The morning of the taikusai I opened the patio door of our bedroom... the door right beside our heads... to fetch my bra. My white bra. The perfect one. The one that fits well. The one that has a nice feminine design, but isn't super-duper lacy. I don't like bras like that.
"Jeff, where is my bra?" (He had been a real hero and hung the laundry the night before.)
"Right there. Where I hung it." (Slight defensive tone in his sleepy voice. How dare I question him when he was the hero who thoughtfully hung it all the night before?)
"Um. Okay." A few minutes passed as I stood staring at the laundry in a fuzzy sleepy stupor. No, I'm definitely NOT a morning person. Slow hazy thoughts gradually formed themselves and drifted through my befuddled brain. Hmmmm... Jeff's underwear is here... Yup, everything else seems to be here... Ya, I guess there's kind of a space where my bra might have been. No, it couldn't be... But they always said... nooooo... no way, man... damn, that was my favourite bra...
I turned my head, deep in sleepy thought, and noticed a confused Jeff staring up at me from his futon.
"Well, it's not here. Definitely not here. You hung it right here?"
"Ya, right there."
"Someone stole it."
Yes, folks, that's right. Some FREAKISHLY DISTURBED AND DISGUSTINGLY PERVERTED GROSS-O OF A PERSON STOLE my favourite bra. Stole it from a hanger just outside our screen door. While we were sleeping. Unbelievable.
But, truth be told, seven years ago when I was getting ready to come to Japan my first time, I went to an orientation session where they specifically told us, "Yes, Japan is still a relatively safe country. Crime rates are low. However, there are three items you should never leave unattended: bicycles, umbrellas, and women's underwear." They proceeded to tell story after story of unsuspecting females having their underwear stolen right from their clotheslines. In the middle of the day.
And when I told one teacher at school the next day, she told me about how one time all of her and her mom's underwear was stolen from their private yard (rare in Japan) in the middle of the day.
Sigh... And my bra was an easy target. It was placed outside overnight to dry. Just outside our first floor apartment that sits by the road.
But why the bra? I mean, there were many other nice items to choose from... pants, shirts, Jeff's underwear...
Well, that's because in Japan there are weird people who get a real kick out of this thing. Specifically, used women's underwear. When I first came to Japan, I heard rumours that you could find vending machines that actually dispensed the stuff. Never found one though. Good thing. And if you watch Tom Green's video, "Subway Monkey Hour" (I know, I know, really trustworthy academic source) he goes to an apartment in Tokyo where this creepy man actually sells used women's underwear. Gross. I don't even want to consider what fate my poor bra has met. Double gross.
Oh ya, Jeff had his umbrella stolen once too, from right outside our apartment. He had left it on his bike. But that doesn't make for half as exciting of a story.
And the lock on his bike broke months ago... I guess that's next...