I has a bucket (list)... Noooo they be stealin' my bike

Last week I felt like this sea lion...

Last time I came to Japan, Boy said I had to do things I had done in Canada, again in Japan. I guess you could call it a sort of bucket list (except I don't make a list of things to do, but rather of things I've done)...
Anyhow, last week I added another thing to my list: having my bike stolen! It was actually an interesting experience, in hindsight...
First I should explain about Japanese "mama chari" bikes. They all have built-in locks on the back wheel... Too flimsy by western standards, but they do the trick in Japan! To ride the bike, you put the key in the lock and leave it in there. To lock it, you take the key out.

Sooo last Thursday I went to Wakayama city by train to teach my lesson at GLS and I left my bike at the station--unlocked (aho ka!)
Now I have done this before and yes, it was okay. But this time of course I got back in the evening and it was not there! I was afraid I would never see it again, but luckily I had it registered with the police when I bought it.
So the next day I went to the police station to report it stolen (actually something I've never done in Canada)!
Then Machiko's sister-in-law told me that the bike thieves are often high school students with too much time on their hands, who take bikes from the station and ride to a konbini/karaoke/bookstore.. Etc.
Anyhow to make a long story less long, this morning I was riding around on Keiko (Machiko's niece)'s bike and found my bike near a juku, an after-hours exam prep school.
That's my bike, right there. "Axis" is the cram school.
The key was still in the lock! So I took the key and went to retrieve the bike later... I also went to the police station and got my fingerprints done (they will compare the prints on the bike to try and find the culprit).
So, what are the things on my bucket list now?
  • eating at a McDonald's (completed in 2008)
  • going skiing
  • going to a movie
  • feeling an earthquake
  • having my bike stolen
Things I've done in Japan that I haven't in Canada:
  • found my bike that was stolen
And what did I learn from all this? That whereas in Canada, bike thieves are electric-saw-and-wire-cutter-wielding junkies who will stop at nothing (even a kryptonite U-lock) to sell your bike for a bag of, uh.. sandwiches; bike thieves in Japan are 16 year olds going to their cram school or playing hooky.. and they leave the key in the lock. They are a kind and innocent brand of thieves (at least in Aridagawa).
Oh yeah, and always lock my bike.. Yeah. That.

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