Lost Key

24 10 2009

Gone again, itself a reserve copy for the one I’d lost the previous week! Where was my key? The bike was now locked immobile with a chain. I hunted about my room. — I even checked the deep freeze in the fridge; that was where I’d found it the last time I’d lost my bicycle key. No luck.

So, I must walk the 1km to work. Pleasant enough, passing through the endless tapestry of a Japanese city. Children cavorted in the nearby schoolyard, and a bicycle jangled by in a swift hush, the determined mom peddling her two kids, eyes a wandering. Incense wafted across the road near the rail line and a clasped hand old lady prayed for the newly dead. I reached the bike shop near the school, asked and the guy, and he told me that he stayed open till seven. Japan could have the most successful city life to be found anywhere.

I finished my lesson. Near one hundred students, or so the university list counted: we did LIFE and dreams, that sort of thing. Anyway, lunch was due and I duly set off to the friendly kisoten. The plan was from there to return the kilometre to my room, and once there make a proper search for my bike key. However, this was not to be. Two agent ladies for Nissay, a Japanese insurance company, bid me jump in their Toyota and they would drive me back to Kita Ogi. They would not have found my room and so I asked to be dumped at Ogi Station. We exchanged name cards and I bid them farewell with a wave.

Walking briskly toward my room I made a sudden discovery — my belt pack was missing. This had my house key, everything. Now I was missing two keys. And where was my backup (house) key? Of course … back at the university! So again I must walk to school. First I dumped my loaded bag on the roof of the cycle-shed. I forgot that inside included the rent video I was supposed to return that day. I was still thinking lunch, but my money was in the missing fanny pack.

After another haul I found myself back at my office. No bum bag apparent, but a message was on the answering machine. It was the Nissay ladies; they asked me to ring them back. But I didn’t have their number … it was back in Ogi, in my bag, atop the cycle shed!

I picked up my backup (house) key and once again set off the kilometre to my building, where I pulled my briefcase off the shed roof. Reconnected with my Nissay card, I could now phone them from my newly reopened room. They told me they had deposited my belt bag back at the university!

Right – I sat down and thought it time to make a proper search for my bike key; I could also grab a sandwich. However not to be. Immediately the phone rang and the university’s professor wanted to see me at 13:30 – sharp. God, that was in 14-minutes! No sandwich then. I abandoned the fruitless bike key search and grabbed some coins. To save yet one more hike later that day, I decided to get the lock cut off. That meant I must drag the wretched bike to the bike shop, no easy thing with the wheel locked as it was. Backbreaking, I finally stumbling into the shop, and with but minutes to spare for the meeting the man cut the wheel clear. [300 yen]

After al that, the professor called to postpone till 16:00. Good, I could now go for lunch and at the same time borrow a video for the night. En route I stopped again at the cycle shop — more air in my soft tires. [No charge] Now with time to kill I set off for Yamada Denki, a huge electric shop, and purchased 20 DVDs. With these I did duping until the 4:00pm meeting. Finally, the grant application was finished and gotten off to the Japan government.

I picked up my wayward fanny pack from the office and was about to ride home when I noticed I had a flat tyre. I pushed back to the cycle shop but far from closing at seven he must close right now. No option I must leave my bike there and again walk back to Ogi!!

Next morning (earlier) I must return to the bike shop; too early in fact for it to be open yet. So, I returned my latest video, a further walk into town. {My class lesson was part this ‘Lost Key.’} And what did I find in my bag when I opened it? The other video from 2 days before! So I must return again to the video shop. But first I must retrieve my bicycle.
Right near the shop a car stopped. It was the Nissay ladies. Did I want then … “A lift to Ogi?”