Wednesday, November 26, 2008

nice people do exist

I was driving around in an unfamiliar area the other day, with the help of my handy-dandy GPS navi system. It directed me right to the place I was looking for (a school where Kai needed to sit a test in a couple of hours), and I was looking around for a cafe or some place to have lunch and wait for the test time. Unfortunately, there was very little in this area as far as any resting area was concerned. It was a small residential area near a larger commercial area that I knew was nearby.

As I drove around, roughly guided by my navi in map-mode, I found myself suddenly met by a dead end meeting the train tracks. There was no indication on my navi that the road didn't continue. A small delivery truck had been driving ahead of me, and at the end of the road had looped around, and then pulled off the road just behind me. I guess I stopped dead in the road, which just stopped dead in front of me, and then eventually followed the example of the delivery van and turned around in what seemed like a little parking area.

As I got ready to head back the way I came, deciding the 7-11 I'd passed was about my only option for a break and lunch, an older man hopped out of the delivery truck and started to flag me down. "I hope this guy doesn't expect me to give him directions!" I thought, as I wound down my window. I was completely confused when instead of asking directions, he started giving them to me.

"Keep driving up this road, and you'll see a 7-11 on the right. On the left there's a school. Turn there, and follow that road over to the next street. Turn left there, and you'll be on the road that will take you to the other side of the tracks."

I thanked him, and drove off in a daze, following his directions. He had obviously deduced that I had been trying to get across the tracks by driving down the street we were on. Seeing as we did have a couple of hours to spare, and this kind man was so sure of where we should have been going, I did exactly as he said, and ended up in the middle of the urban shopping area on the 'right' side of the tracks.

I am amazed still that on a grey rainy day, in an old residential area of back-street Japan, this man not only sensed my plight through his rear-view mirror, but also went so far as to offer unsolicited advice to a gaijin woman in a bright yellow car. So have faith all, there are still nice people out there.

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