Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Berlin, travellers cheques and Visa

On Monday, I took the train to Berlin for my orientation to finding work.
Matt took me to the train station and I marked down the subway line, directions and stops along the way as I would have to get back to the apartment on Tuesday, by myself. I find figuring out the metro to be complicated and stressful. I think I took the Toronto metro by myself twice in my entire life.
I spend most of my time deciding to go places I can walk to so I can avoid the metro, at least if I am by myself. Sooner or later, I am going to have to get over this. just not quite yet.

Sadly, I did not see much of Berlin. After my orientation, which was all of 1.5 hours I had the afternoon and evening to explore. It poured rain the entire time and only get windier as the night went on.
The orientation itself was okay. I learned a number of valuable tips but job search tips did not all apply to Nürnberg and I am struggling to find the Nürnberg equivalents.

Travellers Cheques and Visa
After spending almost all of my cash the Friday I moved into my apartment on rent and the kaution, I needed to find a place to cash my travellers cheques. I spent 3 and a half days with $30 in my wallet and no place to cash the cheques. The banks didnt open until Monday and I spent most of Monday on the train. I was able to use my Visa card at the Walmart equiv when I wanted to get a clothes dry rack and laundry basket...but not at the grocery store. We had to rely on what cash Matt had to tie us over. When I finally got to a bank, the teller told me that regular banks will not cash travellers cheques in Germany. This meant I had to wait until Tuesday to go to a travel bank (at the train stations) to finally cash them.
So when travelling, be mindful of this. Get your travellers cheques cashed at the train station and make sure you always have cash on you...because your Visa card which is suppose to be so international, may be useless.

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