20 03 2008

For some reason, I’ve come to Japan and turned into the dumbest driver on Earth.  In the States, I had a flawless record, and while technically that’s still the case (the police have yet to officially get involved), I have managed one-up even last weekend’s antics.

Yesterday while driving in Tomakomai, I tried to follow what looked like a short cut on the most accurate map in Japan.  Not accurate enough.  I found myself driving around some random industrial park trying to make my way back to a highway.  I don’t know why I didn’t just turn around.  Part of me wanted to prove that the map wasn’t all that bad and that somehow, somewhere, these gravel roads next to unused train tracks would reconnect to the highway whose bridge I could see in the not-too-far distance.  Well, it didn’t.  The only thing I found was a pile of snow.

It was a bit deeper than I thought.  No matter how much I dug out from under my tires, or how hard I ran my engine, there was no removing my car from this mini-mountain of snow.  Quickly getting over any sense of pride I had, I called my supervisor who warned me it would be an expensive, difficult endeavor to get my car out.  Not wanting to spend any money, while he looked up phone numbers, I went exploring this industrial park on a Sunday to find it appropriately desolate, except for three men shootin’ the breeze.

Three men shootin’ the breeze at a TRUCK company!  A truck company which sold TOW trucks.  So, for 0 yen and 0 cases of beer, these two men dragged my car off of its little mountain and I went merrily along my way.  I think they were excited to having something to do on an otherwise uneventful Sunday in a deserted industrial park, and I was glad to not to give up my first-born son or be stuck in the middle of nowhere forever.

It’s a good thing I’ve been practicing Japanese, or I’d have no car, no children and no composure.




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