Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's autumn

This winter, I'm not going to do what I did last winter. This winter, I'm going to use all of the energy I need; I want to stay warm. I don't know how well it will work out though. I felt like I was going to the gas station all the time to get kerosene for my heater last year anyways. I would sleep under layers and layers with a hat on to keep warm and my face exposed to the air would still be cold. Japanese houses are built to withstand earthquakes (which is good, because we've had one since I've been sitting in my chair), but I also feel there must be a myriad of other, better, reasons for their poor insulation. You would think they would have figured it out.

Thankfully it's not that cold yet. Last year by this time it was already snowing. We've only had one or two snow days so far.

I ran out of contacts today. Which meant I had to go to the contact lens store and buy some new ones. Which reminds me of the conversation I had with the eye doctor the first time I saw him.

It was very long and drawn out. I went in to order contacts, and brought in the box, but they sent me next door to get my eyes double checked. While in there, the doctor found something he didn't like, and said that I had been wearing my contacts in for too long every day. Apparently you're only supposed to wear them for 8 hours a day. Yeah, right. But his way of telling me went something like this:
You're only supposed to wear your contacts in for 8 hours a day, and you wear yours in for much longer than that, so your eyes are dry, so please don't wear your contacts for a week and come back and see me so they can heal, because I want to make sure they heal because they're injured, and they're injured because you wear your contacts in for too long every day, and you're supposed to wear them for 8 hours a day, so don't wear them for a week because your eyes are injured, and they're injured because.........
I swear this went on for five minutes. It was crazy. And he was all intense about it the whole time too. Like, what the hell were you thinking you silly girl. And the whole time, I was telling him, Ok, I got it, Ok, yes, too long, yes wait a week, yes I'll come back in a week, Ok, thank you. And finally it ended.

The first time that actually happened to me though was with my cleaning lady. I dropped my clothes off that I wanted to wear when I was going to Korea, and she said they wouldn't be ready in time. I was very sad, plus annoyed that it would take the 4 days or something that she said. So I asked her if she could rush them, and left her my number so she could call me. Well, Thursdays are a holiday, and my flight was on a Friday, so after going by the dry cleaning place and seeing it was closed on Thursday (psh, thanks for letting me know) I was in the airport on the Friday (when the clothes were supposed to be ready anyways) in the little hallway that leads to the plane and about to step into it when my phone rang:
Yes, turns out we couldn't rush your clothes, so they're ready today which is the regular day, not the rush day, and so you can come pick them up now for your trip, because they're ready today, so I'm calling you to let you know they're ready......

I know! Thanks for letting me know after the fact! Real helpful. And the entire time I was saying, yes, I know, yes, I got that, I really have to go, I'll come next week, ok, this is a bad time right now, ok, I gathered that you couldn't rush them since I don't have them now y'know, you see, I'm trying to get on a plane now, yes, ok, yes, I'll come later, yes, thank you, yes, please let me go the flight attendants are trying to close the cockpit door!

I found a new dry cleaners, one that only takes one day.

And the most recent one was at the bike shop. My tire had flattened suddenly so I went to repair it, but the guy that looked at it said that he couldn't find the hole:
Yes, I can't find the hole, so just fill it up with air again and ride it for a bit and the hole will get bigger and we'll be able to find it and fix it then because we can't find it now because the hole must be too small so we need it to be bigger so ride on it for a few days after you fill it with air right now and then if you do that we can find the hole because we need the hole to be bigger to fix it because right now it's too small to fix.....

When this was happening, I was used to it, I just let him talk for a while (I'd say this one went on for a few minutes too), told him fifty times I got what he was saying, and after a while just grabbed my bike and started to back away and he stopped talking and helped me fill up the tire.

Good lord.

I don't know exactly why this happens. Maybe they just really want to make sure I get it. But I tell them I get it. It's weird.

Of course at the contact lens store, I've also had this happen:
So these are our choices of contact lenses, as you can see they vary in range, and if you select this plan this would be the amount you would pay, and if you would be so kind as to please fill out this form before we progress with the sale...
which is the opposite. Instead of thinking I'm an idiot they sometimes think I'm fluent in Japanese and go on in their super polite convoluted grammar speak very very quickly and their I'm-so-tired-of-saying-this-speech-again really fast robot voice. Then I blink at them when I have no idea what they said, and they stare at me waiting for an answer, so I ask them, "I'm sorry, I'm still learning Japanese. Could you please say that again?" And instead of using slow, simple, sentences, ("These contacts are this much, please write your name") they just do the whole thing again from the top, this time obviously flustered. I'm upset the rhythm of the sale, now they're out of the zone, what to do what to do!

Today when I bought more contacts I didn't even listen to what they were saying and acted only on physical cues. I have a paper in my hand now? I'll write on it! Here we go! They're pointing at a price chart? Just say Yes! They also gave me a free pair.

On a completely different note, there's something I would like to share with you, and that is Japan's wonderful be-polite-to-your-neighbors public service announcements.

The first one is for the Tokyo subway line. This one is my favorite:

Here's the whole lineup.

Another one is the smoking manners.

Awesome. I couldn't find the official site for that series, but here's another website with them.

And more pictures.

From when the sun started to go down early in October.

A menu from the bar I went to on Friday. Option D is Russian Takoyaki, which are fried octopus balls, but in one of them instead of octopus they put wasabi. Option G (Pa__chira) is free, and it's the waiter showing you a peek at his undies. I had no idea what this was and was dared to order it.

A collection of homework and quizzes from the last couple of months.

"My brother doesn't studies meth."

I think this kid meant math, but I wrote a note telling him what the translation was.

And this kid always has funny illustrations. He's fat and always smiling but never takes notes.


And walking to work on Tuesday. It was foggy.

I had to snap this picture on the sly because I didn't want to be seen as a creep taking pictures of high school girls, but I thought this girls legs were sooooo skinny. Also, every camera phone in Japan in equipped with a shutter sound you can't turn off for security reasons.

Yay pretty rainbow!


Kimberlina!! said...

I mean cabin door, not cockpit.

Rob Pugh said...

If you want to avoid inane opthomologists [of any nationality] both 1800Contacts and service Japan. I've been getting my contacts from the latter while on JET. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Kimbo, it was so great talking to you over Thanksgiving!! You looked great too, not that that is important :) Keep all the information coming.
can't wait until Dec. 24th when you come home.