Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Running After Cancer and Chemo


Running After Cancer and Chemo

I went running (well, for the most part, walking) in my new Asics running shoes, and I soon forgot that I was wearing them, which I guess is as good a test as any as to whether a pair of running shoes is good or bad.

I took our digital camera with me in case I saw anything interesting, and the first interesting thing I saw was an exercise bike. What was interesting was that to solve a space problem, the owner had decided to keep it outside on the street, just down from the illegally parked motorbike.

At the top of this blog entry is my photo of the exercise bike, parked on the slope leading up to the ridge that I have to climb to descend to my daughter's daycare center:


Any vehicle you see parked by the road is illegally parked because you're supposed to have your own piece of dirty, owned or rented, to park it. In fact, in Japan, you can't police permission to buy an automobile unless you can prove that you do have a parking space for the vehicle you hope to own.

After I started teaching at Waniguchi Gakko, one of the English conversation textbooks I began working with had a lesson about good and bad neighbors. And one of my students surfaced the fact that one of her neighbors is the neighbor from hell.

If you have guests drop by for the evening and they leave their car parked by the side of the road, then this neighbor will call the cops. Japan is a country where, if you call the police, they come, now, and none of this "Oh, well, if nobody's been killed, we're not interested business."

Summoned by the neighbor from hell, the cops will reliably show up and tow the car, and the guest who made the mistake of parking by the roadside will have to pay a substantial amount of money to get it back.

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