Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Take it to the bank

I’ve pretty much spilled the beans and shared the news of my blog. I feel…I feel…sullied.

Today I went to a bank to try to open an account. The bank had a security door, a narrow tube, like those mail tubes that suck a capsule with stuff inside…okay, I have no idea how those work…anyway, a narrow tube that opens on one end, then closes, then reopens into the bank. I was not allowed to enter with the stroller, a fact I figured out from the head-wagging teller. One kindly Neapolitan woman asked, “Are you trying to go in?” I said, “Yes,” and then she proceeded to go in herself. I said, “Gentilissima,” which means “how kind,” and she shot me a dirty look. Lucky for her she was already inside the tube or I’d have, POW, right in the kisser! So, then a man tried to help me get the stroller in the tube. We failed. He went in and when he came out, I said, “Someone could have at least come outside to tell me.” He defended the bankers: “They couldn’t hear you.” Oh so now Neapolitans need actual words to communicate? This is the land of gesture. I’ve seen entire conversations take place with just flailing hands and couple of well-placed thrusts of the chin. The man then told me I had to wait for the guard. Many, many minutes passed. I decided to go to the bakery to park the stroller. The ladies who work there know me, so I figured no problem. And, indeed, no problem. I returned with La Bimba in my arms, in her “eskimino” (yep, the Italian for snowsuit), though it was now baking outside. The guard arrived, a young, handsome guy, who informed me, “You can’t bring the stroller inside and we can’t open the emergency door.” Got it. Then he added, “I was in the bathroom.” Either he had the stomach flu that’s going around, he was doing some lines and had to get all the powder off his nose, or he was simply lying about having a coffee. I finally got inside the bank and the aforementioned tellers started cooing at La Bimba, which pissed me off because though it’s nice that they think she rocks da house, I remain chopped liver (“What am I? Chopped liver?” translates as “Am I transparent?” here. I’ve never understood the chopped liver line since a plate of it atop some Ritz never went ignored in my family). The tellers sent me to the manager, who was a slick and slimy type. He asked, “What’s your work?” I said, “I’m a full-time mom.” He said, “Oh, so you don’t do anything.” I THOUGHT NEAPOLITANS WORSHIPPED MOTHERS!!! Then he took my information and said he’ll contact me after a background check. La Bimba and I returned to the bakery, bought some bread, and headed home.

And that was Tuesday.