Now that I have my Chilean passport I can finally open up a bank account. I worked at a bank in Rhode Island for just over two years, so I am very familiar with the process of opening up an account in the US. Trying to open one here has been exactly the opposite of what I´m used to. This story is three-fold.
Fold one: I arrived at the bank with one of my coworkers who came to help with the language issue. After I filled out all the paper work, signed ten different pages (for once I am not exaggerating), and gave my thumb prints on half as many pages, I learned I was still not able to open an account. Why? Because they needed a copy of my teaching contract. Mind you, this has nothing to do with the fact that I am a foreigner. I have dual citizenship, so showing proof of employment is the case for all Chileans. Of course I didn´t have this with me. Additionally, they needed receipts showing the school had paid me. This one baffled me a little. At the top of my paychecks it clearly says the name of the school. But they needed more proof. So, we left. I told the banker I would return with the paperwork the next day.
Fold two: On my second trip to the bank I turned in all the necessary paperwork. This time I was without my trusted translator, so when the banker returned from making copies and told me I was all set, I was once again confused. In the US, or at least in the bank I worked at, you can´t open an account with no money in it. So when I explained to the banker in broken Spanish that I had cash and checks to deposit, he told me to come back in 2 days. I said thanks and left but in my head I was screaming ``WHAAAT?!?!´´.
I know I told you this story was three-fold, and that you´re eagerly waiting to read the final fold of the story. But you see, the last part has not happened yet. My third, and hopefully final, trip to the bank is scheduled for tomorrow. The only frustrating thing is that each time I have gone to the bank and not been able to deposit my money, I have been forced to return home with two paychecks and pesos in the amount of the equivalent of $1000 USD. Not exactly the kind of things you want to be carrying on the busy Santiago metro. But hopefully tomorrow I´ll finally be able to make my deposit.