Saturday, November 1, 2008

The joys of hand-me-downs

I've had the past three days off work. It was pretty nice.

Thursday, I decided to try to take my bike up to Mt. Yatsuomote, which is not too far from my home.

So off I go on my bike, following a map I got from the community center or something. I had just gotten to an area of Nishio I hadn't been to, when I hear someone coming up behind me fast. Well, I can't tell if he's running or maybe on bike or what, but I slow down and get pretty far over so he can pass me, and then, I hear someone bellowing something over an intercom in Japanese, and when I look, it's coming from a police squad car that's stopping beside me. And when I turn around, there's two police officers booking it after me! What in the world! So yeah, I stopped.
So they come up, and start saying stuff in Japanese, and somehow, I understood maybe they wanted some i.d. and stuff, so I start throwing my passport, and my international drivers license at them, though of course I have no idea what's going on... did i run a light or something? or am i supposed to have a license or something and no one told me??

so after 5 minutes or so of standing there and them radioing in my name and all my other information, through one of the officers limited English and my very limited Japanese, we somehow got communicated that, well, they thought I had stolen the bike.

Apparently, this red sticker on the back of my bike is a registration for high school students, and so when they saw it, and saw that I wasn't a high school student, they thought I had stolen it from somewhere. So they wrote down all the numbers, and found out it was registered to a girl named Chihiro... I tried to explain how the bike was given to me by my boss... and so they wanted all her information and stuff. Gosh, I wish I had a cell phone then.

Apparently, this Chihiro is the niece of one of the staff at MEC, who gave the bike to Hiromi, who gave it to me... so Yuka (the staff who gave it to Hiromi) said they called Chihiro, and anyway, it's all cleared up now.... And I definitely went home and scraped off those stickers... and decided not to go to the mountain that day afterall.... Lol.

Cullen, one of the teachers, said that he's heard of that before, and they stop foreigners especially... I guess Garry (one of the other teachers) has gotten stopped, too, and his bike never belonged to a high schooler... whatever. My red stickers are gone now, so *hopefully*... I won't be chased down again... :\ lol.
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