This could only happen in Japan!
Okay, after our friends ran past us at the Tokyo Marathon last Sunday, we headed home. We took the subway and then the JR train. We had to take 2 different trains to get home.
On the first JR train, we fell asleep. Since it took about 55 minutes to get to the next train station, the 3 of us (Husband, Jude and I) took a little cat nap. Husband was kind enough to carry my backpack, which contained my Nikon camera with my high powered lens, the cowbell and other annoying musical instruments required to cheer on our running buddies, and 2 sweatshirts, just in case we got cold. Well, when we got on the train, Husband put my backpack above him in the overhead storage area. I mentioned to him that that was a bad idea. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind, I reminded him. He dismissed me and told me not to worry. The next thing I knew, we were at our stop and raced off the train, hurrying to catch the next one.
As we stepped onto the second train, Husband gasped. "Shit, I forgot the backpack," he yelled. We raced off the train in hopes of catching the previous train to retrieve the backpack. Unfortunately, the train had already left the platform.
At this point, I was pissed! I mean fuming, raging, pissed like an out of control bull. I had smoke coming from my ears.
#1. I told Husband not to put the backpack in the overhead storage, but he chose NOT to listen to me.
#2. Husband reassured me that he wouldn't forget the damn bag, but he did!
#3. He forgot the backpack with my VERY expensive camera and VERY expensive high-powered lens!
Pissed off doesn't even fully describe the amount of pissed-off-ness I felt as the train pulled away from the station. I breathed deeply, trying not to physically beat my Husband in front of Jude and all the Japanese passengers. It took every ounce of me to not verbally abuse Husband. You stupid, fucking, moron, I told you not to put the fucking backpack up there, and you didn't listen to me, and now my new Nikon camera is gone, you jackass, I thought to myself. Instead of letting this rant out, I controlled myself and thought of countless ways I could kill Husband with my bare hands. That thought brought comfort to me.
When our train finally arrived at our train stop near our apartment, we exited and I ran to the train station manager in hopes of getting some help. Unfortunately, the guy didn't speak a word of English and couldn't understand my half-ass Japanese. So, he handed me a phone number and said gambatte, which means good luck.
I immediately called the number, but the lady on the other line couldn't understand me. She didn't speak English either. I was so completely frustrated...frustrated because Husband didn't listen to me in the first place and frustrated because my new Nikon camera with my new Nikon lens was gone and frustrated because no one could help me. Just frustrated!
When we got home, I called my favorite Japanese student. She was a great help. She called the station for me and explained the situation. They gave her a phone number to give to me. The phone number was for a help line for foreigners. Unfortunately, the line was only available between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM. And by this time, it was already 7 PM.
On Monday at 10 AM I called the number. A very nice, polite woman with a very thick Japanese accent listened to my story. She asked me to describe the contents of my backpack and to describe the color and brand of my backpack. She told me she would call me back later in the day. Yeah, right, I thought.
Thirty minutes later, my cell phone rang. It was the same woman. She told me that she had located my backpack and my camera was inside. She told me that I could pick it up at a particular train station about 45 minutes away from my apartment. I graciously thanked her and told her how wonderful she was and how lucky I am to be able to live in a country where people are good, honest, hard working and not willing to take something that doesn't belong to them. I told her how this would never happen anywhere else in the world. I praised her for her great service and rapid response. I thanked her over and over. I wanted to reach into the phone and hug her and thank her until her ear fell off and ran away from the crazy gaijin (foreigner).
So, yesterday I went and got my backpack. Everything was inside. I was overjoyed when I saw my camera. I was so thankful to have it back. So thankful to live in Japan.
Just so thankful!