Tuesday, 3 August 2010

what a pity, what bad luck, what great luck

On Sat we arrived later than anticipated, in a massive downpour, totally drenched.
(Who ever told me the Japanese Meteorological Agency don't get it wrong was blinded by parochialism).
In order to park on the base original registration documents were required.
(Bryn had asked what was needed and wasn't given that piece of information.)
Most bikies carry photocopies rather than originals - and as the downpour demonstrated, it seems quite reasonable. So the only alternative was to park off base. 

No problem - 1000Y/ 12 hours.  3000 Y max, not so bad.


Arriving back there on Sun, I read the fine print.
1000/12hrs Mon-Fri.  Weekend charges were something like 200y/20 mins. We put in the ticket.... OUCH!!! more than 12,000 yen!!!!  140$ or so.  OUCH!!

We figured "you get that", lesson learned on not using public transport in Tokyo, and put in a 10,000 Y note.
It spat it out, I put it in, it spat it out, I put it in, it spat it out.
A battle of wills.
Hiro took a look and read the sign - 10000 notes couldn't be used.
(A sign I could have read if I had tried.)
I didn't get that piece of info and tried again.
The card got stuck.
I pressed all the buttons to get it to spit out.
It didn't.  The next car drove up, put in it's card.
He paid his, but our card was gone.
No way to pay.
He asked if we wanted to exit with him.
I gratefully said yes please.

The ticket was gone.  What else could we do?  We drove off.

Hiro must have been watching too many police chase criminals reality TV shows....
About 4km down the road conscience got the better of him.... 
Unwilling to be hauled up as a criminal for something with no criminal intent,  the only option was to return.   I called the help line number of the car park.  I explained what had happened.  I didn't tell them how much it was - but they didn't ask either.
I said we were out of the car park but hadn't paid, that the machine had taken our ticket.

Perhaps he was shocked by the honesty, perhaps it was because it was close to closing time, perhaps because it was a bike (and apparently wasn't actually meant to be in there), perhaps he found my Japanese too excruciating,  but he kindly said.  

'Don't worry, just go home.'

A perfect weekend :) 

1 comment:

Lily said...

Seriously I would have felt bad if you had to pay that much. Perhaps corrupt of me but so happy you got out of paying it.