#ChicaGoUK Chronicles #6

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by Jason Blackwater

10/7/2012
Teatro Lunar

Another brilliant day (I would probab ly just assume that I’m having a brilliant time unless otherwise stated from here on out). Marla is a great teacher and I’m learning a lot already. Tag-outs, for example, which were something that I was pretty comfortable with have taken on a lot more meaning and value. This seems to be the case for everyone as nearly every scene seems to feature one…or several…but I’m sure that’ll calm down.

A particular highlight (?) of today was the epic mission to buy a US phone so I don’t feel completely disconnected to the rest of the world.


I’d been recommended Target as a good place to get a “burn phone” and there is one on my way back to my digs so I popped in. I selected my phone and an amount of credit that would see me through to towards the end of my time here and approached the register.

Card declined. please contact your card issuer.

I’d been expecting this at some point. Natwest can be a little trigger happy when doling out fraud alerts despite me buying a £500 flight to America, over $1000 in American currency and a £700 course fee in America, this is when they choose to strike, surprised to find that my card is being used…in America. I apologised politely to the clerk and went to phone my bank

“I’ve got no fraud alerts on your account, how can I help you?”

Strange. OK, Maybe I don;t have a card that can pay for stuff overseas.

“There’s no reason it shouldn’t work”

So maybe I pressed the wrong button. I’ll try again

Card declined. please contact your card issuer.

Definitely can’t use it to pay for stuff. I’d already taken cash out of an ATM here so I knew that worked so another quiet apology and a request to hold onto the phone until I returned and directions to the nearest ATM and off I went. 2 different ATMs and it still wasn’t working. Another call to Natwest.

“yes, there’s a fraud alert on your account due to 2 failed transactions in Target Chicago, and 2 failed attempts at withdrawing money from ATMs. Can you confirm these were you?”
“Of course I can. I phoned you when it happened and you told me there was no reason it shouldn’t work”
The conversation went on in this vein for a short while before my realisation an argument on an 0844 number in the States, on a mobile, was probably doubling my phone bill and I ended it there. withdrew my cash, and bought my phone.
Moral of this story, phone the bank before you leave
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