The author returns to describe the nature of the next section. It is a transcript of a conversation between Pi and two officials from the Maritime Department of the Japanese Ministry of Transport. These officials, whose names were Mr. Tomohiro Okamoto and Mr. Atsuro Chiba, were in California on unrelated business when they were called to Mexico and instructed to interview the lone survivor of the Tsimtsum, to find out more about why the ship sank.
Martel steps abruptly out of the sad story we have grown invested in, and reminds us of the “nonfiction” framework of the novel. In this short final section Martel will question the idea of “truth” in storytelling and the impossibility of properly communicating an unknowable reality.
The officials misread the map as they were driving through Mexico, so they ended up lost and then their car broke down. They had more troubles finding a mechanic, and they finally reached their destination, Tomatlán, after travelling without sleep for forty-one hours. They then interviewed Pi in English and taped the conversation. The author has since received a copy of this tape and Mr. Okamoto’s final report.
Okamoto is the senior official and the principal interviewer, while Chiba seems naïve and bumbling. Even though they barely appear, Martel still manages to give these characters some personality. Martel keeps up the fiction of his nonfiction reporting.