We have to go to Paris soon, and I bought the railway tickets online at great cost some weeks ago. Today I thought I had better get them so I hauled myself off to the station.
The routine is simple - you stick the card with which you paid for the tickets in a slot in a big yellow machine and it prints off your tickets. Easy !
It said "We can't accept that card." I looked at the card, wiped it and tried again.
No. No and thrice no.
That's when I took fright. You see, I have two bank accounts. One is the family account that we use for paying for food and clothing and housing and all the stuff one needs to live. The other is for paying work expenses, like tickets to Paris etc... And for one of my bank accounts recently I received a new card. But which one ? And which card did I cut up ? And do I still have the card with which I bought the tickets ?
I went to see the lady at the counter.
"Big problem. We can't do nothing. You'll just have to get those tickets reimbursed and buy new ones for 200 euros more. It's not us. It's the banks. We can't do nothing about it".
I stared at my card again. But this LOOKS like the right one...
"Give it to me and let's try it.... Yes... There we are... It's fine... Put your code in..."
So why didn't it work in the machine ?
"Oh that machine is on the blink!"