31 August, 2015

35 yen margin

I was saved by only 35 yen today (about 40 cents). It's something that catches me every time I come back after an extended time in Australia.

Japan is a cash society. So all my daily transactions are in cash. I've never tried to pay for groceries with a plastic card, whereas in Australia I do that all the time. It's not unusual to carry more than 10,000 yen of cash (AUD$115) in my purse. 

I paid for 250 yen for coffee this afternoon with a 10,000 yen note! No problem.

But this morning I nearly ran out of cash in my purse. I stopped at three different shops for groceries this morning (hunting for capsicum), my last stop was our usual grocery store and the total of my bill was 35 yen under what I had on me. Phew! 

It wouldn't have been the first time that I'd run out of cash at that store. It's always embarrassing! (Here's a story from last time we came back, a double embarrassment that time as I went into the wrong house and called for my husband and his wallet.)

Another cash difference here is that not only do they not blink if you give them a large denomination note for a small purchase. Neither do they appear to mind if you root around for the exact change. It is easy to end up with too many one and five yen coins, so I usually try to use them as often as I can, even if it is, say a 2,543 yen purchase, I might give them 3 x 1,000 in notes, plus 3 yen, or 43 yen if I had it. No problem. I don't do this so often in Australia. But of course we don't have any one or two cent coins in Australia, so this isn't so much an issue.

It's always an adjustment to go either way. Going back to Australia I need to remember my pin number and how to sign my name! Lots of fun, keeping me on my toes.

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