I was running behind schedule, homework took longer than expected, I hastily prepared a little "leftovers" and wolfed it down. I left our humble abode a little late, no worries though. I hurried to the subway station at a quicker pace then usual to make up for my tardiness. As I was nearing the stairway that took me under the street and to the subway station, I realized my "Kaisu" card (a subway card which costs 3000 yen and then you get 300 yen for free) was empty. Time was getting tight now, my slush fund all but used up. I was still optimistic I would make my train though. I knew exactly where my 5000 yen bill was, and as I approached the machines that take your money and spit out cards, I saw that the machine that took big bills was available. Things were looking up, perhaps I could still catch my train.
I slipped my note into the machine and lots of buttons lit up. I knew I need to press the "Kaisu" button, but all my Japanese was completely vacated my consciousness under the immense pressure of the moment.
OH! There we go!! It is in Romaji!! (Western Letters). I pressed the correct button , my brand new card popped out and I'm ready to hit the stairs at a dead run.
But my change is not coming out of the machine, I paused, a little startled and wondering what to do.
Suddenly. A little door camouflaged in the bank of machines opens and out pops a station attendant's head. Summimassen he says with a smile, and disappears to rectify the situation. Mere eternal moments later I make off with my loot only to have missed the train.
Ahh, the joys of travelling by mass transit.