I have been in bed all day not feeling well at all. I have a stomach upset brought about by too many clams maybe. I have to stay very close to a toilet.
At about 4:30 I decide to pop out to the Family Mart to get some food. It is 1 minute from the front door of my building. I do not lock the apartment nor take my key.
In Okinawa I have developed this very bad habit of not locking my apartment door if I am just nipping out. It is Japan – no crime.
I get my stuff at the combini and shuffle back home. I soon realize I am in big trouble. To access the building you need your key to open the front doors. I am locked out.
It is getting dark, it is very cold, I have rampaging diarrhea, I am in a city of 40 million, I do not speak the language, I have no phone, I am alone.
I notice that there is the phone number of the housing agency that is renting me the apartment stuck onto the letterboxes. I stop a very confused man in the street and mime my predicament. He lets me use his phone.
What chances of someone picking up an office phone late on a Sunday afternoon? Someone picks up and he speaks English. “No problem Neil san, I will be there in about one hour.” Incredible!
I have over an hour to kill in the freezing cold with imminent bowel disaster. I am not wearing a coat nor socks. Do I shiver, crouched in the building lobby?
The only answer is a restaurant. This is against the state of emergency rules but I really have no choice. It is the first time I have sat down in a restaurant for about 6 weeks. All Californian food places are take away only. The restaurant is warm and has a toilet. I drink a beer, the first for about 3 months because of my no carb diet. I eat a fabulous, beef, tomato and potato stew. These are first potatoes I have eaten fo 3 months – diet.
It is a wild evening!
Well-filled, I traipse back to the apartment where a very well dressed young man awaits me. He lets me in.
Only in Japan.
Sorry for breaking the rules.
Thanks Housing Agency
I am so lucky; things always work out for me.