When my son Tim traveled to Japan in February 2009 in our extended family group to see Australia play Japan at Yokohama, Tim lost his wallet and passport lost – or had it stolen. The circumstances are a bit murky, but suffice to say that sleeping on the street outside a railway station somewhere near Yokohama is not necessarily a sensible idea.
Being Dad, I went with Tim as he reported the loss to the JR Railway Police as well as the Metropolitan Police. Also being Dad, I did point out Tim’s apparent slack attitude to personal security.
Fast forward to August 1, 2011 at Matsumoto. A great afternoon with Matsumoto City Government officials extends to a convivial few hours at Fire Station #21. Yuri Kashiwazawa drops me off at the New Station Hotel, I wander upstairs to my room, sit down on the bed, the building and the bed rock with another earthquake – and I can’t find my wallet!
I work through each time I took it out to share business cards. Has to be at the Fire Station. No big deal.
Next morning, I email off to Yuri about my loss, asking if he might be able to have some one look around the Fire Station. Nothing else I could do, so off I go to Kamacochi for the day. Returning to the hotel, I have a note from Yuri that the wallet has been found by a ‘government official’ on the street at the front of the firestation. Yuri also advises he will pick me up at 8:30am the next morning to take me to the Police Station to collect it.
With Yuri’s support and translation, the wallet is retrieved. Intact. All cards. And the 25,000 Yen. Gotta love Japan.