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25 things that a US citizen finds funny in Spain

25 things that a US citizen finds funny in Spain

Jan 30th, 2017, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,044
I used to run a little bit of an international business and working with (most) US banks was a bit like stepping back in time, almost as bad as Portugal.

As someone who has an Italian personal bank account and a US personal bank account, I would say you don't need to run a business to find American banking antediluvian. With an Italian account, you can pay virtually everything online, but you can also deposit a birthday gift in your son's account; you can repay a friend by sending money to his account; in general any transfer of money for any reason can be done online without setting the recipient up as a valid recipient of your largess.

Any American who's ever tried to pay a deposit on a European rental using funds in an American bank account knows exactly what I mean.

When I had to rent an apartment in London, I spent an hour on the phone with my bank in the US to get it done. Then it took forever to arrive, and cost me an arm and a leg.

The next time I had to pay a deposit on a rental (in northern Ireland), I transferred the money to my Italian account (using Xoom rather than my bank's cumbersome and expensive procedure) and made the transfer online in 30 seconds. The fact that I had to exchange dollars to euros and then euros to pounds sterling was a minor inconvenience and expense with respect to what what would have been required to send it directly from my American bank.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
It's money laundering legislation that keeps money from moving freely between the U.S. and Canada. In our business, we have many clients in the US, but we are unable to move money easily by transfer, so we are relegated to receiving payment by cheque from the US.

We then get penalized by one large US company because we won't (cannot) accept on-line transfers!?!

It's a bit crazy...especially for trading partners like US/Canada
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,661
I have an American bank account and a French bank account and, except for large transfers of money, which are rare for us, I withdraw money from my American bank account at an ATM and when I've got a tidy sum, deposit the cash in my French account. No fees on either side. It's a bit cumbersome, but it works better than anything else I've been able to figure out so far.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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"I struggle to see what I said this got my input moderated. Ah well.>>

mmm- I'm wondering too, bilbo. the new mods must be very sensitive - I had a post of mine removed recently too and I know that I didn't say anything rude or use offensive language [well, no more than usual]."

The mods have been busy coping with the Korean spam, and some things have been deleted by mistake recently, including a whole thread by otherchelbi If you send a query to the editors, whatever it was will likely be reinstated.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Me, too, bilbo. Nothing offensive in the slightest, but it's happened to me recently, too.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 01:35 PM
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St. Cirq, I also used to withdraw money from an ATM and deposit it in my Italian account, but now I prefer to use Xoom. I haven't used any of the other similar services, so I can't make a recommendation. They make money on the exchange rate, and also charge a small fee, but they're very quick and easy to use. It's worth the slight extra cost to me.

Xoom can't be used for commercial transfers, just for transfers to private individuals.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Not sure but bilboburgler's post may have been more suited to the Lounge if you get my drift
janisj is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,801
"No, Peg, you are right. Clothes are, and have always been, very expensive in Spain.
This list is generally very dated. There aren't very many differences today, and that's the way Spaniards want it. They want to catch up to other Europeans, to be done with the Franco era"

I visit Madrid every year and have no problem finding beautiful clothes and shoes in stores of Salamanca
district . Yes, they are as expensive ,but no more than what one would pay in Paris
or New York
for the same item.

And BTW, Franco died in 1975 ..
danon is offline  
Jan 30th, 2017, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,661
I'll look into it, bvlenci, but transfers from my U.S. credit union internationally only cost US$10 and take two business days. Mostly I am paying local contractors and businesses, though, so I'll check it out.

Interesting about the price of Spanish clothing. We were last there in Basque Country at the end of September and found some nice bargains.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 06:18 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,036
Zara is not considered a luxury brand in the US.

I thought clothes in Spain were incredibly well priced at places like Zara and Massimo Dutti. I bought so much home from my last trip. Pants that cost me 29 euro at Zara would be $90 in NYC. I'd go to Spain just to shop for clothes, not to mention Loewe leather for splurges.

I doubt if I would go to Corte Ingles for clothes, but I'd look at the food department there.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 07:16 AM
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only a little bit janisj
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
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The lounge. My Graal. Unreachable for common mortals.
WoinParis is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,038
What used to be funny, odd, strange was the tricornio patent leather hat worn by the Gurardia Civil, now only worn for ceremonial purposes, parades and the like. Luckily my husband picked one up in the Plaza Mayor in '02. Now used as part of a Halloween costume.
Bedar is offline  
Jan 31st, 2017, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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St. Cirq, I just use Xoom to transfer money from my US account to my Italian account. I wouldn't use it to pay individuals, because I'd have to pay the fee ($4.99) for each payment. Their exchange rate today is $0.91, while the official rate is $0.93, so that's how they make the bulk of their money.

Xoom has been bought by Paypal recently.
bvlenci is offline  
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