An interesting thing occurred after I returned to the Land of the Rising Sun. I had been in Tokyo a couple of days, and jet lag had seemed not to be too much of an issue, thanks to napping at the appropriate times. However, after running about Harajuku with a friend of mine and visiting Oedo Onsen afterwards, I was a content and drowsy foreigner. We each paid the fee for all the wonderfulness that was the Old-fashioned Edo village inside the bathhouse, on the way out. We tossed on our shoes and hopped on the monorail towards Shimbashi station, so we could take a train back to Asakusa, where we could take a train home to our prefecture.
Except it didn't go that way. I fell asleep on the monorail. We changed trains at Shimbashi, and near to Asakusa station, I noticed my wallet was missing. I felt knots begin to tighten in my stomach, checked the rest of my purse, then sorted out with my friend a couple of plans. I had earlier booked a capsule at a hostel in Asakusa, since I had stayed previously and my laundry there was taking time so I'd be over the 10:00 checkout time. I decided I would stay in Asakusa that night, and try to make some calls to the Onsen and the monorail. Luckily, I did have my passport, still, so I really didn't freak out much.
My friend missed the last train back to our prefecture, so we went to her choice of hostel, but they were full up. No room at the Inn, make your own joke. So, we figured she could stay at the same hostel as me, provided they had a vacancy. While we were at a convenient store, I had to make a visit to the restroom and found someone else's purse. I turned it in and told my friend. She said, "That's a good sign. It's an omen!" I no longer believe in karma, but I do have faith in humanity. Still, I did not expect to find my wallet as I had left it.
That night, I looked up the statistics of returned wallets. I came across this site: http://www.bored.com/wallets/testresults.htm
While my wallet had more money in it than those used in the test, I also --sorry fellow Americans-- have more faith in Japanese people to return such a valuable lost item. I told my friend that I would mind less that the wallet come empty save ID and cards, than not at all. Being a foreigner, it would be quite a hassle to go back and take care of resubmitting paperwork for my ID and closing/opening bank accounts.
Long story short, my wallet was returned to me, via the monorail office, everything intact. For a religious person, this incident might have renewed their faith in god, but for me, it was a renewal of faith in humanity. I was also assured that I am doing well on my road to reason. I didn't freak out, save for knots in my stomach. My friend was really astounded at that. I explained that freaking out wouldn't bring back my wallet. I could only do what I could do.
It was also a good lesson in how well and poor my Japanese ability was. There were instances where I made my intent known. I was able to fill out the police report on my own. However, there were times on the phone, where I needed my friend's help. I'm glad she was there, with me. Maybe I'd have freaked out more, if left to myself to make all the calls.
Though I don't believe in karma or omens, I do think that your attitude has a lot to do with how well things unfold. I would not have my wallet back, were it not for the person returning it, but also, they had contacted my school/workplace. If I had bad relations with my workplace, things might have been sour in the wallet's recovery. For me, this is a lesson and reminder of how we, as people, depend on each other. Pay It Forward is a real enough concept and philosophy. I hope the lady who left her purse at the convenient store was able to retrieve it, too.