gsj1977"s Profile Page

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An emotional rollercoaster

(Or how to go from hating Japan, to loving it, to loving it even more, all in the space of twenty minutes). Is this why I'm still here years after I said I would leave, because Japan keeps teasing me and playing strange games with my mind? I went to a fairly big chain izakaya for dinner and made the foolish mistake of trying to use my credit card to pay for it - flexible friend my arse. In certain places in Japan a credit card is about as welcome as a priest in a playground, and the local branch of this place is one of those places. After a good fifteen minutes of phonecalls, bowing, more phonecalls, more bowing, and numerous offers of a glass of water, it was decided that my credit card wouldn't work on their system (they're obviously using Spectrum 48k computers). Needless to say, I was not a happy bunny, and as sometimes happens at moments like that I was on the verge of an internal rant about why I hate Japan and why the sooner I get out of here the better, etc etc. I was forgetting one important fact here though - in Japan they trust people. They took a photocopy of my ID card and I went back and paid the bill tonight. No queries, no questions, no being made to feel like some kind of criminal. When we finally got out of the izakaya I remembered that I wanted to buy tickets for Mogwai's show in November. But it's 11pm. On a Tuesday night. In the 'burbs. Surely you have to wait? No, Japanese convenience stores actually live up to their name, and they must have upgraded to the Spectrum 128k, because a few minutes later I had to Mogwai tickets clasped in my sweaty paws, paid for using the very same credit card that flummoxed the other lot. Happy days.