Saturday, February 25, 2006

Muroran News Updates


(dee da dee deet da dee da dee deet da dee da dee deet...)


The students made it back safely from Hidaka on Friday afternoon. Everybody looked pretty tired, but they said they had a good time. Jack, the other English teacher, went along on the trip (basically saying the heck with the weird vibes from all the other teachers...very cool), and he said he had a great time and had no idea what the heck the other teachers were yapping about. Sure, there was work, he said, but it was a lot of fun. He got to know teachers and students better and got a better idea of how things worked at Starfish High. The slopes were great, the skiing was great (this is from a snowboarder), the whole trip was great. Three days of fun.

I, on the other hand, did some paperwork and watched "Glory", "Kingdom of Heaven", and "Snatch". Yippee.

Wasabi-kun Rides Again

Sort of. I started him up the other day and the engine worked. I drove him to school on Friday so a car dealer could come and take a look at him. Ya know, to see if I could get any money for him. The verdict? Nope. 13 years and 160,000 kilometers pretty much kills your market value for a Mitsubishi Minicar.

Signs of Spring

It has been gradually warming up here, and you're seeing less white on the roads and more black. As in actually being able to see the road again. There's a thick layer of ice that has survived and, I suspect, bred underneath the snow cover. With the weather warming up, people are breaking out the pickaxes. That's right, pickaxes. Walking to and from school everyday, I see people hacking away at the ice cover on the road. I actually wish we had a pickaxe at my apartment building. I want to take one to the ice sheet we have in front of the stairs up to the apartment. That is just treacherous!

Love Life

Oh, wait, that's a typo from the news department. Toss this item out!

This just in...


I sprung for a new car today. Not used, brand new. I bought a Mitsubishi EK Wagon.

I threw every single condition of my car purchase out the window and just went for it.

Well, maybe not every one. Let's take another look at the original conditions.

  1. Four doors
  2. Four-wheel drive
  3. A "light" car (yellow license plate) - insurance, car inspections, highway tolls are ALL cheaper than regular (white license plate) cars
  4. Something bigger than Wasabi-kun, so that I can take my friends/parents around in my car when they come to visit
  5. After all the little things total up, it should be under five thousand dollars (I don't want to take out a big loan.)
    aaaaaahhhhh, therein lies the rub
  6. Made within the last seven or eight years
  7. Check.

Four doors, four-wheel drive, a "light" car with way more space than Wasabi-kun, and made this year. Plus, I can lay the seats down so that I can stretch out when I sleep in the car. And it has a CD player. Hey, maybe it can team up with my new cell phone and clean my room!

The LOAN, though. The one big difference. The LOAN.

The car will cost me 1,150,000 yen. That's about $11,500. The loan works out to two hundred thousand yen down, then twenty-seven thousand yen a month for three years. Translated into dollars, it comes out to roughly two thousand down, two hundred seventy dollars a month for three years.

Crap. Now I'm stuck here for three years. At least.

Mitsubishi had a (fiscal) year-end sale and wanted to clear out a couple of old models. The big difference? No rear light above the trunk. No big deal. So there's all the stuff above, plus both winter and summer tires, PLUS a rust prevention coat on the bottom of the car, PLUS floor mats, PLUS winter windshield wipers, PLUS an automatic toll road card setup, PLUS a five-year warranty, PLUS a free tire rotation when spring comes, PLUS a coin tray instead of an ashtray, PLUS a ten-kilogram bag of rice, PLUS a CD of my choice.

Rice and a CD? Hey, they know how to get me to buy a car.

Actually, I must give credit where credit is due. Hiroshi Numero Uno took me out car shopping today. He actually bargained for most of the "PLUS" stuff you see on that list.

At least I will be with wheels once again and will be able to go swimming. No way I'm walking to the pool in Horobetsu. I'd get enough exercise just walking out there.

The reaction from the teachers at Starfish High should be...interesting, to say the least.



Blogger Havok said...

Besides, there are no Dodge Shadows to be found in this country...unfortunately. Otherwise, I would have titled this, "The Grey Ghost Rides Again".

Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:13:00 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

A 10 pound bag of rice? How long does that last a person, a year or so? Damn!

Sunday, February 26, 2006 6:26:00 AM  

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