A word or two on Paypal – and some funny videos about Italians
I am an ex-pat, as a hobby and a lifestyle choice. Whenever I have to go back to AnlgoLand I find myself strangely discombobulated, like you do when you have accidentally stepped too fast off one of those moving sidewalks and you can’t figure out why the floor isn’t moving anymore. I get all weird and stumbly now when people speak English around me. It throws me off.
It’s something other ex-pats talk about too. We actually feel strange and uncomfortable when there are other English speakers near by talking about things. It makes you want to move to another table or go find another restaurant. My Italian is still terrible, but this is mainly due to shyness. You feel like an idiot when you’re used to being able to communicate freely, so you tend just not to talk at all. I can mostly get the gist of what people are saying to me and follow conversations. Sometimes I have to ask people to slow down. I keep thinking that I know lots of people who teach Latin; I should just go back to Latin studies and refuse to speak either Italian or English.
But after you get over all the insane weirdness of Italians, you start to love them. They drive you nuts, but in the way your family drives you nuts. After a while, nothing on earth will drag you back to the places where The Rules are always rigidly applied and “fairness” is a thing. Rules and fairness are for places where no one cares about you personally. I like it here better.
Even though, all this is completely true.
Anyway, about Paypal…
Of course, I’m pretty reluctant to talk on the innernet about how I do my finances, but I only do Paypal, connected to a bank account – that I’ve had for 15 years – in Canada. The donate button on this blog automatically brings you to the dedicated Paypal page. The presence of credit card icons on the button on Orwell’s Picnic is not of my doing, but comes automatically with the type of PP button for blogs hosted by Blogger. I have never had a credit card myself and never will. So, I’m afraid I have no idea at all how one would donate to me with one. (Srsly, when someone in the commbox was talking about “a card” I thought he meant he wanted to send me a greeting card. Credit cards just aren’t a thing in my brain.)
I’ve spent my whole life so terrified of debt that after I had paid off minimal student loans in the 80s, I vowed never to sell myself into slavery again. I use cash exclusively. I actually did once apply for a Visa card as I was getting ready to leave Canada in 2007 but had already experienced my account getting wiped by identity theft, so the Visa company wouldn’t give me one. The bank (they’re actually really great) argued with them for me, saying I’d never bounced a cheque or had any kind of problems or even had a balance in the red, but they wouldn’t budge. They offered to give me a Visa pre-paid debit card instead, which is more or less what I’ve got now. But I use cash. I figure at least with cash-only you always know exactly how much money you’ve got. (I can imagine one day saving enough to buy something big like a piece of property and have a hilarious phantasm of the look on my realtor’s face when I bring him a dozen old yogurt tubs stuffed with Euros.)
I know people have moral qualms about PP but at the moment it’s the only platform that will work with an overseas address and a Canadian bank account. I’ve looked into other things and have been told it’s impossible without a US bank account. No one seems to know what to do with a Canadian/British expat in Italy with only one account in Toronto and no credit cards. Apparently it’s unusual.
You could always send cash in an envelope I guess, if you’re very determined, but I also haven’t got round to a bank account in Italy yet and don’t quite know what I would do with US or Canadian cash. I suppose there may be a currency exchange in Norcia, though I don’t know where. It seems like a lot of trouble.
Sorry, I have a financial mind that is permanently set on 1978, when people just saved up for what they wanted and only very wealthy people used credit cards. I was extremely nervous about Paypal and still am because I tend to think of the internet as mostly imaginary and liable to just go poof one day, but at the moment it’s what there is. But having done the research I know that nearly all corporations are grotesquely morally corrupt and directly supporting evil. Hewlett Packard pays the UN to kill babies in the 3rd world, but I’m assured by Thomas Aquinas that it is not direct material cooperation to buy one of their computers. Seriously, you can’t buy a bottle of ketchup without paying for birth control or the LGBT agenda. If you try to rid yourself of all proximate cooperation in the grave sins of others, you will be reduced to living in a cave and snaring rabbits for food. (An option I’m in no way ruling out.)
It was Mike Matt of the Remnant who finally talked me into having a Paypal account so he could pay me for articles and since I have stopped working for LSN, I have relied upon Paypal exclusively and would have long since starved to death under a bridge without it.