Tuesday, 5 November 2013

And Justice For All

I woke up early so I rode to some shops beforehand. I had plenty of time, or so I thought.

Police do routine inspections for riders to check for stolen bikes. On every bike is a serial number on a yellow sticker. All bikes have to be registered as an anti-theft measure, and you're supposed to carry the registration proof to prove it's yours. I had the registration paper but my problem was it was under another name.

I'd bought the bike secondhand and didn't bother to change the name. Usually I hand the police the paper and they let me on my way. You might get the older cop that would just love to bust some ass. Unfortunately today was my turn.

What usually takes a few minutes turned into two hours of interrogation. Half an hour on the street, and the rest of the time at the police station. A free ride in a police car!

I explained I had to be at work. The officer (actually there was more than one because obviously this was serious! ) said "long time". That can't be good. Treated like a criminal, I was body and bag searched to help pass the time.

I was refused to call work to say I'd be a "little" late. The officer didn't believe I couldn't speak Japanese (Yeah I know, my bad), and seemed not to believe my story. The previous owner was back in his home country so it was hard to prove it wasn't stolen. Finally they decided to let me go with token apologies but it shook me up. A HUGE chunk of deja vu from this time.

This just reaffirms my feelings that a foreigner will never be treated with the deserved respect of a local.   Sure I could've changed the name on the rego, but who steals a bike with the registration papers? Was the bike reported stolen? No.

Today's event was heavy-handed and unnecessary. I'd like to go home with good memories. This has put a very sour taste in my feelings for this country.   Thinking of coming to Japan? Think twice.


thewilythylacine said...

It sounds as if you are planning on leaving Japan. If so, did you achieve what you wanted to when you decided to leave Oz all those years ago? What are your plans post-Tokyo?

Jimmy In Japan said...

Sorry for the late response. From this moment I had been thinking seriously about leaving. In fact right now I am back in Australia. I'm going to be updating my blog soon. All will (kind of) be revealed!