Monday, September 5, 2011

Secret Swiss Bank Account

I've been privileged, I can openly admit that. I have been free and independent and, yes, even a little crazy and wild at times. But I have been free and independent and crazy and wild because I've always known that I have a "pillow" to fall upon, should I ever need such a thing. Let's say, for the sake of simplicity, that I have a secret Swiss bank account. This is not a bottomless bank account that I access at any time; this is, rather, my safety net. I have only used it twice. Well, three times, really. The most recent time was earlier this year when I had an insurance "situation". This situation shall be another post... In any case, it was good to know that my secret Swiss bank account was there, ready to help at any moment, ready to be used. Since it's in Switzerland I pay no taxes, regardless of where I live or regardless of how much I withdraw. It is set up in such a way that it requires no deposits to be kept active, only a sporadic online check to make sure the account is alright, and for the bank to know that I have not died or anything. I have always known that if something terribly wrong happens, if my life is just completely gone to waste, if I one day find myself sitting on a sidewalk with my two suitcases and my passport with nowhere to go, this secret Swiss bank account was there to save me. This secret Swiss bank account was not meant to be used as a "cash card" - the withdrawals, although simple, fast and effective, require much paperwork and signatures and proves that I am me, the bank account holder, and that I do in fact need this money. Should I need a new coat, the secret Swiss bank account was not available. But when I needed help in paying for my colicistectomy, the very manager of the bank called to make sure I was ok and needed no extra help. And he called free of charge.

I've been privileged, and I admit it. It is easy to be free and independent and wild and crazy when you know you have such a wonderful safety net.

As of today, my secret Swiss bank account is closed. Whatever money I saved disappeared. The Swiss are weird like that. All my interests are gone. I spoke to the bank manager and he said, "Sorry," and hung up with no further explained. This time, the call was charged to my non-secret and tiny German account.


As of today, I am poor. As of today, I have nothing. I think I have almost 10 Euros in my wallet, most of it in coins. I have a little money in my German checking account, but that covers only my insurance for the next 3 months and some "basic" needs.

As of today, I no longer have a safety net. I can no longer be free and independent and wild and crazy. I mean, no, yes, I am free and independent, but I can no longer be wild and crazy - because that just spells recklessness. And when you are poor, you don't get to be reckless.


If something goes wrong in my life, I am alone. And don't roll your eyes at me, mother. I don't mean alone as in "I'll die alone". I mean financially alone. I have what I have, and nothing more. Yes, I have friends and I have a family and I have love and I have food in the fridge (because Honey is awesome) and I have clothes to wear (thanks to my mom I have a SUPER awesome winter jacket), I have certain luxuries (a MacBook Pro, an iPhone and a BB). I have many things, I have many people, but I have no financial security. I am, in fact, poor. And that freaks me out.

The bank manager kind of hinted that I was the one who chose to close the account; but I don't recall saying, "I wish to close my account, please." Not at all. I recall my account being closed. Certain actions of mine may have led to this situation, of my secret Swiss bank account closing, I mean. But I don't quite get it. And, well, because it was a secret account, I can't just file a complain, you know what I mean?

I am afraid. I really am. I have never thought of myself as a material girl. I have never defined myself based on the amount of money I have or don't have. I have never actually thought about "the future", financially speaking, because I have always known that was covered. That was the one thing in my life that was stable and good and clear and set. And now it isn't.



  1. I don't get it. Your account is closed and your money.. is gone? Huh?

  2. @Meerzeiler: Es ist ein Metaphor... wenn wir unser Herbst-Strand-Spaziergang machen, erzähle ich dir alles. :-)