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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

India: Cash Card Crisis

Sometimes I make a really piss-poor traveller, you know. Hot weather makes me irritable and lethargic, especially when it's humid; if I don't get a good night's sleep, I get irritable and lethargic; I get ill at the drop of a hat, which makes me irritable and lethargic; and I suffer from regular bouts of homesickness, which would probably make me irritable and lethargic if it wasn't too busy wallowing in self-pity. On most short trips, this homesickness peaks around day three or four, and it happens regardless of what I'm doing – it even kicks in on skiing holidays, which is frankly bizarre. It's a wonder I manage to leave home at all, to be honest.


In Kochi, things would get rather worse, as even Peta's cards would stop working. It appears that these days, most banks will freak out if you try to process a transaction from countries like India or China, and they will freeze all overseas activity there and then. Barclays and Natwest had done just that with my cards, and First Direct decided that as withdrawing money in Kollam was not in Peta's normal routine, they'd better freeze both her credit and debit cards.