Under The Influence of Prescription Drugs

Leaving for Tokyo last Tuesday, E@L called a cab at 8am. When it arrived E@L got in and they headed off. By the time they had reached the exit gate E@L realized that he had left his WATCH on the bathroom counter. So the taxi did a quick lap of the apartment complex and he hobbled up to get it. As he turned the key in the front door lock it gave way too easily, and he realised that it was still open.

He had not locked the door when he had left to get into the taxi.


We packed up after the last day of training, coiling network cables, storing computer power cables, USB drives, laptops into various trolley-wheel briefcases. We sorted coats and scarves, and just hung around sheepishly, negotiating for invites to the best of the final-night dinner parties. Soon E@L was organized to go off with the predominantly female pan-Asia group, but someone asked about an internet site. So E@L extracted his computer and quickly booted up his brand-new (three week old) Vista powered Fujitsu laptop, grabbed a cable and sorted the question out. Then we were off, someone saying the bus will there in a minute. E@L found on his woolen jacket (Seoul tailor, the usual mistaken Itaewon drunken order) on the rear table, pulled his South African windcheater over his head, put the generous jacket over it and they all headed off as quick as E@L's sore feet would carry them to the bus-stop.

The bus was pulling up as the long line of trainees and local staff rushed for the stop. E@L was of course last as he couldn't run, but the line to board was just long enough that the bus was still there when he limped up to it without any panic. However he had to stand for the 15 min trip.

At the train station he took the elevator up, fed 210 yen into the ticket machine, and rode the escalator down to the platform where they all waited, chatting in Korean, Chinese, German and English in a slightly less bitter wind than the day before, for the next Tachikawa bound train. E@L pulled out his MP3 player and tuned into Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. "I don't need nuthin'."

Like all good Japanese commuters, E@L slept on the train, nodding forward like the others, AK and RP still swinging the world by the tail.

The restaurant had a great view over Tachikawa thorugh its full glass walls but the table was quite crowded, with 12 people seated around a table designed for eight. Seats were merely cushions on the floor, but fortunately for old fellers with sore feet, there was a well below the table for legs. Coats were hung, and E@L placed his briefcase on the floor behind him. The centre pieces of the table were two portable gas-hobs and steamed pork and various seafood and vegetables were the main course although small dishes of other things kept coming, some nice sashimi and some completely unchewable skewers of what someone said was heart wall.

As the girls got more and more drunk, bachelor E@L became more and more the centre of their attention, particularly for one of the Korean girls who kept ganbie-ing him with sake and also for one of the Taiwanese girls who insisted on making origami flowers for him. Naturally, nice though they were, these were the least attractive of the ladies. It became the teasing conversation theme of the evening: which would become E@L's girlfriend? In order to create some order here (they were now in a McCafe after failing to find seat at other nearby cafes and bars) E@L had to delineate some specifications - his son's age-plus-six being the toughest. Only one of the other Taiwanese girls met this criterion and although E@L thought HER reasonably cute, intelligent and sober, she seemed not so interested in him. But all this was merely end of week horse-play and of no real significance, so all tramped back to their rooms, E@L arriving last of course, abandoned now by all his wannabe partners.


He packed that night, well after midnight, threw all of his dirty laundry into one side of his suitcase and the few remaining clean items into the other, set the phone alarm for 6am and crashed.

Next morning, after a shower that had hardly any effect on his wakefulness, as he was putting all his other stuff away - books, training CDs, paperwork - he slid his hand into the curiously open laptop section of his briefcase. It was empty.




Someone must have slipped the laptop out of his bag at the restaurant, at the McCafe, on the bus, on the train.



After a dejected quick-snaffled breakfast, he confessed his loss to some of the other trainees who were also waiting for the 6:50am airport limousine bus. One of the guys reminded him of the episode at the end of the day in the training room. He had taken his laptop out for some reason. Maybe in the panic to get to the bus he had left it on the desk.

Donít worry!

E@L donít panic!

E@L tried to send out some emails with his phone to the Japanese staff, but of course, a) at 6:30 am no-one would be checking email, b) no-one would be in the office, and c) he couldn't get a 3G connection!

Hopefully that is where it is. Some of the other Singapore staff are going for the technical part of the training in Tokyo next week, so if the computer is there, they will bring it back.

Meanwhile E@L will have to break into the Singapore office tomorrow and rescue his ancient IBM notebook from its obscurity for this following week in Pune and Mumbai, India

E@L blames the drugs.


Posted by: expat@large on Mar 01, 08 | 6:21 pm | Profile


As long as you can find something to blame and so shift the responsibility from self to others... :-)

Posted by: Indiana on Mar 01, 08 | 8:07 pm

I put the blame on f'ing MS Vista!

What the hell is going on with the feet Phil? Damn you must want to shoot that doctor for letting you get so infected and damaged that it has taken so long to recover.

Are you sure that the doctor who did the foot job is not blogging under title of The Citizen?

Posted by: sino man on Mar 01, 08 | 9:49 pm

Dude, I can understand misplacing your keys, but a laptop???

Those must have been some mighty fine ladies. ;-)

Posted by: Batbitch on Mar 02, 08 | 4:02 am

Indy: I plead the Nuremburg defense: I was told by the little voices to do it.

Sino: mmm, Dr Mengele, The Citizen - seperated at birth?

BatBitch: Someone is always in a worse position: I keep thinking of the guy who left the only manuscript of his novel on a train. Unlike Agatha Christie, who left a train in her novel.

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 02, 08 | 8:52 am

Getting something stolen like that on the train is very rare in Japan.

But the important question is, " Are there a group of salarymen now viewing all your porn" back at the training site?

You could always use the Yuppie Nuremeberg defense-"Everyone has a mortage to pay".

Posted by: Skippy-san on Mar 02, 08 | 2:02 pm


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