Friday, April 14, 2006

toss of the lucky coin

A few weeks ago I sold my extra bicycle to Carolina, a nice girl fortunate enough to have come from one of those countries that has a working holiday agreement with Japan. We got to talking about her incredible luck with housing and what she planned to do with her easily acquired work visa. In the end, we parted ways without her paying me for the bike.

We finally managed to meet up again today. I suggested a recognizable place downtown, and since I had other errands to do far away, I took the train in. She came on her new bicycle. I watched her park it in a no parking zone with only a moment’s concern for its safety. An hour later, we came back to find it had been taken by the infamous Kyoto City Bicycle Towing Department to a place so far away it is a wonder anyone even treks there to reclaim their bikes.

I feel really bad. Firstly, because I know better than to let someone park their bike in the worst possible place. Secondly, because the amount of money she will spend to get that bicycle back will be more than I sold that bike to her for, and more than it is worth. And lastly, because she is going to have a heck of a time finding that place, and I don’t have any time to help her other than the directions I already gave.

For some people, Kyoto is an easy place to adapt to. For others, the Japanese gods of good fortune do not bestow their favors so readily.

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