I am not one of those people who gets ready for a trip abroad by ordering foreign currency from my bank or picking up some American Express travelers’ cheques. I may eschew facebook, but I am just not that old school. I do what a person should do and hit a reputable bank ATM when I land to withdraw local currency. It’s easy and you get a way better exchange rate than a US bank or one of those rip off little currency exchange booths in the airport. Especially the booth that looks like the red double decker busses in London. You seriously have to be an idiot to fall for that one.
After more than 24 hours of continuous travel to Manila, I had a brain fart. I didn’t hit a bank ATM at the airport. When the car dropped me off at the hotel a bellman grabbed my suitcase before I could tell him HANDS OFF! I don’t need someone to wheel my bag for me. It’s why I have a bag with a convenient handle and little wheels that roll so nicely. But, he already had it and was off and running, handing me a ticket to turn into the front desk and explaining my bag would be waiting in my room. Yeah…right. Along with the bellman waiting for a tip.
I went through the security measures of bomb sniffing dogs and metal detectors, checked in and was on my way up to my room wondering how the Hell I was going to get through this without looking like a complete asshole. Then it hit me! While I don’t ever have dollah dollah bills yo in my wallet, I do have some leftover cash from past trips.
Sure enough, the dude was waiting by my door with my bag. I smiled without speaking, handed him a folded 5 Euro note and said, “Danke!” as chipperly as I could as I closed the door. I figure, it’s an international hotel and he can exchange it for pesos at the front desk. And, if not…he’ll just go around saying Germans are assholes. I’m cool with that.