One thing about staying in McAllen to help my brother out is that I get to do little things like go to the bank. This morning I drove to the bank to deposit some money. There were about 10 people in front of me and the line was moving slower than the traffic on the McAllen-Reynosa International Bridge coming in during Semana Santa. I waited not-so-patiently and watched as people talked to the pretty bank tellers. I noticed that part of the problem was that about 75% of the people in front of me were not customers.
"Tiene cuenta con nosotros," pretty bank teller would ask. "No," woman carrying child, man with big bigote, or older man with slacks and cell phone on hip would answer. "Es que tengo que cambiar un cheque."
The pretty bank teller would then advise the customers that they would need a second form of identification, "tarjeta de credito, passaporte, driver's license, credit card." I thought maybe tarjeta de credito and driver's license meant two different things - or maybe the pretty teller just wanted to give multiple options.
I stood behind the man wearing gray slacks, a colorful shirt, and black SAS shoes. The entire bank soon found out that the woman standing behind me recognized this catrin.
"Oiga, se acuerda de mi," the woman excitedly asked. "Si, claro que si," the catrin answered. The woman soon revealed that this man had been her English teacher. He was no longer teaching English and she said she was still looking for a good teacher who could teach her the language. They asked how each other's family was and again the woman asked "pero, si se acuerda de mi." The man replied, "pero claro," but I could clearly see that he didn't know who the hell she was. He was being polite as is customary. I think the woman would have felt like caca if he had said, no, because by this time everyone had already been metiches and was listening in on their conversation.
The pretty tellers asked another client, "tiene cuenta," they replied, "no." The clients were soon advised it would cost them five bones to cash their check. "Esta bien."
Man, five bucks. I'd be pissed. I complained when they wanted to charge me four dollars for a money order when I was applying for law school. The dude ended up giving them to me for free.
I thought to myself, why the hell don't these people have a bank account? Where do they keep their money? Then I realized it wasn't until about 10 years ago when my folks got a legit account. I didn't get a bank account until I went to college and needed some place to store my fat financial aid check. So, I came up with the following reasons:
1. They don't trust banks
2. They don't have enough money to put in the bank
3. They don't have the proper identification
4. They just don't know what banks can do for them
5. They don't trust banks
I finally made it up to the front for my pinchesio deposit and I didn't even get one of the pretty tellers. I got some dude. Nice, but a dude. He didn't even ask me if I had a bank account. I just gave him the cash, the slips, and was out in two minutes.
I exited the parking lot into the street and a dude in a red truck and cowboy hat zoomed up to my rear. He was making all sorts of hand gestures, so I moved over to the right lane to let him by. We came to a stop at the light and I rolled down my window and smiled. He was upset. I laughed. That was my morning.