Lauren In Tokyo

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Car going in for repairs

After 3 years of driving our Impreza, it is going into the garage for some badly needed body work.

We are looking at replacing the back bumper, repainting the front bumper, and repairing the rear fender and door. It's said that Japanese streets are narrow, but you never really get a good hint of that until you consider how much body damage a car takes in just three short years. In the 5 years I owned my Mazda Protege in Seattle, I only had one scratch and that was because I merged into someone sitting in my blindspot up near the Bellevue bus depot.

The front bumper looks terrible, but it is not really that worse for wear. The paint is mostly scratched off and there is some plastic peeling off where the corner was scraped against a wall. This damage will be repaired and repainted. Cheap as we are, we decided to go with repair rather than replacement to save about 300 dollars.

The back bumper is generally a mess. There's the scrapes on the passenger side where I drove the car too close to a wall. There's the bumper damage where my wife backed into a hard rubber bumper on a wall at the Post Office. There's a bunch of dings and scratches from other things that just happened (no explanation!). But the biggest scratch happened just recently and actually starts from the fender.

The fender and part of the door on the driver's side is dented in and scraped badly. My wife was putting the car into a very tight parking space and just as she had put it in, she noticed a much wider space opening up just across the lot. Pulling out, she turned the wheel too far and ran the back door right against the metal pole dividing the spaces. The scratches pushed in the metal and scraped off the paint, so repair is mandatory. I can live with a scratched bumper, but rusting metal is going to be trouble.

So we're not driving anywhere this week. And we'll be out a big chunk of change. But our car will return nice and new, and ready for us to drive it into walls again.

Dog in a bag Part II

A couple weeks ago I wrote about seeing a man putting a Shetland Sheepdog in a suitcase in the middle of Shibuya station.

Well, today I saw something similar. A girl was walking out of the Inokashira station with a small satchel that was squirming. Obviously she was carrying a small dog. Perhaps a chihuahua or a papillon or maybe even a puppy miniature dachshund. Whatever the case, it was inside the bag, trying to get out.

I'll never understand why people need to take their dogs on the train like that. It doesn't seem good for the dog, and a taxi wouldn't be terribly expensive if taking the dog is a necessity.

It's also a little worrisome that I don't even flinch when I see this sort of thing anymore.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mike Ulloa

Every Saturday morning at 9:30, TBS airs 知っとこ, a variety show about travel and leisure. They always have a "新婚" (newlywed) segment filmed in some foreign locale featuring a faceless bride preparing a delicious breakfast for her still-snoozing hubby.

This week, someone I know was featured! Mike Ulloa, now a professional fighter and television host, is also an old classmate from GCC. A few pounds (of muscle) heavier, and wed to a beautiful bride, Mike looks to be doing pretty well for himself. Not to mention being broadcast across Japan eating Tabasco Spam Salad!

Good luck with your fighting career, Mike!