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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Of buses, new students and PFC

So yesterday I went to my faraway school and I had to take the bus. Japan declared a recession 2 weeks ago, and already the bus fare has gone up. For my trip (3 bus stops) the fare is now 240 yen as opposed to its previous fare of 170 yen. In USD that is about $2.40. The bus fare is about 75c US at home in Barbados. Sigh! But of course I made about half as much doing the same job so it evens out.

On my way back into town we saw a woman about 200m from the bus stop running towards it. Now the JR (Japan Rail) buses are not supposed to stop anywhere but bus stops. So the driver went down to the lowest speed he could possibly go to, dragging the bus to the bus stop. Then the man that was actually at the bus stop watch the woman running and take like 2 minutes to get on to give the woman time. And when the woman get in she apologise about 60 times. The niceties of Japan!

This morning at Junior High we got a new student. On a Tuesday. In the second last week of school. His whole family came to the morning meeting and he had to do a little speech with his name, age, and stuff. I have already forgotten it all, and what he looks like :) Anyhow, I asked a teacher, he told me that the boy's father had been transfred to our town for his job, but then he added "Maybe he had problems at his old school." Flashing red lights! Japanese always say everything 10 million times softer than they mean. For example if a Japanese tells you you "should" go to the school festival, that translates to "absolutely do not miss it, if you in hospital catch an ambulance, if you dead hitch a hearse." SO for him to say that must mean the boy has somethign dubious about him. Looking forward to the upcoming excitement.

I walked home via the main street tonight, which is somethign I don't normally do. I think the top road is a little shorter. Plus if you walk the main road, you have to climb a fairly steep hill right at the end, as opposed to coming downhill from the top road. So I went to the ho store. The name of the store is maruho but the ho is in a circle by itself. Clearly it is the ho store. Dying with laughter!

Anyhow after the ho store I walked down the road and saw the PFC truck parked outside the lady's house. PFC is Ponta's Fried Chicken. It is sooooo yummy and way healthier than KFC. I can not resist PFC so even though I know I had food in my fridge. I bought 2 PFC fillets, and the lady threw one in for free.

And while we on random acts of kindness, Japanese have this way of randomly bring stuff to work and giving some to every body in the office. Little indivually wrapped chocolated, sweets, cakes, whatever. Lately I find myself in the supermarket picking out snacks for my teachers. I wonder how I will readjust to Western life! Any how last week I was walking to my main elementary school and I passed a lady at the bus stop and told her "Ohayou Gozaimasu" (Good morning ) and the lady flex out two sweeties and give me. I tried to take one and she insist I take both. That would so not be kosher in the West, but out here is all good. I love Japan!
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