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Travelex Sendai

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  • JTsuzuki

    Only If Your Face and Name Match

    I used to send money home to American via Western Union at this business and found the guy behind the counter agreeable enough that I soon switched to using this location over international remittances through the Japan Post Bank.

    That all changed when I got married. Though I am aware that the Japanese government seems not to recognize the Japanese surnames a foreigner might be granted through marriage, the fact that this is the name on my passport and all my identification should probably be taken into account. The woman behind the counter curtly informed me that I was not permitted to use the name that was now on my passport and all other current forms of identification. My married name--and it felt in some ways even my marriage--was invalid in her eyes.

    This upset me and I set about filling out an entirely new form, tearing the old one apart in my frustration while the staff member tried to suggest that I merely cross out that name that cannot be mine in favor of one that better suited my race.

    I did not return to this place of business for about a year, coming back only when preparing a trip to Korea and needing to quickly obtain Won. A completely unhelpful staff member (potentially the same woman) insisted on exceedingly low limits regarding how much money she was willing to change to won, and while I am sure part of this was miscommunication on both of our parts, she engaged with me in such a way that I left the store never to return, not a won in hand.

    Unmarried friends of mine whose faces match their names have not had any problems with this location or their staff, all of whom seem to have passable English skills (unlike the post office staff at Sendai Station), but I will never return nor suggest anyone else use this business if they have any other available options.

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