy’. Which had me scratching my head. ‘Too busy right now? Or too busy forever? I’ve already been waiting so long … Is there a better time?’ She didn’t deem my question worthy of a reply :p
    This would NEVER happen in Canada :p Needless to say I opened an account at another bank!

    • Sophie!! This story is CRAZY!!! I seriously thought it was just the Italians doing this kind of nutty stuff. Maybe it is a European thing?? No idea! Glad you finally found a bank to open an account! 🙂

  5. Gosh this is just unfortunately so normal in Italy! Nothing works properly and the whole system is outdated, the bureaucracy is terrible: so many papers to sign up even just to open a simple bank account! People never queue, they drive terribly and nothing seems to be in the right place. Then you get the good side of Italy when you can go out during summer evenings enjoying a delicious ice-cream, children are much loved and are welcomed everywhere, the food is great and so is the wine and you get great beaches and fabulous mountains… and oh.. the weather is also good..too much to let it go…
    Regardless of its problems I am still hoping to be back in Italy for good one day!
    Take care. Great post!! XX

    • Alida! Thank you for your comment. And it is spot on! All of the fabulous things in Italy for sure make up for the crazy stuff. That is why I love living here. And even the crazy stuff (most times) actually provide my day with a little comic relief. Because relative to the US, some of it is so unbelievable, that it just makes me laugh. I will also say that another impact on my life from living here is that I am MUCH more patient than I was when I was living in the US. Not just for this type of stuff, but for everything. I tolerate a lot more. And also – – well – – I am not so much in a hurry as before. Not to withdrawal my money, not to EAT and certainly not to enjoy a gelato! 🙂

  6. LOL…. it does sound comical and even incredible… was the entire bank closed?? Or just that one branch?? I can imagine it can get very frustrating. I wonder how many years one wouls have to live in Italy before one could “let go” and not stress too much…lol!

    • Ha, ha, ha…no…the bank was open, ya just could not get any money! So funny! Anyway…I JUST mentioned to Alida how much I have changed since living here! It is true that I am SO much more patient than what I used to be! Truly…..it changes you for sure! Thanks for the comment!

  7. Well, maybe they had to go to somewhere or were sick?:) I travelled a lot around Italy and this looks perfectly normal to me:)

    • Yes….in Italy it IS perfectly normal…they come, they go….things are much more relaxed here as it relates to work hours…. 🙂

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