Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Environmentalists please listen up

This is James Corbett of Kobe Japan, here is a plea which we found interesting, please listen up...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Was that an earthquake? No, just a pair of drunks slamming into my house

At about 5:30 we were awoken by a loud thud and a droning car horn. Sure enough Jackie's prediction came true, that our strange driveway, which enters directly on to a main street, was inviting a car accident. We ran out to find two bewildered 20-somethings stumbling around amazed that they were not hurt. Their car ran straight from the street then between our front tree and our parked car slamming into the retaining wall. Both of them were piss drunk with bleary eyes, stumbling just fresh from a night of partying in nearby Osaka. Luckily I didn't park my car in the other spot as I would have awoke to an accordion for a car. I called my manager and tried to stall the two out until police arrived as they were planning on escaping with a tow-job and general cover-up. I mean I am not the type quickly react with police intervention but we were not up to explaining the broken wall to our boss without the culprits there.
When the police arrived along with the tow a massive scene ensued, a total of seven police cars and vans came up asking us all for descriptions of what happened, taking photos and breathalizing the two drunkards. The police told me that our man blew a 0.16, which is far above the 0 allowable limit here in Japan. This incident will remove his licence (yes that is Canadian spelling) fine him with all damages, raised insurance premiums and a steep $11,265 fine and the passenger will recieve a $5,800 fine. Lesson here: NEVER DRINK ANYTHING AND DRIVE IN JAPAN, or park your car directly facing oncomming traffic. Now if only Jackie could make some predictions to the effect of finding money buried somewhere.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Slug Hunter

Lately there has been a massive invasion of trail-driving plant munching slugs terrorizing my garden. They are everywhere, leaving holes and scratches along with snotty trails all over the garden. I have tried beer traps, coffee grounds and even resorted to the controversial methaldehyde toxin bait, all to little effect. So now I have upped the ante and gone ahead embarrassing myself to my neighbours simply to keep my garden safe; I have become a nightly slug hunter. Tracking their slime trails to the source every night and tossing them into a vat of beer and salt. How do I do this? Well, I reccomend using a pair of chopsticks and a headlamp as it keeps your fingers clean, both hands free and the neighbours thinking we are freakier every day. It is all worth it as the holes on leaves are decreasing and my chopstick skills are getting sharper with every slippery little monster I haul out of there. Tonight's hunt sunk 112 slugs to the bottom of their hoppy grave.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Driver's young and old Japan says: "Identify Yourselves"

Have you ever driven behind an elderly or new driver and wondered what was going on? Have you ever been elderly driver and wished that people would respect your slow speed and stop passing you with the bird raised in your direction? Yes, here in Japan, a very aging country, all old drivers (70 and over) must put an "autumn leaf" emblem on their car (front and back) to warn all around that this person might do erratic or slow things. And if you are a beginner you must be identified with an "opening bud" emblem to warn all of your inexperienced status. The system is rather comical as you drive along and get frustrated with grandpa and his rice fertilizer along a one way road. Before anger tempts you to honk, your eyes lower to the autumn leaf emblem and you are reassured that they "already know". I was driving into a parking lot just last week when a woman slowly turned into the entrance with the wrong direction signal and then stopped in the entrance for a good 25 seconds, peering her head out of the window with a lost look. Again, before I grew impatient and honked my eyes dropped to see a fresh opening bud, a new driver, poor lost little thing.

I have a few concerns about targeting the elderly and forcing them to identify themselves, but I never get angry when an autumn leaf does the wrong thing or drives along at 20km. While it might be embarrassing to show up at a date with an older girl with an opening bud, you might be spared the bird being flipped your direction and almost run off an overpass for choosing the wrong lane. At least they do not make us put a "foreigner" sticker on our car, now that would be downright obscene, what would they make the leaf shaped like?