First act of kindness
My hubby and I took our car for its biennial car inspection (shakken) this morning. At the testing center, I could not figure out where to get the forms we needed. Then, out of the blue, a guy wearing greasy overalls with the Nissan name and logo asked me what I was there for and, after I told him my purpose, asked to see my documents. He leafed through the documents, signaled for me to follow him and then led me to the building next door so I can pay the required fees first and get the necessary forms.
While I took my wallet out of my bag, the cashier asked him if I was a client. He shook his head and told her that he was just helping me out because I looked like someone who didn’t know what I was doing (true!). When the cashier told him that he was kind, he casually shrugged his shoulders and said that he just happened to have the time before the first round of inspections.
He proceeded to fill out the Japanese forms for me, except for my name (because it was in the English alphabet), although I told him that I can complete the forms myself. After the forms were done, he asked for the printout of my online reservation so he can submit it to the document inspectors. When I gave him the printout, he winced – it turned out that I made the incorrect reservation (so technically, I had no reservation). He spoke to the inspectors and got me in. That done, he quickly left before hubby and I can properly thank him and get his name. Fortunately, after the car inspection, we bumped into him again. He asked how things went. Finally, we had the chance to thank him profusely. He just grinned and said “You’re welcome” as if he did this favor to strangers everyday (he didn’t give me his name). Too bad, there was no beer machine nearby.
Second act of kindness
I also met another kind man during the car inspection. When I brought the car to the testing building (more like an open barn), it was obvious to one inspector that I had no idea what to do. Instead of asking me to leave the queue and park the car somewhere while I familiarize myself with the procedure, he held my hand so to speak. During the car inspection, which required me to drive the car through the testing line for basic checks, he was there with me, giving me directions. This was unusual as most drivers are expected to read the instructions (which are flashed on computer screens as one goes through each test) and deal with the tests on their own. This inspector obviously took pity on me and didn’t leave me by myself. He even asked for a retest of one portion to make sure I got it right. The last test took a while but he stayed with me and talked to me – mostly about how it was raining at the back of the testing structure whereas the front of the building was completely dry. He even ran to the front, went out, looked up to the sky and held his arms out to make sure that it was indeed not raining.
The rest of the day was generally not that good for me, but at least I had a great start.
Now, I have to remember the procedure for the next car inspection two years from now so I don’t have to inconvenience anyone.