...and, "S" stands for SECURITY. It occurred to me as I sat locked in the hallway of my building at work that "security" has created a lot of challenges this week. First example: our Danish bank account. Joel and I went to open a bank account. We planned to open the account with money wired from our American bank. Easy, right? Wrong. Opening the account was easy... show some id, sign a few papers, and we have an account! Yea! Using the account, apparently, is the tricky part. To no surprise everything is handled online. No problem. We were told that we could access our account and arrange for the money wire online as soon as we received our "calculators." To explain: instead of using just a password to access our bank account online, we use a password to access our account but then the website gives us a number that we type into our calculator. When we hit enter on our calculator it gives us another number that we have to type on the website. If all goes well, we then have access to our account. No problem... except we haven't received our calculators. They are "in the mail."
Another challenge... all credit cards in Denmark have pin numbers. This is similar to the American debit card, but all cards, even credit cards have pin numbers. The problem is that our American credit cards do not have pin numbers, which means we cannot use them at most stores in Denmark. The pin number is supposed to provide additional security and prevent the use of stolen credit cards. No problem. We just used our American debit card to access cash at ATMs and paid for groceries etc. with cash... until our debit card stopped working (on a Friday, of course). As it turns out, our bank, in an effort to protect us from fraudulent use of our debit card, deactivated our debit card when it noticed a number of withdraws in Copenhagen. It was for our security. By the way, I have a debit card for my Danish bank account (that still has no money in it because I don't have my calculator and can't transfer our funds) as well as two Danish credit cards that come with our account, but of course, I can't use them because I don't have a pin number. The pin, apparently, is in the mail.
I realized all this while sitting on the steps of a stairwell in my office building. It was a little after 5 when I decided to go down stairs to check my mail. I knew that I needed my passcard to enter the building after 5, but I didn't know I would need it to operate the elevator or unlock EVERY door in the building. So, I was in the stairwell with just my office key, feeling very secure, and wondering how on earth I was going to get back in my office. The good news is that it only took 35 minutes for a co-worker to hear my pounding and open the door. As it turns out he is very nice and loaned me a book I needed.
On another good note, the bar below us is closed for another night! There is a water leak in our building and they had to cut the water. Now, the bad news is that we didn't have hot water for 48 hours... but we did sleep! Now, we have hot water, but several of our electric outlets don't work (including the fridge) and we can't figure out why (the building hallway lights don't work either). So... a little good... a little not so good... but all is well and secure in Copenhagen.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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