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Chapter 7
Cheques (Part II)

I like experiments. Today, I want to experiment with my chequebook. I decide to send a letter to my girlfriend to Moscow. So I go to the post-office. I ask the man who works there to help me. “I don’t know how to pay with a cheque,” I say. “Please, show me how to do it.”

He looks at my chequebook. The cheques in the chequebook have numbers on them. There are two cheques with each number. Every second cheque is a carbon copy. You must put a special thick cardboard under the carbon copy. After that, you can begin to write on the original cheque. Then all the other cheques remain blank.

Now I open the chequebook on page 1 and look at cheque number 1. The man says that I must write my name on top of the cheque. After that I must write the month, the day, and the year in the “Date” line. Then I must put the name of the company, to which I want to give my cheque. So I write “Post-office” in the “Pay to the Order of” line. Then I must write how much money I pay. So I write “8.12” in the special box with the dollar sign (“$”) on the left. I also write this in words: “Eight Dollars and 12/100” Dollars. Then I can describe the things or services that I want to pay for. So I write “An envelope and a stamp” in the “For” (comment) line. And of course I must put my signature on the cheque.

When you pay with a cheque you must show your ID (identification card). This can be either a passport, or a driving license, or a student ID. The man looks at my student ID and then at the name on the cheque. He says that everything is OK. He gives me an envelope and a stamp and takes the cheque. I put my letter into the envelope, stick the stamp, and seal the envelope. I thank the man at the post-office for his help.

I am proud because I can pay like Americans now! I go to an ATM (a bank terminal). I insert my plastic card, enter my PIN code, and check my bank account. I am surprised. I see that I still have the same amount of money as before. “How stupid I am,” I think. “The man must first go to the bank with my cheque. Then he can get the money, which is on the cheque, from my account!”


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