Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tues. January 3, 2012

We had another go at preparing to open a bank a/c so that we can get our money over here in order to get our residency papers.  We went downtown to the Tax office to get a "tax number" each, since that was one of the things we were told we needed.  The building wasn't what I expected it to be - a drab, inauspicious facility, jammed in amongst other uninteresting buildings on a narrow little street.  Once inside, it wasn't much cheerier - but - they did have an elevator that looked more up-to-date than any of the others Ive seen, however it only held 4 passengers!  We managed to speak with a girl in English and she gave us forms and she pointed out enlarged forms on the wall for a guide.  They were in Greek, but when we got closer, we could see that someone had kind of penciled in the English interpretation on them!!  It worked OK and we came out with our tax numbers.  Then we went to the HSBC bank again and showed them what we had and they wanted to know where the paper (bill) was that showed our name on it together with the address at which we live.  We were under the understanding that if we had our tax numbers, that would be enough.  No so!  So, once again, they all put their heads together trying to work out a way for us to get an a/c.   Now, we only have 17 days left in which to get the residency process started.  In the end, the HSBC guys told us to try and open an a/c at Citibank.  We went to Citibank and did get somewhere with them because the mission business is done through them and Brent has signing authority, but they still are bound by the same rules as all other banks here.  Trying to keep it simple, they want us to do four things and bring them in and hopefully, we'll be successful. Tomorrow, we'll try again.  What was interesting was that when we were at the Tax place, we asked one lady which floor the office was on - come to find out she was living in Queensland - then on the way out and man asked directions from us and he was from Melbourne area.  Both of them were Greek and spoke pretty good English, but you couldn't mistake the Aussie accent coming through. Cool!  Stay tuned!!

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