Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Terrible Tuesdays: And It Turned Out Fine

Vincent_AF / Free Photos

Today, as part of an introduction and example of memoir writing, I told my class an intense but ultimately positive story about myself. Today was my first day of class, and I've been in a optimistic mood, so today's Terrible Tuesday theme is worst case scenarios that turn out fine.

The story I shared took place in Japan. My parents, my ex-wife, and I were in Hiroshima, and wanted to visit a floating shrine. We were running late because of extra time we took at the A-Bomb Dome and surrounding museums, so we faced missing the last ferry to the shrine of interest. We weren't fluent, and it wasn't to surprising when we boarded the wrong train. We wanted the express but wound up on a ride that would detour, getting us to the ferry after closing. We disembarked and paid the extra for the thirty-minute cab ride to the dock.

A ferry pulled away right as we arrived, but we learned there was still one more for the evening. We were in luck! At least until my ex realized she lost her brand-new camera. So, we ventured to a police box to file a missing camera report while my mom stayed to head on the the shrine, and my dad waited at the dock.

After filling out the report with the police we waited with my dad at the dock. Time passed. A boat pulled up, let people off, and pulled away. When the dock lights shut off, we realized my mom probably wasn't coming back.

We pounded on the ticket window, and the frightened salesman informed us, after a drawn-out translating conversation, that no more ferries would be coming. My mom was stuck on the island.

A taxi driver approached us and tried to get a hold of a sea taxi to pick my mother up, which would have been costly, but we couldn't just leave her on the island alone all night. Plus, our flight left for Sapporo early the next morning. However, the sea taxi guy never answered.

We had no more options.

After standing around for an hour, cops showed up--the same ones we reported the missing camera to. They asked for my ex, then took us back to the police box where they had my mother on the phone. Apparently, when she missed the return ferry, she broke down crying and security took her to a hotel where someone spoke English.

She was fine and stayed the night on the island. In the morning, she woke up, took a return ferry, and caught the express train back to our original hotel just in time to get in a cab with us heading for the airport.

A few weeks later, after my parents had returned to the states, a report of a camera turned up. A taxi cab driver found the camera, turned it in, and upon getting a hold of us, the company mailed it from Hiroshima to Sapporo in a COD package.

So, it was a rough night. We could have lost a several-hundred-dollar camera, could have paid hundreds for a sea taxi, or could have missed our flight the net morning and needed to buy four new tickets. Or my mom could have been abandoned and forever traumatized by an overnight in a creepy, deteriorated boat house. Things were bleak. I'm not sure it was a Tuesday, but it was terrible, but everything turned out fine. I even got a cheery little yarn to tell.

So, what are your yarns that turn out fine. Anything push the breaking point just in time for things to take a turn for the best? I look forward to those stories.

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