A Letter From Your Old Foreign Bank Account

Joyeux Anniversaire! From the bank account in Cameroon you were supposed to close 4 ½ years ago.

This serves as your annual reminder that despite having few assets and paying your taxes on time, you might be committing tax fraud for forgetting to close a bank account with zero dollars in it.

I know you opened this account last minute to electronically transfer funds, which was not allowed at the account you opened with another Cameroonian bank. I do not know why you did not ask what kind of account you were opening at that bank for the 4 ½ months you would use it, and whether an electronic transfer could be done in case you needed it. 

Albeit confused as to why someone would open an account for one transaction, my bank was very understanding of the situation and spent staff time and resources over several days helping you open this account for literally one money transfer, knowing we would never see you again. They were more than happy to be less available for their regular customers taking time away from work, family or other obligations to assist a foolish foreign girl.

Had you done even a little due diligence and research into opening your account at the other bank, you could have left my staff free to do their jobs instead of accommodating your needs, and avoided the stress you caused yourself over the week spent sorting this out. But I do hope you had some lovely gâteau for your birthday.

The staff even gave you two simple tasks for you to close the account. Yes, I know you were already out of the country by then, but the instructions given accommodated this. I do realize you must have been busy working, as was my staff when they took the time to open this account for you. Oh, you weren’t? You didn’t have a job for several months? You are even more welcome for the funds sent.

I hope the money has helped you through these past birthdays. Oh. It is no more? I hope you at least watched a good movie on this birthday, though you could have completed and sent the paperwork to close this account in the 1 ½ hours it was on.

I guess I should ask you how the last 4 ½ years have been. Have you opened more bank accounts abroad without doing any research into what services they offer, drained them of all funds, then neglected to close them? Are you at least learning how to say Happy Birthday in other languages when they email you? You have not? Well done. But you no longer know French. Sacré bleu (though if you still spoke French, you would know no one says that).

Bonne chance avec la vie. I would translate, but feel I’ve helped enough.

Happy birthday in advance, in case this letter motivates you to close the account and you don’t hear from me in 2019. But I know you will.

Whitney Isenhower is a writer and editor currently living in Samoa, where she somehow recently closed a bank account. You can see more of her work at whitneyisenhower.com.

Photo by Tim Evans on Unsplash.

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