Help! Any Australians around? Urgent question

(20 Posts)
ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:24:02

Need Aussie assistance here, as google is not being my friend. I am stuck in Switzerland, and feeling pretty helpless.

Due to a cock-up by his bank, my son (who started at Melbourne Uni last week) has not yet got his ATM card. He has hundreds in the bank. However, due to a cock-up by himself, he now has $4 at his disposal, and has had since yesterday. This was all not too dreadful until he realised that tomorrow is a state holiday in Victoria.

Two questions: 1) presumably banks are closed on state holidays? And 2) He has a 20-pound note and a 50-franc note. I told him to go down to an FX kiosk and change one or both, but he's worried that they might be closed too - and his $4 would only get him downtown (a two hour walk back home if they are closed). It's apparently 36 degrees, so I can see why this wouldn't appeal.

Does anyone know if things like FX bureaux are likely to be open?

PrincessOfChina Sun 10-Mar-13 10:33:45

I haven't been in Australia for over ten years but I would be very surprised if the tourist currency exchange places were shut on a holiday. He won't get a great rate but it'll be better than nothing.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:35:16

Thank you, Princess. That's what I think too. I've never been in a major city where they shut.

saffronwblue Sun 10-Mar-13 10:37:01

Banks defiintely shut tomorrow but tourist FX exchange places will be open. I am sure there wouldbe one at Bourke St Mall. Failing all else there will be one at the airport, although $4.00 won't be enough.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Mar-13 10:41:03

Where does he live?

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Mar-13 10:42:50

Does he just need to get through tomorrow till the banks open?

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:43:55

He lives in Windsor, and yes - just needs enough to get through until Tuesday.

saffronwblue Sun 10-Mar-13 10:44:08

I have googled travelex and it is not clear if they are open or not. The airport definitely would be - otherwise if he went to the Hyatt or maybe Crown Casino I am sure some concierge would help him.
OP if you are really worried pm me - I could lend him $20 if he caught a tram to our house.

Bluestocking Sun 10-Mar-13 10:44:13

Has he made any UK or Swiss friends yet? One of them might well be willing to change his European currency. I like xe.com for exchange rates.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:46:51

Oh, that is so kind of you saffron. I hope it won't come to that. I googled all morning but couldn't see what was open and what wasn't.

Unfortunately he only has one friend so far, and that friend is more than $4 away apparently.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Mar-13 10:48:16

I've got a friend who works at crown so I can ask her, but she is working tonight till midnight.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:50:05

That would be great - thank you!

saffronwblue Sun 10-Mar-13 10:58:36

I'm off to bed now but will check this thread in the morning.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 10:58:55

Thanks so much.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Mar-13 11:03:35

I have phoned Crowne and they said they don't do currency conversion. It doesn't sound likely though! I have still texted my friend though as she will know if there is anywhere.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 11:07:11

Thank you again, Savoy. I think he will be fine going down to Swanston/Collins, where there seem to be lots of FX places.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Mar-13 11:23:48

Ok, she says 'the cage' is open 24 hours a day and changes money and that he could spend the day sitting on the sofas reading the paper in the air-con too! Also, the concierge does it too.

And, it's the Moomba festival in the city tomorrow so the city will be packed so more things will be open than a usual bank holiday.

ModernToss Sun 10-Mar-13 11:26:20

That is all great news!

saffronwblue Mon 11-Mar-13 04:23:06

I loathe the Crown Casino so am pleased to hear that its existence has finally been of use to someone.smile
Hope your boy enjoys his time at Melbourne Uni.

ModernToss Mon 11-Mar-13 08:12:49

Thank you again, saffron - you've been so kind. I am sure he'll enjoy it.

The good news is that he found an FX bureau and changed some Swiss francs. Even got a decent exchange rate! From now on, there will be an emergency $50 stashed in his flat.

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