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.
As an avid reader of your blog I’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve found yourself in a pickle such as this (or worse) equal only to the number of times you’ve found a quick providential solution. The French expression “système d” was surely invented for adventurers such as you.
Is n’t it amazing! This time I thought I had really blown it.
Lucky sod! You’ll need to spend some time on your knees to pay this off. At least you didn’t find that you’d left your wallet next to your keys! Hope the meal’s dried-up those guts.