‘For those who came in late:’
‘After a 2 and a half-year stint in the Swahili Coast, I shifted my base of operations to Nippon Land. The transition took place some time in the mid of October 2010. This land, a medley of age-old customs and modern technology; has been presenting me with wonders,every single day for the past 3 months. More on that in the coming posts, But now, let me talk of something that happened to me in transit….’
“Visa Power; Go Get It”.. we who grew up in India, in the later half of the 1990s have heard this umpteen number of times, spoken by none other than the little master Sachin Tendulkar. I too am a staunch believer of the great power of this small piece of plastic, and usually mock at people who still carry around paper bills in their wallet. It so happened that, once, myself and my cousin (Appu) actually had a heated debate with some people, who were against the plastic money. We also have, to our credit, brainwashed quite a number of people, to use this power, and have always advertised the fact that it was safer and easier to carry the card.
The real power of this plastic card, was revealed to me, when I started using it way back in my college days, at Bangalore. The ease with which, we could transfer money from accounts, do our shopping, and of course, the feeling, in the depth of your mind, that you are never short of money, when you go out on a shopping spree, well, it all added up in making me among my friends the brand icon for Visa.. and have used the same phrase told and re-told by Sachin… over and over again, that, when I look back now, I feel that I would have used the phrase more number of times, than Sachin ever told that on t.v.
Being, an advocate, of the power of Visa, it never occurred to me to think twice, when Appu suggested me to carry very little money, and use the Card instead, during my travel to Japan. The first leg of the journey went smooth. The second leg, Cochin to Nagoya, I had more than 22 hours of transit time at Changi International Airport, Singapore. Changi International, is a shoppers’ paradise, and I too, was excited by the opportunities to indulge in this sport of lightening the wallet.. But, it was, the day my visa dumped me. Calls to my bank, calls to the Visa help center.. nothing could make it work, the card looked perfectly alright, but!!
The Sony Alpha SLT A-55, remained sitting on the counter, with a mocking grin. On reaching here, I found that, the Truly International card, was not all that international, well, it couldn’t be used here in Japan..
The faces of all those, whom, I had managed to brainwash into using the plastic wonder,and all those who stood ground against it, flashed before my mind’s eye… Those who stood hard for the currency, the people whom we called the old school guys, were grinning broadly….