Trying to recover a refund for the unused balance on my lost travel card has been what some would call ‘a process’.  Econometric analysis informs us (…) that freedom (of choices, of actions) is one of the top three correlates with the reported happiness in the people of any country.  Here in this city of steel and glass teeth, you feel that the gears of bureaucracy encroach on the domain of free action.  There is a fundamental unhappiness in the process of being herded from node to node in a giant flowchart of automated procedure.  I do look forward to returning to a place where I can talk to my local banker if my bank account freezes, where the resolution of all of my problems do not involve repeated passage through the same multiple automated systems, and where when I finally receive a check in the mail I am actually able to go to a bank and exchange it for currency.

Of course, the moment I get back to the US, I’ll wishfully dream about commercial practices in London.  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  The Atlantic Fence.

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