Costa Rica Howler INTERNATIONAL Magazine - July 2021

Page 54


What Circle of Hell is This? ATM a Dangerous Predator



he circle of life so often depicted on the National Geographic Channel happens daily in Costa Rica. Toucans rob other birds’ nests and devour their little ones. Despite their reputation as herbivores, iguanas eat baby mice. Crocodiles consume people and iguanas. Ants line up with their grocery carts on my patio and take away my beautiful flora. Of the 200 mammalian species here, half are bats that nosh on insects. But the most dangerous predator of all, as I have learned on several occasions, is the ATM.

by Mary Martin Mason Originally published by Mango Musings on May 12, 2021

The process of using an Automatic Teller Machine appears straightforward. Here in Costa Rica, after standing in line, innocents enter a kiosk that houses the ATM. Once inside, after your card enters into the slot and is “read,” a series of prompts appear on the screen with questions such as whether you prefer English or Spanish and the kind of account you hold. Next you are directed to enter your PIN. That accomplished, you punch in the desired amount in colones or dollars and if you require a receipt. The ATM warns that a fee “may” be imposed or with some ATMs, the ransom required is automatically revealed. Simple, right?

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