Teaching In Socks

Upon arrival
August 4, 2008, 4:36 am
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So it only took me a whole week in Japan to find myself connected to the internet. I suppose I greatly misjudged the availability of cheap computer monitors in small Japanese coastal towns. I had to procure the current monitor from a lovely little thrift shop know as “Recycle”. Coincidently, this is also where the nearest “internet cafe” is. I put “internet cafe” in quotes because it looks as though they may have one internet computer amidst a trove of comics and pachinko machines; apparently, gambling and fantasy make more money than the internet these days.

Anyway, “Recycle” is quite a distance away from my apartment–almost as far as you can get in a small coastal town. Thus, it required a bike ride get there. Since bike riding is clearly the first step to socialism, I have avoided it at all costs. However, after grocery shopping yesterday, I found myself holding a multitude of bags, and was looking  at a very unpleasant walk home. I may have told many people back home that the weather here would be a bit like San Diego;  in the 70’s, cool breezes, scenic views … of that declaration, only the scenic views part was accurate. The weather can be best described Death Valley mixed with New Orleans in mid-July. Eeven your sweat gets hot.

So yesterday, like all days, was a bit of a scorcher.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, my grocery store, JusCo, also happens to be a department store. The store pedals linens, bedding, electronics, a McDonalds, KFC, and oh yeah, bikes. So I wandered over to the proper department and picked out the first blue racer I could find for around 10,000 Yen ($100) and bought it straight off the rack. At this point I’m still not sure if it is a men’s bike or women’s, but it’s blue and doesn’t say “Lady” anywhere on it so I think I’m in the clear.

The new bike, which has yet to be named (I’m thinking of calling it “The Chairman”) has already made my life better on two occasions. I’m also thinking  the government back home really doesn’t regulate enough of our lives, there’s a lot of potential there if we only gave them more of our income… I kid. Also note: I do still plan to be mean to cyclist back home who use the road and act like cars. How can I take these people seriously when they are are wearing silly bright shirst, clunkly sci-fi helmets and making preposterous, meaningless hand gestures?

I have more to add, but for now I need to go set up a Post Office account (which is actually a bank account) and secure my first crazy Japanese cell phone (I’m thinking I-phone).

Weather today: Sunny, High of 30….Celsius.