Lost Pasmo Card: A Lesson in Letting Go

Pasmo Card
At the entrance of Kinkakuji aka Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion, I unknowingly dropped my Pasmo card, and it wasn’t until I got to the bus stop that I realized I had done so. Foolishly, I left my card loose in my wallet instead of tucking it securely in a pocket, and when I went to the counter to pay admission to the temple, I suppose the card saw it’s chance to escape.

What is a Pasmo card, you ask? Well, it’s a multi-functional card, but its main purpose is a commuter card. Instead of buying a paper ticket at every train station or bus stop, I can simply tap my card at the gate and the fare will be deducted from my balance. In a city that moves quickly, it makes coming and going much easier. I can also use it like a debit card at most convenience stores, supermarkets, some retailers, coin lockers, and even vending machines. It is my everything card. Even though Pasmo cards are easy to replace and reload, when I lost mine, it felt like I lost a very tiny part of myself. I felt immobile and naked without it.

My original Pasmo card had about ¥6,000 / $60 left on it which was the real bummer. When I realized I had lost my card, I called the ticket office to see if they found it on the grounds somewhere. They said they hadn’t but would call me again if they did. That call never came. If this had happened to me 5 years ago, anger and frustration would’ve taken hold and I would’ve let this one tiny hiccup ruin my entire day. On the bus ride over to Gion, I felt super bummed for about 5 minutes, but then I just let go. After all, I was in Kyoto, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, for only one day. How rotten it would be to have let my sour mood spoil a special day. The card is just a thing. It can be replaced, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not something worth moping over. Plus, I like to think that when I lose something like my Pasmo card it means someone else needed it more than me. So I hope whoever found it spends it well.

If anything, this incident reminded me that worrying over what is outside of my control or can’t be undone is useless and to always put my card in a proper pocket in my wallet.

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