Saturday, August 20, 2005


Errant wallet, arrant muppet

When I woke up, I knew my day was off to a bad start. It was just past seven in the morning, I was still insensibly drunk and I was at a subway station, the name of which I didn't recognise.

Oh, and I didn't have my wallet any more. Bugger.

In all honesty, I wasn't really worried, I still had my camera and my iPod in my pockets- if someone had been taking taking advantage of a drunken gaijin, surely they'd have nicked those.

I resolved to get home, get some sleep and worry about it afterwards.

Got home, got some sleep, woke up (roaringly hungover) went to the lost property office in Namba: nashi.

Still not entirely downhearted, I went to the bank with my bank book and passport, foolishly
thinking that conclusive evidence that I was their customer would allow me to withdraw some money.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

They started kicking up a fuss about the fact that I wasn't carrying my name stamp. I told them that I hadn't the least idea where it was. They then started doodling some random nonsense, which I realised was a map of the area, including the nearest name stamp shop. I allowed them to finish before telling them that I didn't have any money so how was I going to buy a stamp. At this point, one of the ladies slapped herself on the head, which I would love to think was because of her own myopic stupidity, but I rather suspect it was frustration at the obdurate penniless gaijin.

To cut a long story short, I left the bank empty-handed. To cap it all, the New Japan organisation were driving their vans around my neighbourhood, shouting "gaijin go home." (Photos here.)

I had a sneaky suspicion that I'd earned this: three-day weekend and I was flat broke with xenophobic nutters polluting my airwaves. I considered some of my actions the previous night: some Japanese punk with a girl under each arm passing comment on us as we walked past, me remarking loudly to one of my workmates: "I think the whore's the one in the middle." This in Japanese.

Yeah, that was pretty rude.

Today, however, my karma had evidently recovered as I managed to track the errant wallet down; it was in the lost property office at the far northern extreme of the Midosuji line. I'd love to know how it got there, but I suspect I'll never find out. I hiked up there and my wad was handed back to me intact: my subway passes, my ID card and 3,000 yen I was convinced I'd spent. Maybe whoever found the wretched thing tucked some extra money in there before handing it in.

You have to love this country; there are never any consequences for stupidity.

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