October 21, 2008


Hey I have some rare pirated internet time, so I'll tell you how I broke the law yesterday.

I was arriving at the station on my bike when a young, trendy looking man approached me. I thought I was gonna get ganpaed*. "Excuse me, police," he said (in Japanese). I thought he was mad that I was parking next to the station, but he was suspicious because A) I was a foreigner (no this is not an incident I mentioned on Alex's blog), and B) had a modified lock, instead of the cheap one the bike comes with. The bike was legit, but for about the first time in all the time I've been here, I actually didn't have my ID on me (I've recently switched backpacks, so the cards slipped my mind). It is illegal to be without a passport or foreign person card here, or so they reminded me. Because... well I don't really know why. Like, even if I was, say, over my visa limit, would I really be stealing jobs from hard working natives? The only thing I can really do here is teach English. They actually discriminate against foreign day laborers here. On the way to get the ID, we passed a couple of minors smoking (and riding double on a bike while using a cellphone). This, I think, is an actual crime**, but he let them go because he had me, the big fish.
Anyways, I sorted that out pretty quick, and the guy was polite enough about it. But there is one more illegal thing I am doing: I am so poor that I have not yet bought medical insurance. I'm wondering if I will get kicked out of this country one day for that. Maybe there is a plain-clothes reader waiting to bust me for that... and one count of pirated internet signal.

*ganpa: gay nanpa. Or gay grandpa. Or gay grandpa nanpa. I have no idea if such nanpaing actually exists.
**: I think he may have called in the fashion police to deal with their yankee hair though, which is a crime in itself.