12.23.2006

Love this country...

As many of you know, my folks are coming out here for a couple of weeks. They are currently 8 hours from take-off. We will be going out to pick them up from Centrair, the International Airport built for Expo 2006 in Nagoya.

Problem is, our car only fits 5 passengers and there will be six of us for the trip home. So the plan was to rent a van for a few hours...not a big deal. We had rented a couple of vans from Japan Rentacar back in September and figured that we would go with them again because they would have our info on file.

So Kelly recruited Iwata-san, the clerk from her school to help reserve a van. Things are ridiculously difficult here if you do not speak Japanese.

Iwata called the rental shop, arranged for a van, a pick-up time, the whole 9 yards. Then they asked for the name of the person who would be renting the van. Well, that would be Kelly. As soon as the person from the shop heard a foreign name, they informed Iwata that they could not rent us a van.

They do not rent to foreigners. Even when said foreigners have rented from them before...and have driven in Japan for a year and a half...and have a Japanese drivers licence.

Apparently, a 'foreigner' was in an accident with one of their vehicles. Now they don't rent to foreigners.

Very disturbing to be on the receiving end of racial discrimination.

We reserved a van with the competition.

One of our first thoughts as we stewed about this was that it was probably a Brazilian who was in the accident. Irony duly noted.

1 comment:

Mom C said...

This isn't a comment on your latest entry but I just wanted to share this Franciscan Benediction as my prayer for you and Kelly in the coming year.

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen
-taken from Philip Yancey's book on Prayer, Does it Make any Difference