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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just another reason to love Japan

From prior visits to Japan I could have written 100 reasons why I love it here. Now I have 101.

On Wednesday I had a flight from Tokyo Narita to Taipei. I had not gotten much sleep for several days, and my workdays Monday and Tuesday were demanding. In other words, I was dog-tired as I waited for my flight in the JAL Sakura lounge. While there I took some items out of my computer bag. After an hour I packed up and left the lounge to board my flight.

Later in the air, when I wanted to check the agenda for the next day in Taipei, I reached for my computer bag and noticed that a zipper was open — a zipper that, apparently, I had neglected to close when I was leaving the lounge. I am a creature of habit when I fly, and items always go into the same places in my computer bag. Behind this particular zipper go my car keys. One of them was missing… one with a built-in fob.

Crap, I'm thinking, either I expend $250 and several hours to replace this key for an automobile that's too old to justify it, or I suffer inconvenience for as long as I own the car. I have a spare key that a hardware store cut for me, but of course it has no fob.

These things happen, we all know, and there's no sense in blowing them out of proportion. I tried to be kind to myself and let my error go.

Today, Saturday, I passed through Tokyo on my way home from Taipei. I walked into the same JAL lounge at Narita and inquired of my lost key. Half an hour later, a JAL employee brought it to me. It had been carefully tagged with the date, time, and place of discovery.

To those of you who have spent time in Japan, this is no surprise at all. If I had lost my key at JFK, Heathrow, or any of the world's other busiest international airports, would I have been able to get it back? I don't think so. But at Narita and elsewhere in Japan, unexpectedly good things happen.