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El albergue

El albergue

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Space Age Banking


Maybe it’s just because I’m from a small town and have never spent enough time in a big city to need to enter one of its banks, but I swear the banks here in Madrid are fast moving toward space age status.  The first time I walked into a branch of Santander, I was with Kels, and we both stared in wonder at the glistening tubes of glass monitoring passage from the entryway into the inner sanctum.  Scanning them both, we saw a button on the side of the one on the right.  We pushed the button.  One of the panels of glass swung around, opening up the passageway to the inside.  We both stepped inside.  A digitalized voice calmly told us that this was not possible, that only one person was allowed inside the tube at a time.  So I backed out and watched as the panel swung back around, closing Kels off from me.  A panel on the other side swung around, releasing her into the nerve center of the bank.  Not until that side was completely closed was the near side opened and I was allowed to follow my roommate inside.  And when we left, it was exactly the same, although through the twin of the tube through which we had entered. 

And of course, these tubes are so uncanny that not only can they tell when more than one person has entered them, they will tell people that their bags are too big or that they have too much metal on them, directing them towards lockers in the entryway in which to leave those forbidden objects.  So strange for a small town girl like me!

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