David Madore's WebLog: Money order

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Money order

After my e-commerce debacle, I tried sending an international (postal) money order to the states. This made me feel twenty years back, were it only for the fact that the post office I went to (the poste du Louvre, the only one in Paris that is open 24 hours—not the reason I went there, only I happened to be walking by) has a quaint '80's feel about it, in a way I can't quite place (maybe the interior decoration; maybe the way the employees are behind glass plates, something which was done away with years ago in all other post offices; maybe the fact that there's a line at each desk—instead of a single waiting line—another change that was done years ago everywhere else; anyway). But the money order is evidently a procedure that dates years back and that nearly isn't used any more nowadays. Apparently it takes two weeks for the money to cross the Atlantic (hullo? two weeks???), and it took five minutes looking up in thick procedure books to check that I was allowed to write down a two lines' message to go with my order. Impressive. But the stupidest thing was: I had to pay in cash—no credit cards accepted for money orders. This makes no sense. So I had to go to the ATM just outside the post office, withdraw a hundred euros, and come back to stand in line a second time, for no reason at all. Anyway.

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