I haven’t been updating much because of a lot of administrative matters that had to be done for our move to Taiwan but I’m grateful for everyone’s concern on this move, which I shall come around to writing. But I’d like to write about an experience recently at a foodcourt in Zhongshan, a.k.a the Orchard Road of Taiwan.
As everyone knows, Japan is a very safe country. Sometime in 2011-2012, I lost my card holder containing all of my credit cards and point cards and had them returned to me intact after 3 days. Over 10 years ago, one of my friends lost his digicam on a train and it was returned to him intact after a week. On top of that, he lost it in Tokyo but later traveled to Aomori and the Tokyo police actually had it delivered to the police post in Aomori for him. This sense of security in Japan is very dangerous especially if you bring it to other countries.
Just yesterday, I placed my wallet on the counter while holding cash to pay for the food I ordered. As I was paying, another man came over to collect his food at the counter. As he placed his hands on the tray and pulled it toward him, I realised he was standing in between me and my wallet, so I thought to collect my wallet after he leaves. However, to my surprise, he casually raised his left hand, placed his hand on my wallet and picked it up. I hurriedly said to him, “Hey, that’s mine.” He placed it back down and walked away with his food, not saying anything.
At that moment, I had originally thought he could’ve mistaken the wallet for his. But thinking about it, it doesn’t make sense because he came to collect his food; not make payment. Further, there was nothing in his hand when he came over, so it was quite likely he had thought to 順手牽羊 and steal my belongings.
When I related this to D, she mentioned that yesterday the TV also reported news of a woman losing her bag a similar way at a restaurant, so that makes it even more likely it was intentional the man was trying to casually take away my wallet.
After 10 years in Japan, I think I need to re-learn to be more careful about my belongings since no other country is as safe. Even in Singapore, you know that when you lose your gadget, you can say bye bye to it. I guess that could be why the Japanese do not have a positive perception of foreigners. After all, we’re all more flawed in terms of such ethics.
I have been following your blog for almost 10 years but this is my first time commenting. I also watch your YouTube channel.
I know it is a very busy time for you but could you share some insight and motivation behind your relocation from Japan to Taiwan? After spending nearly a decade there, I’m sure it came as a shock to many longtime readers and viewers as well.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
Why you go Taiwan…..was looking forward to more of your videos on Youtube.
Hmm….and only 1 more year to permanent resident. Also like you said, Japan safer. To be fair, Singapore’s safety is on par with Japan – I once related this to my Japanese friends who expressed their surprise through silence. At least we do not have people running naked around, we do not have elderly shopthefting so they can go to jail for 3 meals free- and like what you once mentioned, panties stealing is surprisingly common here in Japan.
Of course, it depends on your yardstick of measurement – if it is based on having your belongings returned to you, then perhaps Japan is safer. But really, it is your own fault to have lose your belongings in the first place, so you should not expect to get it back. In fact, probably not getting it back is better, so it will motivate you to take better care of your stuff next time. Yes, sometimes we are careless, but 9 out of 10 ‘careless’ incident are man-made and not accidental.
Looking forward to hear your Taiwan update soon. Happy New Year! Remember even if nobody loves you in Taiwan, your gaijinhan followers do. Cheers
Hey JH and D!
Hope you’re doing ok with everything going on these days. Just wanted to update you that I’ve been accepted for the JET programme! I’ll probably be looking through your past posts on transferring money, shipping items, etc to get an idea of the options available to me.
Hope to hear about your lives in Taiwan soon!