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Friday, October 17, 2008

Apprehended by Police

Well, not really.

But this is an interesting story. I don't know what I have with Police, but this is the second post in couple of weeks! Here is the first.

All the following conversations took place in Japanese, so... you know... just think something along the lines was said in reality...

It was yesterday evening, at about 6.15 p.m. I just got out of the train. Usually, every morning I use the bike - the foot bike that is - to go from my apartment to the station and in the evening from the station to the apartment. So, as I was saying, I only just got out of the train and got the bike out of the parking lot. Just then, a very young guy - probably in his early twenties - stopped me.

"Excuse me sir, can I have a word?"
And he flashed a badge. Apparently a cop.

"Yeah, what is it?"
"You don't have a lamp"
"Urgh... a lamp? Oh yeah, right"

It is necessary to have a lamp even on foot bikes in Japan. And I didn't have one. I was thinking, "no shit!"

"Err... yes... sorry..."
"Can you please come over here?"

And we moved to the side of the road. Another guy joined. They were like giving me advice... telling me it is dangerous to ride it without a lamp and what not. I was like "WTF? Lemme go... I'll fix a lamp tomorrow jackass!"

Well, actually I didn't say that, as you probably have guessed. Otherwise I wouldn't be here writing this.

So then, just when he looked like letting me go after an earful of advice, he noticed something. There was no licence plate. Not NOW! I thought.

"Excuse me sir, but there is no licence plate here."
"Oh yeah, this is not my bike, it was given to me by my company."
"Which is?"

And then I had to tell him where I work and what not. Now they are suspecting me for a stealing a bike! WTF? And to make my day perfect, it came up that the bike was not registered to the company but some other Jap. OK. Great! Just what I wanted.

So I gave them the company number and they made a few calls. And I'm getting enough of it now. It was cold outside... like 15C or something. I wasn't expecting to get so late, so had only a long sleeve shirt. Not to mention how hungry I was.

Meantime, the company had called L, the other guy who works here with me. He also showed up. Still, the Jap Cops (Oh, that rhymes, doesn't it?) are making calls here and there, all that. So finally they decided that I haven't actually stolen the bike but that the company had this bike registered to someone else.

"Thank god! Idiots, didn't I tell you right from the beginning? Aaaargh, you had to waste both my and your time, not to mention a couple of hundred calls - OK, take away 195 - to understand this?"

Of course, I didn't say that either.

So finally we were allowed to go, saying that they'll get back to us when the thing is sorted out. About time!

But having said all that, this must also be noted. All this time, they were extremely polite. Didn't even raise the voice, even if the fault was mine. And believe me, the guy apologized me no less than five times, because I was getting late to go home!!!

I was thinking thank god this didn't happen in my good old motherland!!!


  1. In our motherland this would never have happened... Imagine a cop bothering about a missing lamp of bicycle when most scooters go sans headlight, sans brake lights, sans signal lights, sans everything.

  2. Yeah I get what you mean. Then again that is also the point. They worry about the smallest detail...

    On the other hand, how they treated me, as I pointed out, was really cannot be expected in there.

    We have a long way to go...