What I am about to describe happened quite a while ago but it's really too stupid to just let it fade into the mists of time. That would be too easy.
On the day before we left Buenos Aires, I went to buy some tickets for the tango show at Cafe Tortoni. On the way back to our hotel I realised that I didn't have enough money left to settle the bill, so I went to get some more out of a cashpoint in a closed bank (they don't have cashpoints on the street here, they are usually inside and you have to swipe your card to get in).
I got my money envelope out of my bag to count my cash so that I would know how much to get out. Whilst I was fiddling about with my pin number, I rested the envelope, with about two hundred quid in it, on the little shelf in front of the cashpoint. Then I knocked the envelope between the shelf and the wall. Luckily, there was a gap just big enough for me to stick my arm down. Unluckily, my arm wasn't long enough to reach the envelope.
I spent about half an hour stuck in this little glass box getting redder and sweatier and more frustrated. I tried waving at the CCTV cameras, pulling at the cashpoint and attempting to make an origami hook out of my travel insurance certificate, and I had just about given up on my sweated for, public sector-earned money when two local youths came in. I was clearly looking a bit of a state by this point and I must've spurred on their Latin American macho pride because they spent a good half an hour trying to get my money back too. Eventually one of them nipped outside, ripped a banch off a nearby tree, and used it to lever my money out of the hole. We had gathered quite a crowd by this point, but they didn't clap, the miserable bastards. I offered the strapping young lad ten dollars for his troubles, but he looked most offended, so I gave him a sweaty embrace instead, at which he looked no less offended.
For about two weeks afterwards I had a circular bruise on my arm from trying to reach my money. I'm not really sure what the moral of this story is. It's either 1. don't drop your money down a narrow hole, 2. don't be greedy, or 3. always have some Latino chaps to hand in case of emergencies.