Hamster Smell/Screw for Lamp/St. Patrick’s Day Racist Pigmy Bike Ride/Mackerel in Urayasu

First of all I must say that my apartment smells like hamster although I don’t have any.  I should address that soon.  It’s good to get that out in a public place.

Next, I bought a lamp today, and the sales man told me that there was one screw I needed to screw in. Then he looked at me and told  me I should just call if I needed help.  Right.  I’m picturing that call, to Franc Franc, the name of the store, and it’s not pretty.  Maybe he just offered because he hates his co-workers and wanted to share how dense all the customers were out on the floor today. He’ll probably tell a friend tonight, “Like, she was literally a foreigner who did not know how to use a screw, so I gave her the number for support. Good luck with that call, suckers. Serves them right.”

Also, today I rode a little bike I liberated from from near the trash cans outside my apartment to the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  It was over when I got there, because that kind of stuff is happening a lot to me lately, absolutely no idea why, but at the parade area a foreign guy did wink at me, long time no see winking, and I had a good,  solid racist thought while in the area.  Stay with me for a moment: The bike has no lock, that’s how I liberated it in the first place.  It’s been outside the apartment for two months and no one has ever moved it, so in my mind it follows that it was a foreigner’s bike who just didn’t get rid of it when they jumped ship. It seems like a shame to let a bike waste away, so I’ve been riding it around.  It hardly counts as theft in my mind because the wheels are so small it hardly counts as a bike.  Is it really a crime to steal a bike that hardly moves faster than a pedestrian? Honestly. It’s so small it’s like a pigmy bike. So today I parked it at the St. Patrick’s Day parade aftermath area, so I could go get a six dollar cappuccino, which I totally deserve and makes sense when I’m on a fixed income, but as I was preparing to leave it by its self, I had a sudden fear about how the Irish hooligans might nab my pigmy bike because it has no lock.  And you know how those people are.  But you know I’m kind of Irish, and I stole that bike in the first place, so am I a self-hating Irish? They looked all Jolly dressed in green, but Jolliness is where it starts.  Jolliness is unpredictable. Jolliness can end in a cold hard crime: theft of a pigmy bike.

Now I have not written for a while, so let me catch you up, dear reader or readers. I believe I mentioned travel plans to Urayasu, Chiba (home of Disneyland and post-earthquake sink holes) last month.  And I did make the journey out there, where I was given a smart phone and the task of using an application to pick one cultural hot spot and one eatery, go to them, and then report back on my experience. I picked a really far away cultural spot and eatery, so I ended up kind of getting paid to go on a run and eat some Mackerel that was cheaper than the 1,000 yen per diam I was allowed.  You see, attentive reader, it was not a boxed lunch they provided as I had assumed earlier, it was cash, and I find nothing as delicious as pocketing some per diam. But the best part was that afterwards we spent a couple of hours filling out paperwork about our impressions of this area that is mostly just apartment buildings and 7-11’s and car dealerships. But all the questions were heavily weighted toward the assumption that we would come back to Urayasu for tourism some day. The other white person in the survey, a Canadian, and I kept replying to the questions the translator was reading with more questions like, but why would I be back here? explain the circumstances, am I being paid again? And then the translator was put in the difficult position of having to rephrase the questions in a way to get us to say something that she could write down.  It was a hard job for her, and we spent the time where she was making our answers more polite or helpful for the tourism board, talking about the pros and cons of unlocking an I-phone.

My friend says that if you unlock your phone you can use an app that will find all the profiles on face-book of the people near you, and she envisions this being really helpful at a dance club. I’ll go ahead and mention here that she is a wearer of wigs out in public. I don’t spend that much time at clubs, and I contend that spying seems like a lot of work in a place where you are just supposed to relax and gyrate with strangers. But that’s off the subject.

I kept telling the translator that I think most foreigners would be more interested in a tour of the sink holes than the folk fishing museum, and that cheap mackerel place, but then it occurred to me that maybe people died in the sink holes, so I asked the translator and she kind of flinched and said she didn’t know, she thought maybe some old people? From fright? So we thought a tour of those might be in bad taste, and then we got back to trying to answer the questions in a way appropriate to the way they had been asked.  I guess there are a lot of conventions in Urayasu, and the Tourism board is considering expanding WiFi access over the hole city.  I didn’t feel qualified to answer about what they should do one way or another.  So I said, “Sure, expand it–unless–is it a lot of money? Then maybe it’s a waste.”  So I hope the translator changed my answers to make them make sense.  The mackerel was pretty good, and so cheap.  I told her that, and I hope she wrote it down.

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