Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Mystery of the Missing Purse

So, last week, I decided to go out. My friends and I went to a really cheap bar in the gay district in Tokyo, and because my last train would be at 11:30, we decided to stay out all night and catch the first train at about 6.

When we got to the bar, we realized that we might be going back and forth between two of our favorites, as well as the convenience store to get cheap snacks. There were coin lockers, but those cost about 300 yen, and once you put your stuff in them you can't get it out again, so we put our stuff on top of the shelf of lockers. I took out my phone and put it in my pocket, and put some money in my knee high boot, and some more in my pocket, so that it wouldn't be sitting unattended in my wallet. This is, somehow, not where the problems arise, which is weird, because if something were to happen you would think it would be in a dimly lit place where there are a lot of drunk people and purses lying around with nobody watching them, begging to be stolen.

So, we go out, have fun, and at about 5 decide to get some Indian curry. Kirby and I went to the restaurant, but when he was done eating and I still had a lot to eat so he decided to go ahead and go home early.

Then! disaster strikes. I finish my curry and start to head home. I have to transfer a lot, and at one point I get off a train and sit down in a chair on the platform for a little bit in Shinjuku Station. I nod off and go to sleep, and wake up and remember I'm on my way home, and reach under me, and around me, and discover that my purse is gone! There's a 30-something guy that was also asleep next to me and he seems to psychically sense my panic and wakes up and helps me look for my purse. No, it's not on the platform, no it's not in the station attendant's desk kiosk thing, no, it's not in the bathrooms. I don't know what to do. We go outside, and this guy, who is a saint, helps me fill out a police report at the station. It takes about two hours, and we have to share a little stool, and at one point he gets me a bottle of water, and the police officer can't find the right form so he just takes notes on a blank piece of paper. Saint mentions that I should get my locks changed, which is something I wouldn't have thought of, and asks the cop how I'm supposed to get home. Apparently they have a loan system where the police can lend you train fare in this kind of situation, but luckily I had 2,000 yen in my pocket.

I thank Saint profusely, and get his number so I can give him an update later (which I still have to do.)

Then I get on the train, and head on over to Kirby's house, which I had not planned on. We had separated about three hours ago at this point, but when I get there he still isn't home, so Tetsuya lets me in. At this point, I have tears streaming down my face and as soon as he opens the door, I yell out, "I've been robbed!!" and Kirby comes home about five minutes later, surprised to see me crying in his apartment. (Kirby had fallen asleep on the trains a bunch of times and ended up in Korea. Not really Korea. But far away.)

So, Kirby calls my phone company and has them remotely lock my phone so that nobody can do anything except receive calls on it, and then I call my credit card companies. (No, I don't have the credit card number. I don't have it tattooed on my hand, duh! (But I didn't say that to them, just thought it.)) And we finally go to bed at 10 in the morning.

When we wake up at 3, I email my Daddy :) to have him make sure I canceled the credit cards right (thanks!), and then go to the cell phone store to get a rental, which is 2,000 yen for up to three weeks. We spent about an hour there asking about handset insurance and contract policies and lahdeedah (it would cost me about $535 to get a new phone, even with the insurance discount), and then get Italian food. I'm in shock all day. (This is the first time I've been really robbed. I'm a baby. (Mostly I was thinking about how I was going to pay for all this.)) Then I go home in my short skirt and not-so-conservative tights that I've been wearing all day Sunday, which makes me feel like a heathen, and let myself in my apartment with the spare key I had given Kirby. Thank God I had!

Every day that week I call three different train companies' lost and founds, as well as the stations themselves, and nothing. On Thursday I had the day off, so I got a new train card (1,000 yen), bank card (1,000 yen), health insurance card, and alien registration card (600 yen). For the last one, I had to take passport pictures, write a statement about why I needed a new one, sign a bunch of stuff, blah blah blah. (Actually, after I did that, I decided I would ask about my taxes. The lady from the alien registration counter went with me and spent about another hour translating all the financial jargon the tax accountant guy was giving us, and she was getting flustered, because we just need to know what to do, not why, because it was too complicated, and so she's Saint #2. Anyways, I'm getting about $200 back from taxes. Yay!)

After that I was going to go ask about getting my locks changed, but I didn't have my coat and it was cold, so I went home.

And....I get home and there's a postcard in my mailbox from the Odakyu lost and found center. But I never rode the Odakyu line! I only rode Toei or the Metro, and called Keio just because they kinda shared train platforms. Odakyu, I think, is through a different turnstile. This was curious. Anyways, they have my bag, and I'm overjoyed. I make sure that they have my alien registration card, and then have to call the ward office again the next morning to cancel my application, which I'm sure made them think I was crazy or lying or something.

So I go to the lost and found center (having to take three different train lines to get there from work) and then they tell me they don't have it, it's at the ticket counter, so I go back inside the station, and they check my id and make me fill out a form, and give it back to me, and I make sure everything's in it (some small change, my train card with 3,000 yen on it, and my t-shirt are gone, but they left my skirt! (I brought extra clothes just in case I spent the night at Kirby's and then mine would be all smelly. Oh, the irony.)) My Android, it being remotely locked, and thus useless to anybody else, and my i-pod, with the busted screen, and my credit cards, with their obviously non-Japanese sounding names, and my house keys and a bunch of new makeup I had just bought and everything else are amazingly still there. So I go to the cell phone store again and turn in my rental and have them turn my Android back on, and I'm so so so so so happy, and then I find a little store in that neighborhood that is a specialty store for stage makeup so I buy some crazy blue eyeshadow, because I've been on a makeup kick lately. Which is weird, because usually whenever I'm on a XYZ kick is right when I can't find XYZ supplies. So yay!!

Anyways, my purse had been found outside of the turnstiles next to a vending machine, at Shinjuku Station. Even if I had entered the turnstiles at Shinjuku Station (I entered somewhere else and transferred there), I wouldn't have left my purse outside of it, because I needed my train card. They also found it three days after I had lost it. So somebody found me sleeping in the station, took my purse, took what random stuff they wanted, and left the rest for someone else to find. In America I think they would have just thrown away the stuff they didn't need. Thank you, Japanese thieves!!!!!!!

So now everything's back to normal, except I don't have my financial cards anymore, but those are coming, so whatever. Yay!!

The end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am waiting to hear your new post on earthquake and you soga about visiting Morioka and getting home.