Spare Change

When I come home from work, I mean messing around with the boat and going to the shops, I throw all my loose change into a historic stainless steel bowl.

After a couple of months the change builds up.


In most countries a whole lot of change does not amount to much. In the U.S. the most valuable coin is a quarter – 25cents. In Europe I think it is a 1 Euro coin and in the UK, the 1 pound coin.

There are two exceptions that I know of. Switzerland and Japan. Switzerland has La Thune, a 5 Swiss Franc coin.

La Thune

Japan has the 500 yen coin.

Big money.

You do not need many of these coins to build up a considerable sum.

I go to my much loved Bank of Okinawa to deposit all these coins into my account. They have the best machine into which you shovel all the coins. After many flashing lights and groans, the machine displays a number. This is the value of your coins.

Such fun!

My number is 86,018 yen. A crazy sum.

I also receive a letter from the Pension Office. It is festooned with cartoons that illustrate the Pensions Office’s attitude towards their clients. Happiness and joy.

My future
That is me in the wheelchair

Through Google Translate, which has completely altered my Japanese experience, I understand that the Pension Office want to give me money but there is an intimidating form to fill in that asks for account numbers and bank codes.

I show this form to one of the ladies helping me with my stash of coins, rather than saying ” Hey this is not in my job description,” she brings in another two ladies who smilingly help me fill in all the necessary paperwork. It turns out that one of them used to work in in the Onna branch where I used to do banking stuff. She remembers me. It is like a sister finding a long lost brother. There are cries of joy and several other people cluster around. We remember the wonderful Higa san, who has since, got married and moved to Yokohama. We have a party. Such a lot of good feelings. What is more it turns out that the Pensions Office will send me 24,000 yen as some kind of rebate. That means I have gained 110,018yen today. Not bad.

I am also in correspondence with a European Bank, that treats me with complete disdain and suspicion.

They have so much to learn.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Spare Change

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    AMFIE. What did you expect ? I just looked it up and find Association Coopérative Financière des Fonctionnaires Internationaux. You should have run a kilometre as soon as you had seen the word “fonctionnaires”. Your green card/US taxpayer status won’t help matters either. European banks are culling US customers as undesirable (too much paperwork).

  2. virtuallyrachelgmailcom says:

    Remarkable, and (of all things, considering this is a bank), HEARTWARMING. Thank you 💞

    On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 1:00 AM The Quiet Ripple Defines The Pond wrote:

    > spikekalashnikov posted: ” When I come home from work, I mean messing > around with the boat and going to the shops, I throw all my loose change > into a historic stainless sreel bowl. > After a couple of months the > change builds up. Phy” >

  3. Alan says:

    That’s a heck of a lot of change weighing down your pockets – I’m amazed your trousers weren’t round your ankles more often! Some £558 worth – riches indeed.
    On the matter of large value coins there is the £2 coin in the UK. Introduced in 1998 and although quite common in change it’s quite likely that you wouldn’t have seen many on your occasional visits to the UK.

    • I hate having change in my pockets which is why I dump it all in the particle detector each day. Amazing how it builds up. I don’t think I have seen a 2pound coin. I am also reliably informed that there is a 2 euro coin.

Leave a Reply to spikekalashnikov Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s