Slip it in the crack and see what comes out
by Somchai


ATM machines are just about everywhere in the city, and thankfully it is quite rare to find one that has broken down or simply run out of money. Most machines are ‘pooled’ so you can use any card in any machine at any time. It is also nice to see that these days, all the machines are bi-lingual. Try to avoid the need to withdraw money on the last Friday of the month when most Thai workers recieve their monthly salary. Very long queues do often develop as Bangkok’s ‘Friday night millionaires’ gear themselves up for their one big night out. Oh and anytime you use an ATM machine, please try to resist the urge to murder the person in front of you who stands there scratching his head and trying to work out what the buttons all mean.


I remarked to a certain bank manager long ago that the banks shouldn’t issue new ATM cards without giving an impromptu training session on how to use it at the same time. He thought it was a fair idea but I’m still waiting for it to be implemented.

The Thai person’s guide to using an ATM machine.

Stand in front of ATM machine
Rummage through bag or wallet to find ATM card
Realize that the card is actually in your pocket
Locate scrap of paper with PIN number on it
No, that’s an old bus ticket
Receive phone call on mobile phone.
Balance mobile phone between cheek and shoulder whilst inserting card into machine
Take out card and re-insert the right way round
Take out card and re-insert the right way up
End mobile phone conversation
Study the dazzling array of buttons on the keypad
Scratch head and frown
Tap in PIN number
Tap in correct PIN number
Take cash and receipt
Stand in front of ATM machine and slowly count cash
Stand in front of ATM machine and scrutinize receipt
Stand in front of ATM machine and put money away as slowly as possibly
Take out friends ATM card and repeat process
Turn around and carefully step over farang that has collapsed with high blood pressure.

Q: Had atm fun or rage?

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