I wouldn’t want to bother them

I think it must be something that I carry with me as long as I remain an Irish person. Something atavistic inside me, passed down through generations of servility.

I don’t like to bother people. People who are at work.

The air-conditioning unit in my living room is broken. It’s thirty degrees every day. I haven’t told the building manager. I can sit in my bedroom instead. The aircon works perfectly well there. And besides. I wouldn’t like to bother the building manager.

Likewise the broken bathroom door and the window with the missing handle.  I really wouldn’t like to bother him.

I was living in my building for a week before I discovered where my rubbish should go, I still haven’t figured out how to pay my rent and I had no hot water in the flat for over three weeks. But I really wouldn’t like to bother him.

When I was opening my Vietnamese bank account, the man asked if I’d like an ATM card, or a Visa debit card. I felt that I shouldn’t bother him. I said “Oh, it’s fine. Just an ATM card”, to which I mentally added “I wouldn’t want to bother you.”

WHY DID I DO THAT? Now my ATM card won’t work in Ireland, where I’m going in less than two weeks. Also, I can’t book my flight back to Vietnam after Christmas. Because I have a stupid ATM card that won’t even work in competitor banks in Vietnam, let alone abroad or on the internet. I’m finding it difficult to take enough time off to get to the bank, to order the Visa card I should have ordered a month ago and time’s running out before I go to Ireland. Did I really think it would be that much bother for the man in the bank to tick the box that said “Visa Debit” instead of the box that said “stupid useless ATM card”? WHY DIDN’T I BOTHER HIM? What’s wrong with me?

I wish I was better at bothering.

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