I certainly wasn’t banking on an adventure when I woke up this morning. It was just another sunny day in Kurokawa and I decided to count out my one yen coins and pay them in to the bank (I mean, really, what good is it trying to save them in a tin?!).
In Japan, you can pay coins and notes in to your bank account using the ATM machine. Unfortunately, you can only pay in fifty coins at a time though, so it was taking forever to pay in my ￥1200. And then it happened. The ATM ate my card and went out of service!
I had decided to go to the ATM building, rather than the bank, as I thought it would be quieter, but then there were no people around to help me. I stared, dumbfounded at the machine. What now?
I looked around for a phone number to call, and then I saw a phone on the wall, so I picked it up and pressed the button. It rang. and then a lady answered in Japanese. “えいご が はなせますか”, I asked. I’m not sure what her reply was, but it wasn’t in English, so I’m guessing she didn’t. So I made a stab at explaining the problem. I think she understood, and she somehow knew my name but then all of a sudden I was cut off and the phone went dead.
By this point I was dripping everywhere from the heat and worry. (I should add that, in the time I was in the building, many people came in to use the ATM machines and not one person attempted to help me – an obvious stranded foreigner! Humph.)
I called back and managed to get someone who spoke a tiny bit of English. All I got from her was “Stay there”. So i did. I waited a few minutes, not quite sure what was going on, and then all of a sudden these two men turned up with clipboards and keys and rescued my card! They spoke no English so I just said ごめなさい a lot and smiled.
They gave my card back, and also my last deposit. On the machine it said only 50 coins at a time, but it hadn’t seemed to mind if I stuck a few more in. However, the men, I think, tried to explain to me that the problem was that I had tried to pay in ￥57 instead of ￥50. I just smiled, put the change in my purse and left. All that palaver over a few coins!! You’ve got to praise them for their efficiency though! I can’t imagine that kind of service in England!
However, whenever I am hit with an adventure like this, it does spur me on to learn more Japanese faster! I wish I could communicate in situations like this!
Just another day in crazy Japan-land…