HomeHitchhiking AdventuresThe hitchhiker’s woe: Leaving valuables in the vehicle Log in

My hitchhiking adventure to Aomori on March 6, 2015 was both wonderful and traumatic! Wonderful in that it was on a day of good warm weather with relatively little waiting for the next car. Traumatic in that I left my suitcase in car number 7, and my tablet PC in car number 9!

Miki from Noshiro
This is Miki who lives in the city of Noshiro. She was driving from Tokyo and had not slept all night. I was throughly into a deep conversation with her about the false teaching of the evolution of life. Her job is helping to bring new life into the world; She’s a midwife! Miki took me to a parking lot of a convenience store at Higashi Noshiro. There I took photos of her. Here she is holding the sign I was carrying that says Noshiro, which was the next city toward my destination of Aomori. I thanked her and she drove off, but to my dismay I saw that my suitcase wasn’t on the ground next to me! I left it in Miki’s car!

What to do in such a situation? I had no way to contact Miki. I could only pray that Miki would return to the spot she left me as soon as she noticed the suitcase, or that she would contact me eventually via Facebook for she had my name written on a tract that I gave her. I waited and waited, and I prayed and prayed. I also called a friend in Aomori and told him of my trouble. I could not access my Facebook account from my location for I had no WIFI, so I asked my friend to access my Facebook account for me. He did but there was no friend request from Miki. At the time of this post though 4 days later, there is still no friend request from her.

After about two hours Miki returned with my suitcase! Was I overjoyed! She apologized for taking so long to notice it, and I apologized for causing her trouble to drive all the way back for me. I take the ultimate responsibility.

I had lost two hours and had only a bit more than an hour left of daylight. After only a few minutes, another lady stopped for me. She said she saw me hanging around the parking lot of the convenience store and wondered what had happened to me. The lady took me to Futatsui which is about 10 kilometers further up the road. I still had 100 kilometers left to my destination.

It was now getting dark and from experience it has been often difficult to catch a ride further past Futatsui. Rather than use a sign and wait at the traffic light, I decided to walk up the mountain road. When I’m in a lonely place often the driver will have compassion on me and stop. Sometimes they will pass me, make a U-turn up the road, and come back for me. Such was the case today. A man who runs 3 food stores returned for me. He was going all the way to Hirosaki which was better than I hoped for! Hirosaki is in Aomori ken and only 40 kilometers short of my final destination.

The man’s name is Mr. Kimura. He runs three food shops with 21 employees. I often get rides from company presidents. Mr. Kimura wanted to take me to his shop in Hirosaki and treat me to a meal of one of his food products, but because we saw I might be able to catch the 7:21 p.m. train from Hirosaki station rather than the 8:13 p.m. later train, we opted for the earlier train. In my haste to catch that train I quickly disembarked without checking if I left anything behind. I made the train with only a minute to spare, but to my dismay, my tablet PC was not with me! I realized I left it in the car or perhaps might have dropped it when running to the train station. I had no way to contact Mr. Kimura. At the time I didn’t even know his name or the name of his shop! I only knew he had three food shops and the cities they are located.

The next morning after waking up a new thought occurred: I had told the driver where I work! It was a place he knew of. Hopefully he would bring my tablet PC to the place. Sure enough, Mr. Kimura contacted my work place. He sent one of his employees to bring me the tablet. In the process, I learned his name, his phone number, and the name of his shop. The next time I come to Hirosaki I hope to visit him.

More photos

A lady who took me to Sakata from Tsuruoka. She is a former English teacher. She went out of her way to take me to Sakata, 20 kilometers away, for that was not her destination.

A lady who took me to Sakata from Tsuruoka. She is a former English teacher. She went out of her way to take me to Sakata, 20 kilometers away, for that was not her destination.

The lunch that driver #4 gave me.

The lunch that driver #4 gave me.

Young man in car #6 holding a tract by John G. Hartnett that exposes evolution as a pseudo -science.

Young man in car #6 holding a tract by John G. Hartnett that exposes evolution as a pseudo -science.

A mother with her son and daughter who took me to Akita station.

Car #6: A mother with her son and daughter who took me to Akita station.

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About James Arendt

Born in 1950 and raised in Chicago Illinois, USA.
Served in the USAF from 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, Biloxi Mississippi, Sacramento California and Asaka, Japan and honorably discharged in 1974.
Became a full time missionary for Christ and served in Russia, China and Japan for 44 years and counting.
Lives by faith in God's supply with no fixed job or income.
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