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Chapter 6
Cheques (Part I)

If I want to buy anything in Moscow I usually pay with cash. I also use a plastic card to get my scholarship at the Moscow State Linguistic University. I know that people use credit cards but I don’t want to have them myself. I don’t trust them. In America, people don’t usually pay with cash. They like to use credit cards and… cheques!

When I come to UT in January, I only have 500 dollars with me. I know that UT is going to give me 2,000 dollars. You know, I must pay for my student hotel and my textbooks. The hotel costs 380 dollars per month. I am going to stay in the USA for 4.5 months. But I don’t have 1,700 dollars yet! The textbooks cost about 50 dollars each. So when I come to Austin I need money.

I go to UT’s International Office and explain the situation. The head of the Office prints out a piece of paper and gives it to me. He says that this is a cheque. He also says that I must go to the university bank (University Federal Credit Union) with this cheque. The cheque has my name on it. It is for 1,000 dollars. I don’t see any stamp, seal, or signature on it. I am surprised. But I go to the bank.

I give the cheque to a consultant in the bank. He asks for my passport and my student ID (identification card). He helps me to fill in some papers. Then the consultant opens my bank account. After that, he writes down my Austin address. He asks me to wait. Several minutes later, he gives me a plastic card and a blank chequebook. He says, “You are going to get your personal chequebook by mail.”

After this, I leave the bank. I go to a bank terminal, which is called an ATM (automatic teller machine). I insert my plastic card, enter my PIN code, and check my bank account. Wow! I have 1,000 dollars there!! I am rich now!!! I take 200 dollars from the ATM and go to the hotel. It is time to relax now.


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