Borders are a Pain03 Sep 2001
Christopher's tricks now include ringing the doorbell (repeatedly), flushing the toilet (repeatedly), smearing cat food on the door handles, dragging hair dryers and irons along the carpet, and singing loudly to himself. He is very amused if you sing back to him.
Borders are a pain, even in this modern day and age. Last week I tried to buy plane tickets to Minneapolis for this winter. Now, given that most German travel agents have no idea where Minneapolis is, never mind which airlines fly there, it's quicker for me to find tickets online myself. I know that to get there with one stop, the only airline I can take is Northwest (otherwise known as the "Aeroflot of the Midwest"). And at the Northwest website, I can find the flight I want. But can I buy my ticket there? No, not from Germany.
Or what about sending money to and from the States? Credit cards are nice for buying things, and when we are in the States we can withdraw funds with our German ATM card. But what if my parents want to send money for Christopher, or what if Mama's brother Roland wants to sell something to an American on E-Bay? Wire transfers are expensive, and not always reliable (once when wiring money to Minnesota, it got hung up in St. Louis for 6 months). And sending currency through the mail? I don't think so. Well, now there's PayPal, and they now take international customers, and will even send funds to a German bank account. But only if you have a credit card. Roland doesn't have one, so I guess he's out of luck.