Basswood in France?

Basswood has spent the week visiting in Germany. Last night he messaged that he was leaving for France in the morning. This morning he tried to get money at an ATM in Germany and US Bank froze his card. The reason I know this is the bank’s computer called me.  Last week after he left for Germany I went to our local US Bank branch and they put a note in the computer saying that he was going to be traveling in Europe. Well… I guess they have not taught the computer to read yet. I had to call and talk to a human today who apologized and said that the fraud department had not read the note.


Similar thing happened four years ago when Basswood went to Mexico for the first time.  He had gotten a ride into Mexico and had not had time to get money first.  As soon as he tried to get money at an ATM in Mexico… US Bank froze his account.  Back then we did not know that you have to let your bank know when you plan to leave the country.


At the time I was not on his account so the bank would not even talk to me.  He spent four days in Mexico eating what he found growing on the side of the road and sleeping at gas stations.  On the fourth day a semi driver with a machine gun sitting beside him on the seat picked him up and felt sorry for him.  He took him home, fed him, and the next morning took him to the bus station and bought him a ticket to Dallas saying  “Gringo go home.”


Basswood tried to contact me while he was in Mexico those five days, but was unable to because he did not have money and he did not know Spanish.  The federales stopped once while he was hitchhiking.  Basswood said it is hard to learn Spanish when a bunch of guys dressed in black jump out of the back of a truck with machine guns and surround you while hollering at the top of their lungs.   The federales did flag down a car and tell the driver to take Basswood to the next town.


Now today I am anxiously waiting to find out if Basswood made it on the bus to France this morning and is planning on trying to get money there or if he is penniless in Germany still.  Kathy at US bank did assure me that if Basswood tries to get money in Germany or France he will not have anymore trouble today.   (As I am writing this it occurs to me that it is already tomorrow over there…)


Two years ago while he was on a self guided bus trip form Duluth Minnesota to El Salvador the bank froze his card and classified it as a fraudulent card so it could not be reinstated.  They did this even though there was a note saying he was on a trip.  That time I had to Western Union him money each time he needed it for several months until he came home.  US Bank told me it was my fault that time also, because a note is only good for three months. ( I think that Basswood’s five day trip to Mexico is the only foreign trip he has ever taken that lasted less then three months and that was only short because he could not get his money out of the bank.)  Tomorrow’s blog post.


More blog posts about Basswood and his adventures.