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World Run I / Reports

Goto: 12004-10-15 12004-10-17 1Japan

Distance today: 48.0 km (Accumulated: 12941.0 km)
Country: Japan

Route Report: - < road sign 411
on Route 8, Fukui city>. NB: the km-sign don?t seem to be correct. Between
369 & 388 they skip many km.

48km, 4:39:08h (J.). Excl. food, water, toilet etc. stops.
Total 12900km. (J.).

Start 10:04am (all).
Finish 15:35pm (J.).
Time GMT + 8 hours.

+18c, clear sky and light wind at start.
21c and same at finish.

- The fun continues!

The day began unusually easy as I found a post office within 20 minutes of
search. AND: I received friendly help!! :-)

The manager/owner himself, mr. Kitano of the Komatsu Post Office asked in
English where I came from and what my purpose was. I told him the story of
the run and he promptly asked if I had enough to eat and drink. Despite
the answer I was quickly showered with food & cans of drink. Further he
rushed into the post office, fetched a digital camera and got some photos
of the baby jogger, the runner and Komatsu Post Office :-)

While he developed the photos he found a collection of stamps, airmail
envelopes etc, etc. and presented me with it as his personal gifts. Not
only was it welcome gifts; it was a very calming thing to see that there
is indeed friendship to be found here!
And I was sent off with a warm handshake :-)

- But then it was back to the road.. and back to Japan as I have learned
to know it. After 45km I began to look for a hotel. Now; even in big
cities there isn?t many hotels advertised, at least not in English ;-)

The first one I entered I was quickly rushed out of by an elderly woman.
Not exactly "the service spirit" ;-) "No; NO!?

Luckily I found another hotel with vacant rooms not too far from there.
Atlas; it was one of the "automat-hotels" (see the 14-10 report). I asked
the staff if I could first walk to the nearby store to buy dinner before
entering the room - knowing by experience that last time the door was
securely locked once inside the room. And not to be unlocked except by
feeding the automat "in quantum sati?!

Well; "asked the staff" is of course a big word to use. I tried some hand
language and drawings on paper. More staff gathered and about 1 hour went
by. Finally I left the baby jogger in their custody and went for the shop
- and a hugely delayed finish documentation photo (!)

Upon return, I found out that this automat-hotel didn?t have the "outside
lock" system. Instead the staff insisted that I left them with 20 000 yen
- about 200 $ in deposit. Receipt - "Yes, YES!" - meaning no receipt. !
In the morning the door to the reception was locked. Voices were heard
behind it as I knocked; but opened: no!

Still after about 10 minutes of knocking the door was finally opened. Long
explanations; yes, "check out". We consulted the automat. One amount
there; another - considerably higher - charged by the staff. Pay the
automat: "No. No!" Price: about 180 $

I like to be polite, but in 10 countries run so far, I have not
experienced anything that comes near this. I am happy to say that in most
countries there is a habit of trying to help strangers. From the books I
know that in Japan respect is given to the elders and those who has risen
through ranks. I expected that is was perhaps a bit of an anachronism, but
the more time I spend here, there more it seems to be quite true. And
being a stranger, not looking like the uniform mass, dress inappropriately
in sports wear, not speaking the language, being young (ok; relatively
young ;-) it gives the definitely feeling of being in the lowest point of
regard. I take pride to say that we don?t usually meet strangers that way
where I come from ! :-)

- And I salute persons like mr. Kitano. You should be a source of pride
for your country :-) It is easy to help a person who has much status and
is high in rank; but it is so much more an unselfish effort to help the
one who truly needs it!



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