For probably the first time in my life, I am legitimately strapped for cash. When we went out yesterday I was going to put our nomihoudai and food check (for all 23 of us!) on my credit card. Thank god Travis's friend was good at math and sober enough to figure it all out, get everyone their change, and I got the cash. The check came back though...my card was rejected...
It was probably one of the most sinking feelings I have ever felt. Especially when I only had $10 cash. I didn't even have enough to pay for my part of the bill...I started panicking. My limit is in the thousands. I know my card worked before. I literally am broke, in debt in fact. I tried taking money out of the atm earlier and all four of my debit/credit cards were rejected...I thought it was a glitch in the machine. What the f* am I going to do?!
Someone covered the check (with their visa that worked...arr) and my friend spotted me $6 so I could pay for my part. Lol. I have no yen bills, literally just pennies. Not good, not good at all.
Travis assured me that I probably just have to call the card company again to remind them I am in Japan so they don't block my transactions. I was so scared though. I don't have any money, no way of immediately getting money, and I'm so far from home...I don't even have my residence card yet, so I can't set up a bank account until next week. It is such a helpless feeling.
I wasn't going to go out to the club, but my friends assured me that they could lend me money. Jocelyn even said that she would take money out of the atm to hold me over for however long. Thank goodness for friends, seriously. You never realize how much they mean to you till times like this. And I just met her 2 weeks ago. There's really nothing more I can say. Just amazing how kind people are. There is no reason to loose faith in others after you meet people like this.
I borrowed some money from Kim's boyfriend, enough to pay for the club and allow me to eat for a few days. On my way home from the station I bought groceries. Haha and I thought I was cheap before! I got rice, eggs, bread, jam, bean sprouts, and tea. I figured I have at least 3 dinners for $5.61. Plus the two ramens I bought earlier. I have enough food for 5 dinners. Its really sad when you have to ration food. I really have to cut back on how much I eat and spend for the next few days. Lol today I ate one piece of bread, ramen, and half the bean sprouts. I waited as long as I could before I even ate the piece of bread for lunch. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Really this is nothing though. As soon as my parents call the credit card company, I literally have a sky high limit or it would be no problem for them to wire me money once I open a bank account. Money is not the problem, accessing it is.
This has made me really appreciate what I have. I feel so lucky this is actually the first time I have had a "money problem." Honestly, I've never truly had to set strict budgets. I have never been broke. I have never worried about money. I cannot say that I support myself, but financially my parents have always paid for what I cannot afford. I've always had access to some form of saved money and spending money. For someone my age, I actually have a ton of financial freedom. I don't think I have ever really recognized that.
I know this is not the case for most college students or even middle aged people. People have car payments, mortgage, credit card bills, or whatever. Most people owe some money on something. I can't imagine the anxiety that people feel when they are on the verge, close to foreclosure, behind on their payments. I knew a good number of Americans are in debt, especially now, and with the economic crisis the job prospects look bleak in all areas. I mean, in many areas of the world it is even worse. Food shortages and high food prices have been raising malnutrition in the most desperate regions. Instead of moving toward the UN Millennium Development Goals, many of these problems have been raising hunger and poverty levels.
Its funny how I can be so desperate, so scared. Then when I put the situation in perspective I realize how stupid I am. I have friends I can borrow money from. I have parents who can work it out. I eat everyday. I am so lucky. Lol, I am so spoiled I titled this blog "money problem!" This is not a money problem, its a glitch, a fixable problem. We'll figure something out this week. Life will go on. This has been a valuable lesson for me. Here's to the countless people who live day to day, dollar by dollar, meal to meal. I have a very shallow understanding of your pain. Let there be a day when no one has to worry. Until then, if we all support each other, we will all be okay.