I have time in Chiba before my flight. What do you do in a strange city at 9:30?
You go to the zoo. This turns out to be further away than I thought, in the middle of nowhere. To ensure I get back to the hotel in time to catch the bus to the airport, I ask the ladies at the main gate if they can call me a cab to be at the main entrance at the time er, like, I need to leave. They sweetly give me a piece of paper with numbers on it. I mime that I have no phone as I have dumbly left it at the hotel. They show me a public pay phone in the distance. I indicate that I have never used one and that I would have trouble explaining to the cab company where they could pick me up. The poor things are squirming as they clearly have orders not to make private calls nor can they leave their posts to help me with the pay phone. They are desperate to help but can’t. I feel their pain. I thank them and wander around. I love zoos.
Near time to leave, the place is still empty but I track down a visitor by the gorilla house. I do a superb mime of, “Could you phone this number please and ask them to send a cab to the main entrance of the zoo, downstairs by the bus stop, please.”
He totally understands.
As I leave, both ladies are waiting for me with expressions of deep distress. I mime, “Everything is fine. A kind man phoned the cab company for me and I believe there will be a Star cab waiting for me downstairs by the bus stop.”
Their faces light up with heartfelt relief. 5 minutes later I am in the taxi.