The Day the ATM Ate My Debit Card (In Moscow)

May 3, 2010


Ой! We have a lot to talk about. The past week was quite busy, and a number of ridiculous events transpired. First of all, I got my debit card eaten by an ATM in my metro station. Now, I don’t know about you, but it would have been a hassle for me to retrieve my card in the States, let alone in Moscow. So what do I do. First, I called the number on the ATM, and spoke with a Росбанк (Rosbank) representative for about 10 minutes, figuring out where I need to go, when, and what I have to do to retrieve my card.

In order to make sure that I have everything correct, the next day (Friday) Vera (my teacher from OU, who is actually native Russian) calls the bank with me to make sure I understood everything the teller told me. Lo and behold, I was totally correct on what I needed to do; Vera was very impressed with me. And ultimately, at the appointed time on Friday, I stroll into the bank and retrieve my card like I had done it a million times before.

Which leads me to believe that the silver lining in having my bank card eaten by an ATM in Moscow, is that I was able to navigate the entire situation using only my Russian vocabulary.

As I mentioned earlier, there were plenty of other interesting events in the past week. For example, on Wednesday we had our weekly excursion at the Applied Folk Arts Museum. There were a number of really interesting lifestyle pieces from the 18th and 17th centuries. But there were also  a number of plates from the 20th century that included what were known as,”Propaganda Porcelain.” For the most part, the collection was made up of plates with Lenin’s likeness on them, and many of them included former Soviet slogans. Unfortunately, the museum charges 150 rubles to take pictures, so I had to sneak in a picture or two to avoid getting charged.

This was below the "Propaganda Porcelain." This is the Tsar's side of the chess set. You'll notice that there is a laughing skeleton king, and the pawns are all in chains. You'll notice that the color of the tsar is white.

And, of course, here is the worker's side with all the valiant pawns wielding hammers and sickles. Also notice that all are clad in red.

The museum was a success, and on Thursday we headed to the Moscow Conservatory to take in some classical music in the form of a trio. The trio was incredible, and afterwards on our way back home, Trevor and I stumbled upon a fleet of tanks lining Тверская Улица (Tverskaya Ulitsa), preparing to perform a dry run of the May Day Parade.

Here they are, anxiously awaiting the signal to light up and head out.

While waiting for the tanks and artillery to roll, we ending up getting the chance to meet some really interesting people. While standing by the gates on the street, we heard some English over our shoulders, which is a pretty rare occurrence in Moscow. Within minutes, Trevor and I struck up a conversation with a Singaporean businessman named Nick and his wife, Nora. They were in Moscow for the first time to work out a deal with a publishing house at which two wonderful Russian guys, both named Dima (a diminutive of Dmitri), worked.

They were truly interesting and sweet people and we talked for nearly an hour and a half waiting for the tanks to roll.

Left to right, Dima 1, Nora and Nick. Dima 2 is not pictured, unfortunately.

After keeping us company for about an hour and a half, they got tired of waiting and decide to get some dinner. Unfortunately, not 10 minutes after they left, the tanks started up and bore down on us in a display of Russian military strength.

I know I need to buy a flash for my camera, and I want to apologize in advance for the quality of these photos.

Tanks roaring toward Red Square.

I really wish I had focused on the soldier, which is what I was going for, instead of the tank in this picture.

Gentleman, start your engines.

Ridiculously large artillery thing.

This was one of the last things to roll through. Who knows what it is, but it's huge and intimidating, and that's all that seemed to matter.

After the demonstration, Trevor and I headed home to finish some homework. Despite my debit card getting eaten, it was a pretty solid night, and we still had the weekend to look forward to. I have an update that I am already working on, so stay very nearby for that one!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: