07 January 2006

Killing the car

They finally killed my car, or rather, some careless individual who rear-ended me at a stop sign on Thursday. Although this might be easily explained by the six inches of ice and snow on the roads, this particular accident was one hundred percent careless individual not paying attention. He said his brakes cut out. Whatever.

After the accident I had two immediate thoughts: First, this is going to be a pain in the ass to do in Japanese and second, I'm probably going to get a shitload of money. Neither turned out to be exactly true. Explaining that you have been rear-ended is a little difficult, especially on the phone with your insurance agent who kept asking me, "Where are you?" and I kept saying, "No, you don't understand, it was earlier today."

The cops were polite, but they should have ticketed the careless individual responsible as his lame-ass excuse was obviously wrong. But it was icy so they just assumed that was the problem. I went to the hospital and my car's getting fixed. I'm going to get about $200 cash for my car as they have to fix it with used parts. I have to file my doctor's report with the cops and may get some compensation for my trouble. I had a good time practicing my Japanese and was pleased that I could do about 50% of it by myself. I probably could have done another 40% of it myself, but it was just easier to ask Yoko and my friend Kouhei.

There are six inches of ice on the road. This is not an exaggeration. The Japanese don't believe in plowing the snow because everyone has snow tires. This is fine up to a point, but when we've gotten like 200 cm in the last couple of days, it's like, this is not a good way to run a transportation system.

I shouldn't complain. There are places up in the mountains that have gotten 3.5 METERS of snow. People climb up the snow banks unto their roofs and shovel because the weight of the snow is causing buildings to collapse. I was watching a report yesterday of some folks who had died when their roof collapsed, but they were like 96 and 88 years old. That's gotta suck to make it that far just to get killed by a shit-load of snow.

There are lightning storms with the snow sometimes.

I'm down six pounds in about eleven days. The combination of dropping my calorie intake by about 300 calories a day and increasing my cardio-exercise by about 25 minutes a day did the trick. I no longer have a gut, but this sort of silly ring of fat right at my waist.

My plans to travel to Paris have been cancelled in favor of going to Rome for three weeks. Also, it looks like Yoko will be joining me for seven of those days.

Murakami's Kafka book was fabulous. Apparently the door to the spiritual world is deep in forests of Kochi Prefecture, where Yoko is from. It's guarded by two WWII-era soldiers that deserted the Japanese army during the war.

Lastly, something I hate. When someone says to me, You should totally read this poem I wrote, and then the poem turns out to suck. Like,

This year was a happy year,
and I don't think there will be a tear
for you and me to see on the cheek
or on the farthest mountain peak.

What do you say? Yeah, man, that's, you know, really good. I've stopped complimenting stuff I don't like. I just say, Thanks. That's all. Thanks.