Wow... I don't know where to begin.
I guess I'll start from the beginning...
My good girlfriend from High School came to visit me in Japan a few days ago. We were having a blast visiting my school, introducing her to my friends, biking around Sapporo and experiencing Japan...
Then on Sunday we had a lazy morning and took off on our bikes at about 11am. We met up with some of my students who graduated last year for coffee and donuts and then we went to my Taiko drumming class. After class we went out with one of my Taiko friends to eat at a Japanese izakaya restaurant. After stuffing ourselves we met up with some of my Japanese friends and went around Susukino and out for her first karaoke!!! After a long day we got home at about midnight.... Everything seemed normal..... and after some chatting we crashed.
The next morning I woke up at about 9:30am to go to an appointment I had out in Maruyama. I didn't have much cash on me so I went to grab some money out of my secret stash which was hidden in a drawer.... On Saturday I had withdrawn a lot of money.... about $1,100 since my friend and I are off to Kyoto/Osaka for vacation! I told her not to bring any cash to Japan that I would just give her yen when she arrives... So I was planning on giving her half of that money.... but.... when I went to grab some money from my pouch it was ALL GONE!!!! All that was in my pouch was some random Vietnam dong I had from my trip last Christmas. I woke up Jo and told her my money was missing!!! She half dazingly awoke and told me I probably misplaced it and that we'll look for it later... I biked out to Maruyama (35 mins) for my appointment... when I finished, I checked my phone and had 5 frantic messages from Jo saying that her money was stolen too and that I better get home ASAP!!! So I freaked out and called one of the English teachers at my school and asked him to meet me at my house.... I rode faster than I ever rode before!!!
Sweating my balls off I pull up to the house and Jo showed me the back glass door of my house which had been broken into!!!!!! Someone cut the glass, unlatched the lock then cut the other glass door and got in!!!!
Luckily they took nothing but cash (at least nothing else that I know of)..... my laptop with all my pics was still here... our ipods, electronics and everything else.... but they found my stash of money which was probably in total $1,100 in yen plus they took maybe about $200 in USD.... and then Jo had about $300 of yen stolen plus her scorpion pouch which she seemed more devastated about than her cash. hahaha...
What I also find amusing is how nice and Japanese-like the robber was. He didn't tear apart my apartment looking for the cash and he didnt take ANYTHING but cash. I kinda wanna give him a big hug and a good ole F&#*($ YOU all at the same time. (sorry I swore mom) I just hope he used that money for his family... Or maybe he got laid off and needed to pay the bills... It just better not go towards Susukino girls or drugs. I'll be ticked.
Back to the story.... so luckily my teacher arrived soon after and we showed him the broken door and then he immediately called the police....
about 20 minutes later not one but TEN police showed up at my house along with 2 detectives!!!!!!!! WT!?!? They began to scower my house with flashlights, brushes, instruments and who knows what!!!! I never felt so safe before with all of them there! They were all sooo nice and helpful and concerned. One of the cops looked soooo sad and said to me in Japanese something along the lines of: "I am so embarrassed for my country now. I can't imagine how you must feel about Japan. I truly hope you will learn to love us again." Awww..... he was so sincere and concerned. They continued to check my house for a good few hours taking pictures... and had me explain EVERYTHING.... luckily my English teacher was there to help with translations. My friend Jo was luckily finding the humor in this crazy adventure and started taking pictures of the whole ordeal!!!! haha... the cops loved it... they even placed our fingerprints closer for her to photograph! haha...
They took our fingerprints with this magic crazy wax which was clear but later turned to black ink!!! When I was getting fingerprinted the cop looked and me and told me i had beautiful hands! hahahahaha... WT!??! I couldn't tell if he was trying to comfort me or hit on me.
The next day at school I had an overwhelming positive/caring/kind/generous/supportive response from all of the teachers and office workers. They were all soooo concerned for me and so kind. Once they heard about the break in- they must had gotten together to collect money and at the end of the day they handed me an envelope with an apology note. I almost started bawling my eyes out cause I was so moved by everyone's kindness. (instead I waited til I got home)
After school the 2 office workers loaded my bike in their car and drove me home and then took me on a tour of the 2 apartments I can move into... Everyone is insisting that I move cause they want me to be safe.
I think I'm going to take the one on the 2nd floor which is a little more expensive but SAFE! The only downside is that there's a family underneath me so I won't be able to do my fun awesome 80's aerobic dance workouts!!! The floors and walls are too thin. sniff....... but my office worker was like... which do you want... safety... or dancing?!?!
It's kind of sad I had to pause and really think about it, eh???? hahah... I'm gonna miss my workouts... but maybe I can workout in my socks and just jump a lot less. ;-)
After this happened I kept saying to myself.... WHY ME???? WHY JAPAN????? I spent a year in Latin America in some of the most dangerous cities and then 2 1/2 years in Kenya and I've NEVER had anything stolen! Then I move to one of the safest countries in the WORLD and BHAM! This happens.... And it was just awful timing... I had JUST gone to the bank the day before to take out that money. AHHH!!! I wish I would have waited a day... or taken it out in Kyoto and pay the ATM fee. I was trying to save a few bucks by taking it out here. a;ldkfjasl;dfj... but again.... I keep reminding myself it's just cash... and they luckily didn't take anything and we weren't harmed or in the house when it happened... thank goodness.... I think I was still in my Kenyan mindset and kept thinking about how many cows I could buy with that money or how I could put 3 kids through High School plus feed their families.... uff.... But what's most important is our health, well being, friends and family!!! And luckily we have all of those ;-)
After today at school I had some time to myself to take a step back and look at the big picture... and I realized that this whole experience as crazy and scary as it was just made me love Japan even more. Japanese kindness is amazing. I truly do love this place and it's going to break my heart when I have to leave. As one of my friends said... The dark truly makes the light brighter. ;-)
Now I'm off to Osaka/Kyoto with Jo and then when she leaves I'm going to sit my 3rd Vipassana 10 day Meditation Course on the outskirts of Kyoto. http://www.bhanu.dhamma.org/bhanu_.html This course couldn't have come at a better time!
Thank you everyone for your support!!!! I love you all!!!!!!!
side note.... I JUST found the scorpion purse hidden away in my suitcase... gave me the heeby jeebies thinking this guy touched everything of mine. *shudder* I think its the thought that someone could come back while we're here which bothers me the most. I can't wait to move!
side note#2... some of you keep asking if the cops were cute.... and sadly NO... I didn't get any numbers out of this whole ordeal! hahaha.... that would have been a good trade off tho! ;-) If any of you have any numbers out there for me please forward that info on!!!! yeeeee ha!
stay safe and happy!!! xoxo