Martin's Japan Pages

Our Man In Japan

05 February 2005

Key, Kei, Kai

hinking that my week couldn't get any more worse, especially after the Good-luck Bad-Luck thing from last night, I went snowboarding at Matsudai. The first run was great, a few falls but I was getting the hang of turning. So I get on the ski lift to my second run, and while I was sat I noticed a pocket was unzipped on my jacket. It was the pocket with my car key in it. And the key had gone. I had a frantic search through all my other pockets until I got off the lift. Nothing. Then I had another search through all my pockets. Still nothing.

So there was only one thing for it; walk down the slope, retrace my first run and sift through snow at the places I fell. Since me and Debs were the only people on the slope it was easy to follow my tracks, but did I find the key? Did I fuk. At the ski lodge I asked if a key has been handed in, but one hadn't. So I had to ring Jam, the garage I rent my car from. Now, I can't speak japanese well enough so I rang Keiko and asked if she could call Jam on my behalf and explain what happened. She rang me back and said that Jam would come to Matsudai with my repaired Carol and they would take the courtesy car back with them. I only had to wait for an hour and a half too.

So Jam turned up, not looking too impressed with me or at having to be called out late on a Friday afternoon. They dropped off the Carol and put the courtesy car on the back of the truck. This was a little difficult because they didn't bring a spare key with them and the steering and front wheels had locked. I have to go see them on Tuesday to see how much all this has cost me. I'm worried that if they don't have a spare key, it's going to cost a fair bit. Might be eating plain rice for a few weeks.

So I get home thinking the best thing I could do now is to stay in and stay out of trouble. But I had the Climbers' Enkai I felt I should go to that. I'm glad I did.

To save worrying about driving, Debs gave me a lift to Kurakura, the venue for the Enkai. There was a big cheer when I turned up and I was given a place at the end of the table. The questions started soon after, all in Japanese and gestures. Where are you from? Where's Hull? How long have you been in Japan? Do you have a girlfriend? What do you think of Japanese girls? etc. Having to speak Japanese and have no-one around to translate was scary, but I had come prepared with my dictionary and also a pen and paper so I could try and draw what I was trying to say. The food was a mix of Japanese food and western meat snacks (such as hotdogs and deep-fried chicken) and it was all really nice. And as it was an enkai, my new friends made sure I always had a beer in my hand. The guys are really cool. One guy works at Par Mark, an outdoor shop in Nagaoka. Another is a carpenter who's building a new onsen in Nakasato village. Another guy had pretty good English. One guy loved all the British music from the eighties and nineties so we spent some time listing the bands we liked. Another guy turned up later on and he runs a company who provides the weather forcast for MSN. So they're a real mix of people.

The night started to wind down around 11.30ish, and by midnight I was in a taxi to Lupin to meet Erik. I don't remember what we talked about, but I'm sure Erik gave me a lift back to mine (Cheers mate!)

I decided to sleep in today and woke at 2pm. Lazy I know, but I needed the sleep. Today's plan is to go to Nagaoka and see the ALT play/panto. I'm taking my board too cos we might go boarding on Sunday. TTFN.


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