Thursday, September 22, 2005

Successively Goodness.

I suppose I had better type something now before it is too late. I had an amazing weekend. Last friday promised to be a miserable miserable day, filled with paperwork and frustration. It had been a frustrating week before that, trying to work out stuff with the car. I needed to have the car in hand and own it by this past tuesday morning. The reason for that is this weekend I am going to Mt. Fuji and the car inspection (shaken) is due the following monday, when we have the English speech competition. But this week I had Tuesday and Wednesday off due to Culure festival (bunkasai) and Sports Day (undokai) being on the preceeding saturday and sunday. But I couldn't get the car before that Saturday because the person I was getting it had the bunkasai and undokai at her school that week, and a lot of running around to do that following friday.

So I sorted out that all i needed was a piece of paper, the Proof of Automobile Inspection (jidoSHA KENsa shomeiSHO, or "shaken sho") which it is unfortunately illegal to drive without. However a week ago Tuesday we worked it out that she could just drive with a photocopy of it, and if for any reason the cops pulled her over, she could just say that it was being processed. But neither of us had any way to meet up with the other (she lives an hour and a half by car from me, in Naruto) as she was super busy, and I had no car. What we did was this: she gave the shakensho to Brian, the ALT who works at Naruto High School. Brian gave the shakenshomei to his wife, Christine, who works at Tokushima Kita Super English High School, which is within walking distance of the place I needed to process the forms at.

On that friday, she had window between 11:30ish and 1:30ish in which I could drop by and pick it up from her.
So stress mostly resolved.

On friday my task was nonetheless not quite simple. I had filed for the proof of parking space in Komatsushima city, an hour bus ride away, and had to get that first. The bus ride was fun because a bunch of my former students were on it going to high schools, and we chatted. Got the parking space proof. Then I had a five minute window to run back and catch the next bus to get into the city to go to the dealership which still technically owned the car to get paperwork and sort out insurance. Missed the bus, was delayed 40 minutes. Feelings of frustration ensued, but were pushed away using my ipod. Handy. Got to the dealership by like 10, having checked train times on the way. Got the paperwork for the car right away, insurance took nearly two hours. But I made it to the school just as their lunch break was starting at 12:50. Nice. Chatted with some students, and it made my day. There are some really cool students there, one of whom was a former one of mine. ^__^

The office stuff itself wasn't so bad. They were very helpful. The proof of parking space had cost ¥2500, but the changing the name on the shakenshomeisho (which makes the car mine) only cost me like ¥550 and an hour or two's time.

I had all the time in the world to kill (well, from 3 until 6pm) before I had to catch my bus, so I met up with my friend Derek who was in the middle of a move to Wakayama (right near Osaka where his girlfriend lives) and he told me that he had written a proposal song. Cool. Little did I know that meant he would be proposing to her a mere two days later! She said Yes! Congrats Derek and Emi! Anyway, we went to Big Bros sandwich shop and had a good time chilling out and chatting. Then as we were waiting for my bus, ANOTHER former student showed up, too. And then all the same kids were on the same bus again! It was a fun ride back. It felt kinda like a good start to my last year here.

Inevitably, chatting to students makes my day.

The next day was our Culture festival, and I have written about what those are like before. Plays in the morning, class plays, club performances, etc. The highlight of the morning was the third years doing a traditional lively dance called a souranbushi. It was super cool. More former students came to the school to enjoy the festivities etc. Midday was food shops and game stalls around the school. Late afternoon was songs and gameshow style events. I was a sihouette in the "who's that silhouette" style of game, but my hair made me a dead giveaway. Boo. Ah well.

Sunday was the undokai (sports day) and we went to the elementary again for that. It was easily the best weather we have had for it in the three autumns I have been here, and I tanned really dark that day, for the first time all summer (only a little burnt on my nose). The third years performed their "kamikatsu soran" again and it was equally cool. One student, the frontsman, Kouhei Uehara, established himself as the coolest kid in school with his performance. In the team cheers stage after lunch, the white team came out all in skirts. That means that at least half the boys in the school were wearing skirts. It was really funny.

Incidentally, white team took the trophy at the end of the day, but it was oh so close this year. The teams were neck-and-neck right up to the end.

Monday I came to school briefly to get the next half of the Harry Potter book, read some, and then took the bus into town to crash at my friend Dan Trenowden's place, as he lives really close to the dealership where the car would be awating me the next morning.

Tuesday, I got the car bright and early at 8:30am and drove to the Unyu Jimusho again, this time to get the shaken renewed. This is something I knew could take up to two full days. However, three hours, a little bit of confusion, and ¥65,000 later it was done. It was made easy by the fact that the previous driver was docile and took really good care of it, and it needed absolutely no adjustments, nor replacements, nor repairs, nor anything that could have made me go to a garage. So I was done in time to go find some lunch, a full body mirror, and make my way to tokushima kita high school again, this time to enjoy lunch with some of the students. Nice. Swung up to chat with Christine on my way out, stopped by Dan's place once more to pick up the Nintendo64 he was giving me, and as I was there I bumped into Dave CC, who kindly lent me the sixth harry potter book. On the last leg home I also found the Zelda: Ocarina of Time game for only ¥880, a game which I have never played.

Yesterday I actually cleaned my apartment up and so forth, played some n64, read harry potter in japanese.
Today I had only one spare, and I had to prep for my conversation class this evening. Tonight I teach, pack, sleep, and wake at like 5:30 to leave at 6 am to get to Brian and Christine's to go to Fuji with them and two others: Jenna and Julie.

Oh and I only have like 360 pages left in the harry potter #5 book! That means like 18 hours of reading, I figure. Who knows, I could be done when we get back from Fuji!

And now I have a car again!


At 2:01 a.m. PDT, Blogger Tom said...

My lands! Here I thought all the complexity would be in dealing with the nokyo (sp?) and the shaken itself. You've had quite a week it seems.

Dude, I am SUPER PUMPED you got a '64. I'm so jealous, you get to play Zelda 64 for the first time! :O

If you find a copy of Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, promise me you'll buy it, okay? Banjo-Kazooie is also good, though I suppose the British humour might be lost, y'know, in Japanese...

Still... I think I remember reading that they worked hard on making Japanese puns for the translation. My brain may be formulating that, though. I know you can find it, though! I remember seeing it more than once.


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