What I did during my summer vacation, part 1

This summer, I bought an apartment. In the Ukraine. In cash. No mortgage, no loans, no muss, no fuss. And no, I’m not telling how much it cost.

Ironically, we were supposed to not only pay in cash, but US cash. No local bills.

We analysed a lot of options before deciding to go the cash route. Bank transfer to the Ukraine? No, since we would have to open an account here and there would be no idea when the money would actually, um, arrive. We’ve had issues with this before.

Traveller’s cheques? Maybe, but the 1-2 percent that we would get charged on either end would add up over time. And most banks in Ukraine said they wouldn’t have enough cash to, um, cash our cheques.

ATMs? Most ATMs in Ukraine wouldn’t issue dollars but only local grivnas. We would get slammed if the exchange rate was crap, especially if we had to use an ATM card with a daily limit on it.

So, suffice to say, we got all of the money through ‘different’ means. One of these means was a friend in Moscow whose cousin in the Ukraine owed them some money. We offered to be the middleman, paying the debt in Moscow and collecting in the Ukraine, where we needed the money to be.

That was why I found myself in a parking lot on the edge of town one day, counting out crisp hundred dollar bills. in the front cab of my friend’s cousin’s truck. Did I mention that the cousin was a cop? The bills were in great condition. All the stories he told about this robbery and that mugging did not help things, though

… to be continued …

Posted via web from Hooray for the bleeding edge

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