Version 2.0 - Tokyo is coming soon. Please excuse the construction and let me know if you have any problems.

Personal Note - A Sad Day for Me

Thursday, January 01, 2009 / Posted by Zackary /

Welcome back my Loyal Readers!
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For the last month I've looked forward to visiting Tokyo. My plan was to take a few thousand pictures over five days. I came to Tokyo via the overnight JR bus which takes about seven hours. I slept good on the bus and caught up on my email and the news of the day.
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My first full day in Tokyo was great for me because Tokyo is a city, a real city. Big cities convince me there is hope for the world in the same way that other people find comfort in nature. There is so much life and excitement in Tokyo. I was getting some great pictures. My dad got me a new high speed chip for Christmas and I was looking forward to using it for videos.
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Before I continue this story let me tell you that Tokyo is the safest big city in the world. Japan in general is very safe. If you drop your wallet or cash or just about anything a Japanese person will pick it up and hand it to you. They are honest and helpful that way and made living in Japan a comfortable place. People feel so safe that they leave their bags, cell phones, wallets, etc., on their tables at a cafe and go to get coffee. Being from Chicago I find the Japanese mindset to be refreshing.
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Before going into a restaurant I had put all my stuff into my bag including my camera, cell phone and even some money. Before I could enter the Chinese place this big black guy ran into me and stole my bag. He was good, even got my wallet although he dropped it after getting my money. I talked to the police but they weren't very interested. It was one gijin (foreigners) stealing from another giji. This issue of being bias toward foreigners is a big one and I will devote another blog to it. For now just let me say that many Japanese people love foreigners.
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You should in no way be afraid or hesitate to visit Japan and especially Tokyo. Your chances of being robbed are much higher in Chicago, New York, Paris, London, Moscow, etc. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I sound calm now trust me at the time I was sad and angry to a level I find difficult to describe.
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To put things in perspective one of my followers on Twitter shared this link which has pictures of the fighting in Gaza.
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Life is hard and sometimes bad things happens. It sucks for lack of a better word. And it hurts a lot and makes you feel hopeless. Not feelings I like but hardly unfamiliar ones. I could have been hurt physically or had no money left at all. As bad as it is for me a the moment, it could have been a lot worse. So I choose to be compassionate and especially nice to people because life is hard for everyone. I will answer this robbery by being a nice guy.
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Telling this story to Japanese people they are horrified. In the 16 months I have been here I don't know anyone that had their phone taken.
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I wish all of you the best in the New Year.
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Peace,
^^Z

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1 comments:

Comment by marieju on January 5, 2009 at 2:09 AM

You are the first person I hear about getting stolen in Tokyo! I supposed it means you're a really «lucky» guy!
Just found your blog via Twitter. I've been teaching English in Taiwan a few months 7 years ago (my first language is French... chuuuut! lol). I love Asia so much... I'll come visit your blog from time to time! :-)

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