I’ve had some weird days in my life, but today certainly qualifies among the strangest ones, taken straight from a story by Franz Kafka or the Twilight Zone.

We’re currently visiting my bonus dad in Springerville, AZ, and since he has his grandson living with him, we’re staying at a nearby motel. When we walked into the house this morning to have breakfast together, we were confronted with the news that my sister’s dog had passed away during the night.

Birgitta Ohlsson, Minister of European Affairs
of the Swedish Government; a threat to US
National Security?

That’s a dampener on any spirit. Grant you, the dog was fifteen years old, but every time you lose a family member like that, it hurts. My dad has lost so much in the past years, first his wife, then a couple of close friends and his physician, and now Abbey…

We ate our breakfast, carefully prepared by my nephew Sean. He’s a fine cook, and he spent way more time in the kitchen to impress us than would’ve been necessary, but it was great food.

After breakfast, Dad and I went to his local bank, in the hopes to open a U.S. bank account where I could deposit the royalties for my books. Thing is, that companies like Apple and Barnes & Noble won’t send money abroad, which is odd, particularly in the case of Apple. Nook is going belly up soon enough so I wasn’t too worried about them.

When I was in Tucson, I had already been turned down by Bank of America, and after the paperwork and hassle today, I understand why the lady didn’t want to get involved. In the end, I couldn’t open my account, and I won’t be able to anywhere else either, unless I lie (which is even more impossible after this blog post).

Thing is, federal regulations demand that local banks to “due diligence” when a customer opens an account, particularly if said customer, hold on to your horses…. particularly if said customer knows a foreign dignitary!

Cissi Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs of the European Union;
a threat to US National Security?

So, naïve and honest as I am, when asked if I “know anyone in a foreign government”, I answered the question affirmatively, mentioning two ladies that came to mind. Now that I think of it, I know many, many more, most of them former ministers, but the two I mentioned are Birgitta Ohlsson, minister in charge for European Affairs in the Swedish government, and Cecilia Malmström, former Swedish minister and now Commissioner of the Interior in the European Commission (the EU government.)

Now you might wonder how I know these ladies. Well, Alex, my husband, knows Birgitta from his time in the liberal youth organization, and I’ve met her multiple times. As for Cissi (as we call her), I’ve studied with her at the uni of Gothenburg and we’ve campaigned together.

Because of this, the local bank has a policy in place not to open accounts for such people. They find the due diligence process too much work to handle… Unbelievable. Now I understand that you might want to know if someone knows the leader of Al Qaida, or if you’re in bed with a sworn enemy of the U.S., plenty of them out there. Thing is though, would you divulge such info? I mean, in all honesty, had I known the consequences of my honesty, I would’ve just shut up, too. Had I been a criminal or terrorist, I certainly wouldn’t have admitted to any such relationships (as superficial as they may be!)

Too lazy to even consider opening an account…

Thing is, I haven’t seen Birgitta in a couple of years, and I haven’t spoken to Cissi since she became commissioner, I haven’t seen the German Foreign Minister in the past twenty something years, back when he was the leader of the liberal youth organization in Germany.

None of them will ever excerpt any kind of influence on royalty payments for my books. And I can’t believe how any bank wouldn’t want to have a guy walk through the doors to open an account to just deposit money on, legally, without any credit line or any other fishy business. No wonder the economy here is as bad as it is. Innocent small business owners are punished for the crimes and wrong doings of big fish who were most likely employed by the same banks…

So here’s a tip if you EVER wish to do business with a US bank. Do NOT, under any circumstance, know any politician, and if you do, lie about it. They wouldn’t know where to start looking for clues anyway. The bank we were at today didn’t even know what the European Commission was, no wonder they considered it a threat. (not laughing)

Thanks, but no thanks. I might be a threat to national
security…

Oh well, I’ll need to find a solution for my conundrum, because giving up is not an option. Anyone out there with a great idea, feel free to contact me! <3

After the bank disaster, Dad and I went back to the house, to pick up the rest of the gang along with shovels and a pick to go bury the dog on Dad’s property outside town. I’ve done my fair share of stuff in my life, but this was a first. We found a nice site, dug the hold and laid Abbey to rest. May she rest in peace…

That was before lunch. Let’s hope the rest of our day and week-end are more pleasant. Because it can’t get any more surreal.

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