Loss of Wallet

Yesterday I hinted at things like a lost wallet, postal rules of rigid interpretation, and other stuff that I’ve forgotten and am too lazy to look at my own blog to find out about. Actually, it seems that curiosity has won out over sloth yet again, and that in fact, the things I’ve described in the previous sentence are pretty much everything I hinted at yesterday.

So, dear reader, here’s what’s in store for you if you decide to continue reading:

  • how we spent our Sunday morning and early afternoon
  • adventures in losing a wallet in a foreign country
  • postal mayhem has been pre-empted due the need for sleep

And more, if I get distracted. For those of you thinking of skipping this post, I really can’t blame you. But it is more interesting that it sounds.

How we spent our Sunday morning and early afternoon

We went clothes shopping for Jarrod, since we can find good-quality reasonably-priced clothes that he likes at the SATY department store at Tobata Station. Because the shopping gods were smiling upon us, our take included 3 pairs of shorts, 3 t-shirts, a tank top, and 8 pairs of boys’ unmentionables—I probably shouldn’t talk about the fact that some of said unmentionables are decorated with cute cartoon penguins but now it’s too late—for less that 11,000 yen. And they had sufficient selection that parents and boy were both satisfied with the haul. We did some other stuff, including meeting up briefly with a friend from New Zealand, hanging around the toy section while the above-mentioned boy spent his allowance on trading cards, and eating approximately 25 plate-fuls of kaitenzushi. That’s conveyer-belt sushi, a term which refers to the delivery mechanism, not the theme ingredient. The total damage for all that sushi? A mere 4000 yen.

Adventures in losing a wallet in a foreign country

On the way back from SATY we made a few stops, including a visit to our favourite cake shop. It’s called Delicious and the name doesn’t lie. The place has been in business since 1972 (or is it 1970? I can’t remember) and is run by a charming couple—the Yamaguchis—who are probably older than they look. We wanted to let them know that we’d be leaving, and then Mrs. Yamaguchi asked for a picture of the three of us. We don’t have any good ones—they either have me and Jarrod or Lia and Jarrod, depending on who was wielding the camera—and we told her so.

So we posed in front of the shop and she took a few pictures of us with my camera. I’d taken off my backpack and wallet (which I wear more like a purse) and put them and our shopping bags down in front of the store for the photo but when I picked everything up I must’ve forgotten my wallet. I only discovered this about 4 hours later when I was trying to find it before going out to buy groceries for supper. So I biked to the shop in a bit of a panic and tried to explain the situation to Mrs. Yamaguchi. The wallet wasn’t there, so I came home and looked around some more. No luck, so I went to the koban—a 3-person neighbourhood police station—and reported it. The officers on duty were very polite and understanding—even though I’d interrupted their supper break—and filled out a report. They also called my bank to cancel my cash card, a process that involved more Japanese than I know, and which sounded much more byzantine than I’d have been able to manage on my own. The only thing I’m worried about is my Alien Registration Card—yes, I’m a registered alien, and used to have the card to prove it—which I need in order to leave the country. I paid a visit to the civic offices today to get a replacement, but that’s a long and sordid tale that has yet to reach a satisfactory conclusion so I’ll spare you.

As I noted earlier, in the third bullet point above, the postal report is going to have to wait. Sleep beckons.

3 thoughts on “Loss of Wallet

  1. I don’t need proof that I’m an alien – my curly hair, wide hips & other curves, incredibe height ( at 5′ 7.5″ I tower over everyone), pale skin and round eyes give that away immediately. The antennae help too!

    I do, however, have a card to prove that I am an alien. It even says so & is complete with a photo of me looking sweaty, culture-shocked, and jet-lagged in a suit. scary.

    The Alien Registration Card is the ID of choice for resident aliens in Japan. In fact, one can do little without it…but we’re hoping that they’ll figure out some sort of bureaucratic loophole that will allow Ed to leave the county….

  2. I checked with the powers-that-be today, and it turns out that I don’t need to reapply for the alien registration. As far as the bureaucrats are concerned, I’m still a Registered Alien. I’m just not a Registered Alien of the card-carrying variety.

    I’ve been told that I simply have to tell the airport officials that my card was lost with my wallet, and they should be satisfied. But just in case, I’m going to have a copy of the letter from the ward office saying so, as well as a copy of the police report.

    And really, they should be more concerned with foreigners entering the country than those trying to leave. After all, it’s not like I’m Bobby Fischer or anything.

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