Saturday, February 14, 2009

Open air ATMs

This is the kind of thing Brazilians think only happens in the movies: open ATMs. In Brazil, ATMs are usually inside small kiosks with a glass door that opens when you slide your card through the lock. For safety reasons, you understand.

It’s really a matter of culture. Even the small towns in Brazil’s countryside, where years go by without any serious crimes, shelter their ATMs similarly. By the same token, dangerous places in the US like Detroit or New York keep their ATMs in the open, despite safety risks – see, for instance, the 1992 movie Night and the City, which begins with DeNiro being cornered at an ATM by two muggers. He found a very clever strategy to save his neck on that one, by the way (watch the movie to find it out, if you haven’t already). But I don’t think Austinites would need to resort to that.

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