This is the story of how I came to hold $28,800 dollars.
I went to the bank to exchange money into Japanese currency for my trip tomorrow. I withdrew the approximate equivalent of $300 from the ATM and proceeded to the bank teller. In broken Korean, I asked if she could exchange my money in yen. She commenced the paperwork and asked for my passport.
She took my money and stood up to get the Japanese money. She didn't return for another 15 minutes. At one point, I thoguht she ratted me out to the police or something and she was just stalling to keep me in the bank... She finally returned and apologized for the wait, even the neighboring bank teller apologized to me. She handed over a fist full of bills, equivalent of thousands of dollars. I didn't notice at first. It wasn't until I held that wad of cash in my hand that I felt the weight of a shit ton of money. I felt free for a second. My first thought was "I am so lucky".
I thought about things I do with this money. I thought about having the most expensive lunch ever or putting down a huge downpayment on a sports car and drive it around the city... Then I thought about the bank teller's future - definitely shitty. She would've been fired, probably criminally prosecuted. My moral compass started working again. I made the decision to give back my luck. I wrote down a simple exchange equation, hoping it would be enough to explain her mistake.
It wasn't immediate, but once she realized her error, her eyelids peeled back in horror. I'm not sure if she was relieved or embarrased, but I'm guessing both. I couldn't help but wonder how much money I actually had in that envelope and I giggled at my guesses.
I think I did a decent thing today.