Lest the various articles on Argentina (such as the most recent, or any other) leave you with the mistaken impression that this country is peculiarly stupid, I'll translate a piece from 2010 below, to show that Romania is absolutely no better.
May Jehova, Buddha and Tnuvai protect you, dear readers and readerettes, from falling into needing to use hereabouts in Romania such services as make the comfort and ease of life in civilised countries such as for instance Romania isn't (yet, say some). Such as for instance, the ATM.
The idea behind the ATM is that it's worth it to expend a lot of time and effort building a small safe with a little robot captive inside that'll give out money to people through a tiny crack. Even if it has to be armored, and guarded, and fed electricity and money, for which purposes there must be developed and maintained whole logistical networks, and even if it has to be now and again fixed, and there's need of an informatic system to keep track, which has to be secured also, and cards with magnetic strips on them and so forth.
It's worth doing all this, says the doctrine, to save people time, their most valuable possession, for it makes up their life, at the end of which she of the scythe will not refund not a minute nor a second of all the time you've wasted pointlessly while still young and it seemed there's plenty, not to mention it flows too slowly. Nothing, irrespective of prayers and hot tears. Then it'll be too late.
Afore it being too late it is however too early, and so the Romanian huswife protests with her whole being, with every fiber of her body in full process of delasareii, against this novelty that might save time. How is such thing! Anathema!
From up on the pointy heels she's not yet endured to renounce, even if they lost a little height, with a child or a whole sheepfold's worth of them pulling on her breeches, with a handbag enough to hide a smaller hippopotamus and extra a pair of plastic bags with brands painted on but otherwise filled with borscht weeds, the huswife does not manage to let go of her previous status of desired good kitty, nor insert herself in the social status that awaits gloating on the timeslide - of rubicond fat coil frame, hair painted chemical red and herself covered in those strange dressing gowns worn by the pre-crones around these parts, a sort of curtain deux-pieces.
And she begins to stuff the card, and backwards and upside down and sideways and anyways, just not the way it'd manage to fit, you'd say she's left with sequelae from her amorous-conjugal encounters. Notwithstanding it being drawn on the window of the thing, for purposes of aiding the socially handicapped, how the card should enter the machinery. Notwithstanding that being a parallelepiped (however marginally), it has no more than 6 faces (of which, logically, no more than 4 could count, god forbid she starts trying to stick the thing in facing the written part ?!), nevertheless a minimum of 12 tries are required.
After which, the card must be taken out and re-introduced a certain number of times. For instance, seventy three. The citizen waiting after the Romanian huswife has time to go all the way to town, pay his taxesiii, leave various official papers in various offices and orifices, and return, finding her still there, just about done with the 73rd ablution.
After which. Misfortune! The machine makes the fatal mistake of asking for something. Disaster! The PIN! What is the PIN! Search in the handbag, search in the other bags, search the children in the asshole. The PIN is naught. In the head it's not sought, for let's be frank, it wouldn't make any sense. Take the card out of the machine, because the PIN finds itself written in marker under some Scotch tape glued to it. What ? That's where it's safest, she can't lose it.iv
She sticks the card back in, tries to test the PIN... it's forgotten! So she takes it back out and writes it on the fucking wall, right next to the machine. Tries the PIN again, types it in wrongly. It's right under her very eyes as for instance 6451. She writes is 6541. Doesn't work. Takes the card out, puts it back in again. Tries again, maybe that's why it didn't work : 6541. What "why" ? The why that she hadn't tried twice, to let the machine see she's firmly decided.
Still no go. She'd take it out and stick it back in at least a further three endless infinity times, but fortunately the bank people caught on and made the rule that if you fuck up the PIN entry three times in a row they take your toy away and you have to go home without money. This resulted in two months of high pitch scandal from those huswives which, according to their own delcarations, were waylaid on the street by gangs of ATMs, taking their cards out of their purses to be swallowed whole while the poor darlings were passing by peacibly and without intention in front of rape machine. It's unclear how the poor ATM managed to find anything, such as for instance a card, in their handbag. Fortunately, after two months the esteemed ladies died of inanition in corners and public parks, so the problem was resolved partially : through natural selection, only the huswives that put in the PIN a finite number of times remained to multiply. Which they did, taking the place of their sisters murdered by the evil of banking, but keeping forever the distinctive mark, transmitted through genetics rather than culture or education, of not fucking around with the PIN. But outside of that, nothing but idiocy, one more embroidered than the next.
And here finally that moment, when the machine prints the balance, and asks what you will of it.
Generally it prints out 0, and the huswife grabs the bags, handbags and handchitlins and goes home. Something she could have done two hours earlier at the very least, of course, but why eschew using the amusement park placed with so much gusto at your disposal by this modern version of a multilaterally developedv society ?
Looky this is how time flows, and Romania progresses, slowly-slowly, like molasses flowing, on the lengthy drum of transformation to becomingvi, of constructing a society of the future, in which the new man lives eternal and does exactly nothing with that whole eternity.
PS. Let it be noted however, to not bring upon our heads suspicion of ill will, that in rare instances, maybe one of ten, the huswife goes on victorious with a sum between twenty and eighty five leivii at the end of these operations, which makes the average processed amount average about a quarter over its physical cost.———
- Some shitty margerine trying at the time to penetrate the Romanian consumer market, for which purpose they naively allocated a 1% or somesuch of the budget for "online advertising", which got mostly embezzled by one of the dickheaded "agencies" "specializing" in such and as a result every (~=four) "relevant" Romanian blogs suddenly started discussing this topic, with all the stylistic refinement you can expect [out of the exact equivalent of Russian raw recruits, except even more culturally marginal]. It was a hysterical display, which made the enumeration very funny, in its time and place. [↩]
- This is an intraductible Romanian word no language can do without. It denotes negligence, in the direct. Etymologically, it comes very transparently off the same stem that gave lassitude in English. Importantly however, and actual usage in the context here, is its gravitational, female-body-and-other-pastes implications. Delasare is what happens inside the tits that used to be oh so firm at 17 and are now oh so low the question as to whether one should wear a bra or not is decided by whether it rained recently enough for the soil to be muddy. [↩]
- In Romania, especially at the time, this was a scandalous point due to the insane procedres creating DMV-level queues. Maybe it's changed, no idea. [↩]
- In the sense that if she were to lose it, she'd lose it with the card and then she'd report "having lost the card", ie, not specifically the PIN. Therefore it literally and absolutely can not be lost. See ?
This is the glory of an old country with an old language with well stratified imbecility. [↩]
- It's what the communists used to call it, back when they were doing the exact same thing. [↩]
- The construction's not traducible, not to mention not likely to amuse you unless you're well versed in Filosofie. [↩]
- Five to about twenty-something dollars. [↩]