Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brush with the law

Justin and I went for lunch today to Aslan Kebab, a great German/Turkish kebab restaurant about a five minute bike ride away. While we were there, an intrepid Fukuoka policeman came by and decided that he did not like the location where we'd parked our bikes. Okay, we can move them, no problem. But then he noticed while we moved the bike that my bike has a built in lock - and it's broken.

Yes, I said, sadly (in English because attempted robbery must be in book 2 of our Genki Japanese course.) Someone broke the lock on my bike at our apartment one night. We bought the chain lock to replace it.

Mm hmm, says the policeman, tapping the city registration number on the bike. And this is your bike?

Yes, it's my bike.

May I have your name, please?

Which is when I realize that the policeman thinks I stole my bike. 

There is a Chris Rock routine in which he describes being pulled  over by a policeman who is so convinced Rock stole the car he's driving that Chris Rock starts to believe it himself - "Maybe I did... Oh, Lawd, I done stole a car!" That was me, trying desperately to remember whether the bike was registered in my name or Justin's, and eventually becoming so disoriented that I might have been convinced I stole the bike after all. And in the meantime helpful the restaurant owner and random Japanese people keep popping out of the restaurant offering to help translate to make sure that I don't end up in the Japanese equivalent of Gitmo.Unless, of course, I had it coming.

Fortunately, the bike database people call back with the information that yes, the bike is registered to someone with a foreign name (not that he ever saw an ID from me to prove it was MY name) and I'm at liberty to go. But it does occur to me that this would be a great prank to pull on somebody: break their bike lock so they go around constantly under suspicion of bike theft.


  1. you do look pretty shifty, in his defense.

  2. and i forgot how funny that gopher thing is.