Thursday, September 11, 2014


So, I take my Starbucks card this morning and head out for a coffee at JCO.

Now, those of you who are able to think clearly will have already seen the problem. Ah, but not I.

I arrive at JCO and stroll up to the counter, card in hand. I want a medium cappuccino, I tell the young woman, hot, please use a glass cup.

So far, so good.

When I hand her the card. I tell her that there is a little money remaining on this card, and that I will add what's lacking.

She actually swipes the card, then tells me that she cannot grant my request. She says that I have to have at least 50.000 rupiah on the card. Or this is what I understand her to say. We're speaking Indonesian, you see?

But anyway, it doesn't make sense. Why can't I use the card and then add money? There is 20.000 on the card, so I should be able to add 5.000, right, for one medium hot cappuccino.

Cannot, she says.

Really? "Nah, kalau begitu, pakai kartu ini aja". I bring out the new, yet unused Starbuck's card my wife had given me and hand her that one. Just use this, then.

Again, she swipes the card. I don't know why. Apparently, I am not the only one who is in the wrong store. .

Cannot, she says. And adds, as I understand it this time around, that one must make a purchase of at least 50.000 in total in order to use the card.

Really? But it's not like that in Sanur.

But, of course, she is not responsible for realities in Sanur. She glances about, looking for someone else who might help this difficult bule. She looks sad and worried.

"Okay, no problem. Saya bisa kasih uang aja. I'll just use money.

Relieved, she returns my card and takes my 25.000 rupiah. I shuffle away, discouraged, intent on talking to the guy in Sanur tomorrow, who always takes my card, no matter what or how much I purchase. I sit down to wait for my coffee, and just about the time I pick it up from the barista, I make the elusive connection. I find the missing link. I am holding a Starbuck's card in one hand and a JCO coffee in the other.

Red-faced, I apologize to the girl at the counter. I explain what happened (such that she, too, now understands where she is).  Salah saya, ya. My mistake.

Selalu seperti itu. It's tough being stupid, folks. And often embarrassing, too.

1 comment:

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