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31st of October, 2003 POST·MERIDIEM 01:23

Did I mention how I reached my credit limit in San Francisco? Okay, I’m in Seattle, I check my credit card balance, I’ve leeway of seven hundred Euro before I hit my limit—Euro, now, not dollars, so about eight in the latter—I get on a plane to San Francisco, hang around the airport for a few hours, get a plane to Tampa Bay in Florida via Las Vegas, spend thirty hours drinking and talking in Sarasota and putting my feet in the Gulf of Mexico—hi Jennifer!—fly back via Phoenix, land in SF around 8pm. I ring up Mackers & Jen, ask what plans they have for the evening, nothing spectacular, okay. I go to an ATM to get cash for a BART ticket downtown. It gives me no money. Have I mentioned this is my only source of cash for the trip? That I use it very much in preference to a Cirrus card, because Cirrus Cards transaction fees suck , and apply even when you have money in the account?

I go to a payphone, and use a phone card I’ve bought in SF a few days previously to ring Bank of Ireland credit card services in Wicklow (judging by their area code). I enquire if I’m over my limit, and if so, by how much. The nice lady on the graveyard shift says I am over my limit; that my balance (rather, the amount I’m in the red) is €1,600. I reply and say my limit is €2,000, how am I over it, exactly? She assures me that I’m over it. Okay, I try to be pragmatic, I ask how would I go about getting access to more money now , and commented that if I had known I was about to go over my limit, I would have renegotiated it. She says if there were a banking 365 transaction of €600 lined up, then they could renegotiate the limit and let me have access to cash. I said, okay, I’ll see can I line that up, and end the call.

But, I’ve a more pressing problem. San Francisco International Airport is not really within walking distance of where I was staying, a residential hotel in Chinatown. (I had paid up front for two weeks in the hotel, so at least I’ve somewhere to stay.) You can walk places in San Francisco, but the airport to Chinatown would involve half the night. And the reason I was going to the ATM was because I didn’t know if I had the $4.50 for the BART, the local area train that would take me downtown. So, I empty all my pockets, root in all my bags, and thankfully, got the $4.50 together. I make it to the hotel, and hit Jen & Mackers for the price of a few pints & food over the next few days.

Then I work out that I can survive here; I have a place to stay, my flight home is paid for, Mackers is flush with cash from working most of the summer in a decent job, so I can scab eating money off him with a pretty clear conscience. So, I do, checking and sending a lot of mail over dial-up with my laptop, and Mackers & Jen collect my deposit of $50 when I leave.

I arrive back in Dublin, live off the small bit of money I have in my current account, hit friends for the price of tickets I’ve paid for a while ago. Up until yesterday morning, when I check my credit card balance at an ATM. It’s €1,600. Right, okay, my parents must have paid it off to give me some living money—I hate that, but at least the account number and sort code will be in the records so I can pay them back once my salary comes through. So, I ring up, ask for the details of the transaction that put €1,000 into my account, and the last payment into my account was €900 on the third, nothing since. I ask “So why am I under my limit now?”. And I’m told I was never over my limit. So they turned off my credit card because my spending patterns changed. Which would be okay, maybe, if they had told me this at the time. I mentioned that they didn’t, and that they told me I was over my limit, yeah? Fuсkers.

Anyway, to a less annoying subject. Everyone knows John’s gospel, yeah? The thing that starts

IN PRINCIPIO ERAT VERBUM, ET VERBUM ERAT APUD DEUM, ET DEUS ERAT VERBUM. HOC ERAT IN PRINCIPIO APUD DEUM.

or

In the beginning was the word, and the word was close to God, and God was the word. This latter was, in the beginning, close to God.

Of course, it may make more sense in Greek, in which it was written in the first place, but I doubt it. St. Jerome may have had problems with the more literate portions of the Bible, but this wasn’t one of them. Anyway, fortune(6) comes out with this, today;

(He opens a tolm and begins.)

It says: “In the beginning was the Word.”
Already I am stopped. It seems absurd.
The Word does not deserve the highest prize,
I must translate it otherwise.
If I am well inspired and not blind.
It says: “In the beginning was the Mind.”
Ponder that first line, wait and see,
Lest you should write too hastily.
Is the Mind the all-creating source?
It ought to say: “In the beginning there was Force.”
Yet something warns me as I grasp the pen,
That my translation must be changed again.
The spirit helps me. Now it is exact.
I write: “In the beginning was the Act.”

— Goethe’s Faust

which I found great. Disrespect for ѕhіtty writing because it’s ѕhіtty writing, ignoring whence it came.

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