Monday, July 23, 2007

Going back home.

I returned to Scotland a few days ago and found it was still where I left it. Nothing had changed at all and the local people were still doing what they do best: being cheery in dreadful situations and conditions. I'd forgotten how poor some areas in Scotland are until I cam back and had to drive through them. I makes me appreciate the amazing opportunities I have living in Osaka.

Anyway, back to my little adventure. I'd just arrived at Heathrow with the lovely Sabs Batool (my partner in crime on this flight), when I met my parents waiting for me and the gate entrance. They'd been waiting for 3 hours and told me they were going to drive me back up to Glasgow. Eight hours in my dad's Mercedes going at warp 10 back up north. Rock on. What's a further 8 hours on top of a 14 hour flight...

After two days of weird sleeping patterns I decided to go hiking in the local hills. The weather was fair and the path was an easy 6 hour walk through gorgeous countryside. Needless to say, I took loads of pictures. Please enjoy these as I'm going to Edinburgh (Dun Eideann) and Falkirk tomorrow to take some more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What is it with me and bus drivers?

So today was going sooooo well. I finished my week at my new job and am feeling pretty good about it. I was taking the trek home when it happened. First I walked to the kintetsu station. Then I grabbed a train there and get off at Midoribashi to catch a bus from there. Unfortunately, the bus only goes to Imazatou so I had to catch another bus there. So this is when it happened. I forgot to get the little transfer ticket from bus to bus. They are free, so it wasn't a matter of forgetting to pay, or not paying enough or anything like that - I had already paid for the whole trip by the time I'd exited the subway - you can buy your subway to bus transfer there which costs you a whole 100 yen. Once you get on a bus, you can transfer from one to another almost indefinitely without paying any extra as long as you push the little button that gives you a transfer. So when I got off my first bus, I dropped the little slip into the money box - forgetting to get the little transfer ticket in the process. Big mistake. I realised it as I got on the second bus, but by then it was too late. So I decided to do the right thing and explain to the bus driver what had happened. Usually when this sort of thing happens in Osaka (at the bus or train station), they tell you to please be more careful next time or something like that and you apologize and the matter is finished. Except that this guy turned all Hitler on my ass and told me that I had to pay another 200 yen (the price without subway transfer or anything) when I got off. My whole trip is really expensive - 540 one way - so I wasn't going to stick any more money into their little box for a small paperwork error. I got the feeling that perhaps I was just the icing on the top of a very bad day or something for him, as I felt more than a little animosity headed in my direction. Or I could've run across the bus driver who hates foreigners. Really it could have been anything. I told him that perhaps I could speak to his manager? They must have little walkie talkies or something on those buses. Nope. He won't even consider it as 'the manager' will say the same. Well, we will never know if you don't contact him will we? He didn't contact him of course. So, I told him I wasn't going to pay because I had already paid 540 yen for my trip. I felt kinda bad for him cause he was obviously pissed about it, but I wasn't going to pay just to make him feel better. The bad bit is, that it's my regular route and I don't know how the guy doesn't recognize me in the first place. I must have taken his bus before and I'm seriously the only white person for miles who lives in our area AND takes the bus. And I will continue having to take that route to get anywhere really! I just hope he doesn't hold it against me. *sigh*

Friday, July 13, 2007

I have a new job!!

I am now a kinderkids teacher. I am so happy I can't even explain. I turned them down when I took this other job 3 months ago and when I called them yesterday and asked if they would still consider hiring me, they told me to come in for a quick re-interview. SO the next day I hop on the train, walk into the building with my resume in hand, talk to the manager for about 10 minutes and she says, "When can you start?". I start next week on Tuesday. I've only heard good stuff about these guys from people who have been working there short and long periods of time. The pay is good, the vacation time is even better. And I won't be getting the probationary salary due to weirdness of holidays in August. Full salary baby! And lots of cute ass little ankle biters running around everyday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An unfortunate epiphany

I have come to a time in my life where I fully realised that people are not nice. I had, thus far, in my life believed that most people have this little spark in them that tells them what is wrong, what is right, what is fair, and who the good people are, and what the right thing to do is.

This has been blown to little itty bitty pieces this last couple of weeks. I won't go into details, but I will say that I have been screwed. I was used.

I feel like the rose coloured glasses have come off and I don't like what I see. People are greedy and cruel, dishonest and generally untrustworthy. It makes me a little depressed to think that these people are out there and that I have to interact with them. It makes me angry to think that they feel they can do whatever they want and use other people like this.

I am usually the person who says, maybe they're just having a bad day. Maybe they didn't mean it like that. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. I try to go about life with the mantra of: Be nice to others, put out the good vibes and they will come back. Help people when you can. Get help when you need it. Most people are good in their heart of hearts. Work hard and be rewarded. Set goals and you can climb over a mountain to do it. I think in general that I and most other people are nice, helpful, reasonably intelligent and productive persons.

Now, I am NOT the perfect person. Far from it! I'm loud, and usually fail to think of other peoples feelings when I speak. I argue with my husband frequently. I don't recycle (here in Japan). I am easily excitable, and am too honest for my own good sometimes. This is called hoof-in-mouth disease. I can be overly analytical and thus a bit anal retentive. I hate rude people. I mean being rude on purpose to hurt someones feelings etc. I spend too much money on shoes. But I'm a person who can forgive. I may get angry fast, but I cool down just as quickly. I yelled at Richard the other day, I remember being mad, but I couldn't tell you at this point what the hell I was mad about. And people have done things that have hurt me, but I have forgiven them and let them back into my heart because there was lots of room in there for everyone.

That said, this is different. This is a slow burn deep inside my chest. I don't think I've ever felt quite like this before. I wasn't angry at first - I tried to rationalise what had happened and even made excuses for them. I even told myself that I wasn't angry and it was for the best. And then, the glasses fell off. And then, the burn grew. I started to think about how I couldn't believe someone could actually do that. And why! And that they were still doing it to someone else! Then I realised that these people were everywhere!!! Doing it to someone else!!!

I keep wishing I could just put them back on, but now its too late.....

Monday, July 02, 2007

The visit!

Richards sister came and we went nuts. We travelled all over Kansai for about 10 days. Here are some of the best pics.

We went to Kyoto, Shirahama, USJ in Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Nara in 10 days. It was jam packed.