2010
Apr 
10

The Japanese are just SO nice!

Filed under: General — Barbarella @ 14:20  

Silly me, I found myself on a Saturday night without any more Japanese money, only Euros, and there are no places like tourist foreign exchange kiosks or anything here, and my hotel reception couldn´t exchange money either…. meaning that I would have to go till Monday without cash!

Unlike what my US friends are used to, you can NOT pay everything with your credit/Visa card here.  So I was going to try my luck and see if any of the ATMs would work. Of course, my luck was zero.

My luck changed though when I asked someone regarding a bank, and she didn´t speak much English, until a couple of young girls (very posh looking – I could be wrong though, hehe!) joined the conversation and we spent about 15 mins standing in the cold debating what I could do.  Then the idea was born that I could get a “Pasamo” season ticket for 500 yen with my Visa card – this is not only a season ticket, but I can use it at some of the convenient stores, so at least tomorrow I won´t starve!

We walked back to Ikebukuro station together and they were asking one of the station staff about this – it turned out that it would take 2 days before I get the season pass, so that idea was out the window too. 

So the two of them got their iPhones (with identical pastel pink covers) out and checked what the exchange rate was and they then asked me how much I needed…. I said 40€ would be ok, so that´s 5000Yen, and one of them went to the cash point and got me the money!!! This happened in the middle of a busy metro station – surely, for an exchange such as this in other cities, we would all have been arrested?! Also, if this *had* been another city, I wouldn´t have gone with total strangers, showed them my Visa card when they asked to see it (to see if I can use it at any ATMs), etc.  Before leaving for Tokyo, I have read and heard from other people (including my mum) that crimes like thieving and pickpocketing are virtually unheard of, so I guess it was alright with these two gals… or maybe I was just lucky that they weren´t Yakuza molls and luring me into some web of intrigue, rape and murder? LOL.  I leave the rest to the imagination.  Or not. 😉

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