Lost and Found
Whenever expatriates get together, they will start
swapping stories about life in a foreign land.
Popular topics include the most expensive dinners, the scariest taxi rides, and the worst stomach disorders.
In Japan, though, a favorite topic is ‘Lost and Found’.
First, everyone who spends time in Japan has such a
story – even if it isn’t his or her own.
|The format of the story is simple. Just use
the following sentence and fill in the blanks with your particulars.
I left an object in a place, but I got it back from a person/organization, even though there was a major obstacle.
Here is an example:
My wife Angie left her wedding ring in the public bathroom of a traditional Japanese inn on the Izu peninsula. She realized it the next day, so we had someone from our office call the inn. No problem. A guest had found the ring and returned it to the front desk. The inn would mail it to us that day, at no charge.
I was really impressed, but my friend Dave has a better story.
Dave was working in a remote corner of Shikoku Island. Returning to America, he rode a local train to the nearby airport, flew to Tokyo, spent a day there, and then flew back to California. In San Francisco, he realized that he had left a Nikon camera and all the accessories on the rack of the remote island train. He called us in Osaka for help. The office assistant then called Japan Railways West to report the lost camera. "Yes. We have it", they replied. "We’ve been waiting for your call."
The camera had sat on the rack until the train finished
it’s runs that day. The crew found it and took it to lost and found. It
sat there until we called.
Amazing. But I can top that story.
I left US$300 in an ATM on a Saturday afternoon. I
realized it about twenty minutes later. I thought about going back, since
this was Japan, but I decided that even in Japan, that money was as good
By Monday, I had forgotten about it. At noon, my
assistant came to me and said, "Glenn-san. Did you leave 30,000 yen
in a bank machine this weekend?"
Can you top that?