Tonight is probably the first moment where I felt utter defeat from being in Japan that made me want to say, “I hate Japan!”.
I was having fun riding my mama chari down a slope, when I hopped a small curb, and then felt my rear wheel go flat. Boo. No worries, just get a new tube and replace it, right? WRONG!
The rear wheel on mama chari bikes are a freaking pain to remove. You’ve got a stand, a rack, and mudguards to take apart, if you can. And then you have a stupid chain guard that doesn’t even come off. Plus the rear wheel is attached to some brake system. Taking the wheel off the chain was a bitch, and now that I’ve got the tube replaced, I still can’t figure out how to put the chain back on the rear wheel. I was able to do it once and popped the wheel back onto the frame, then realized I was missing a piece before putting it on the frame… So off it went again. And now I can’t put it back on.
I was going to get help on Sunday with a friend, but I wanted to figure it out on my own. I feel shitty asking him to help me put my mess back together, so I’m going to find a bike repair shop, and take my mess to them to fix. I’m hoping I didn’t break or lose anything important.
So basically, a freaking bike made me feel defeat. And because of this stupid to fix bike, I had to borrow a friend’s bike, which is a bit tall for me, and it brings back bad memories of my bike accident in Japan that tore my ACL. Anyway, tonight, I was heading down a street, and saw a car coming from a driveway. I slowed down, thinking it would head into the street quickly, but when it stopped, I sped up, thinking that it saw me. But then it started to inch out and turn. I reacted with a quick U-y, and turned around. The middle-aged woman inside called out to me, “もしも〜し。もしも〜し。” I didn’t want much trouble, and assumed she might be asking if anything was wrong, and said, “大丈夫で〜す。(I’m all right.)” Wrong answer. She replied with, “大丈夫じゃないでしょう！(It’s not all right!)” I responded with a “は〜い。(Okaa~y)” rather than “すみません！” I realize how rude that must have sounded now, so I’m feeling pretty bad, and defensive at the same time.
*sigh* At least Halloween at school was a hit. I went with my coworker to give out stickers to the junior high students, and candy to the high school students. A few track and field kids thought they would trick me by yelling “Track and field!” instead of “Trick or treat!” I couldn’t hear them well, so I was ready to give them candy, but they insisted that they said “track and field”. Such honest kids! One of these kids had no confidence in her English, and stood quietly in the back. Because of her super short hair and how much like a boy she looks, I couldn’t help but really try to get her to warm up to me. I learned her name through the school “yearbook” and use it to get her attention. Kids here are so surprised when you know their name. It’s like they can’t hide from you anymore. The first years already had their share of chocolate, so this was their second chance to get candy, especially for those who didn’t get a perfect score on their assignments. I hope the ones that didn’t get chocolate try to come up and get their treat.
I wandered to the third year students area and they swarmed like crazy. I love that they’re okay with me enough to come up and say “Trick or Treat”. I only see 16 of the 200 or so seniors regularly, so it was nice to interact with them a bit.
Tomorrow, I’ll be giving out the rest of my candy to the 2nd years, who’ve just come back from their school trip in Kyoto and Hiroshima. Hope I have enough for everyone who wants to try some American candy.