Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Financial Transactions

My mum taught me the ways of banking, deposits and pay-ins, records and receipts, cheques and cash. We would enter the vast banking hall in St. Vincent Street, imposing and intimidating in its polished splendour of marble and wood, to carry out our transactions in a quiet and reverent manner. Such temples of finance cannot be compared to today's Govan branches of Scotland's banks.
Lino floors and walls in need of a lick of paint are not so daunting, but strangely, there still hangs in the air, a sense of nervous foreboding.

A mother and daughter stand in the queue beside me whispering about how much money to take out. "What do ye need?" asks the mum just as the daughter asks, "What'll I need?"
We shuffle forward in the line. They are dressed similarly in joggy bottoms, sandshoes and longish, light jackets. Their hair is in matching ponytails of light brown, though mother's has a few streaks of grey. Daughter, a little taller, looks down at her mum and says firmly, "Ah'm not askin for it."
And mother purses her lips and frowns.

An elderly man takes his turn with the teller. "Ah'm needin to take money oot to get ma new glesses," and as he does so, he taps his specs very lightly, and the leg detaches from the frame and the glasses fall off his nose. "Oh!" he exclaims, "See that!"
The teller smiles and waits for further instruction.
"Ah've got it written on a bit of paper how much Ah need," he says, pushing a scrap through the glass screen.

Mother and daughter have fallen into whispers now as they discuss their private financial business till their turn comes up. We are both called forward at the same time and the girl must have found her courage as I hear her enquire timidly, "Em, could I take four pounds out."

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