The Dramatic Speech
February 20, 2009
Today I'm going to talk about "The Importance of Change". You may be wondering ... Is this guy going to talk about the "change" happening in his personal life? Is he going to talk about the word "change" that is used often in politics? Hold your horses ... I'm NOT going to talk about any of those "changes". I'm going to talk about the importance of always keeping some CHANGE in your pocket.
Like most of you, I was quite used to the credit card culture. I never used to carry any cash in my wallet. I realized the importance of carrying cash, only when I made that trip to Seattle.
Toll Booth Experience
We took a flight from San Jose to Seattle. The flight landed in Seattle around midnight. We were so tired after our flight journey. We rented a car and drove to the hotel. There is something special about traveling with a kid. Right after you throw the kid into the car and start the vehicle they'll ask for one of the two things - either they want to get down and go "peppe" or they want to eat/drink something. My daughter asked for water. Unfortunately, we didn't have any water in the car. I had to take an exit to look for a shop. Right after taking the exit, I saw this small toll both. It was unmanned. I was quite surprised to see a tollbooth there. There was a signboard that said, "Please deposit 75 cents here". The machine doesn't accept dollar bills and accepts only coins. I had just two quarters in my wallet. My wife checked the bags, her purse etc., and we couldn't find any change. There were no lights in the near vicinity.
Handled Toll Booth Situation
There was a video camera sitting on the top of the tollbooth. It was smiling at us, eagerly waiting to picture us, making a violation. There was not even a single car/vehicle in that area. I got very frustrated. I spent nearly 10 minutes waiting there for someone to show up. My daughter started to cry for water. I was helpless. I decided to make a toll violation and pay the fines later. Suddenly, a light bulb went on in my head. I got off the car and looked down on the road. I found a glittering 25 cents coin on the road. I knew someone would have dropped a quarter when they were trying to pay the toll from their car. I thanked all the godly powers that dropped the 25 cents from the sky, just for me. I was lucky enough to find a quarter on that road. Otherwise, I would have paid a 100$ as fine. I learned my first "change" lesson - Always carry some "quarters" or "coins".
Trip to Vancouver
We spent a day in Seattle. The next morning, we got up and drove to Vancouver. We parked our car along the side of the road and roamed around in the downtown area. Around evening, we came back to the car. My wife & kid went to the back seat. I was the designated driver and I looked at the Google map for directions. It said, "Head northeast towards Main Street". First of all, I don't know which is "northeast". Second of all, I don't know where "Main Street" is. I was puzzled.
Man threatening for money
A gentleman walking on the roadside voluntarily stopped near my car and asked me if I need help with directions. He is a medium fit Afro-American. He looked very decent. He helped me with the directions and I was patiently listening to him. I was so happy and thanked him for his assistance. (You've to convey that he is talking to you from the other side)
He looked around inside the car and asked me for 5$. I told him that I don't have 5$ change. My photo camera was on the front seat. He immediately put his hand inside the car and grabbed my photo camera. He told that he'll give my camera back only if I give him 5$. I told him that I don't have change. All, I had was a credit card.
I don't know what to do. My mind went total blank. I was so tempted to ask, "Do you accept credit card?" :) I'm not sure if the guy carried a gun.
I don't know if I have to shout. In the mean time, my wife who was sitting at the back, searched through her bags and found a 20$ bill. I gave the guy a 20$ bill to get my camera back. We immediately left the place and drove back to Seattle. It took us a while to recover from this impact. If I had carried some "change" in my wallet, I wouldn't have had this terrible experience. I would've silently given that guy a 5$ note. This was my second change lesson.
I realized the importance of carrying some change in my wallet, after our trip to Seattle/Vancouver. These days, I always carry some cash.
Ladies & gentlemen ... Whether you believe it or not, "CHANGE" is important. Always carry some change in your wallet. Remember ... The greenback is at times more valuable than the plastic.