Friday, February 04, 2005

No no no!

The first time I visited Asia was in 1997 - a 3 day trip to Taiwan. No one warned me, and I didn't know, that taxis there don't accept credit cards. So I arrived at the airport, went through the immigration and customs rigamarole and found myself at the taxi rank. I walked along the rank holding up my corporate American Express card. No no no!! in chorus.

Fortunately I'd had the foresight to exchange some cash back in Melbourne (I doubt they'd have accepted Australian dollars) and I had T$1000 in my wallet (about A$20). The fare to the hotel was T$980! Phew!

Last month in Korea I discovered that they also don't take credit cards. This time I had no Korean Won in my wallet but, fortunately, I did have American Dollars. I know I lost on the exchange rate in that transaction!

The following morning I met up with my boss at Fukuoka Airport in Japan. We needed to get from there to Beppu, about 2 hours drive away. My boss had an email from the customer we were meeting advising that the fare would be about US$300 one way and that they wouldn't take a credit card. Yikes! So we hailed a cab (next time I go there I'm going to drive - it's gotta be cheaper* and they drive on the correct side of the road, the left ) and off we went.

My boss has a wicked sense of humour when the mood takes him. When we arrived at the hotel he whips out his credit card and thrusts it at the driver! The driver went mad! No no no no!!!!!

*it's on the company dollar but one still has to manage one's credit card balance.

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