William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

80. Rentals, Air Conditioning, and other clap

Okay, the van’s booked! It’s an eight-seater Nissan, probably a Serena. It’s a little bit pricey, at nearly $500 for the three days, but split seven ways that’s only about $70, so that’s not too bad, and it’s still much cheaper and more convenient than it would be for all of us to take the train, for instance. Of course there’re also gas and expressway tolls, but even if that doubles the price (and it won’t come close to doing so), we’re still okay. F. and K. are bringing tents and they can also sniff out cheap pitches and cabins from thirty leagues away.

The rental reservation process itself was amusing – the friendly but understandably apprehensive folks at the rental shop didn’t speak a word of English except ‘drive’ and maybe ‘please’ – there was one brighter-than-average woman there who could understand my broken Japanese and gestures, and she “translated” for the others. I’ll be picking up the van at 11am on Saturday morning.

Today was payday. There were no new bills, so that meant my savings goal for the month had been immaculately achieved. Whee!

Actually, the funny thing is, most people do their best work when they’re working for others or some other larger cause. Working 100% for my own gain feels kind of corrosive, which is why I try to avoid taking that stance non-facetiously. I’m being aggressive now and getting my penny-pinching miserly licks in while I can at least partly so that I’ll be better able to help / entertain / educate others later. Going to the grave with a terrific portfolio and no legacy is kind of pointless (although some people have established the latter from the former).

OK, OK, some may rightly exclaim, “Hey, who does this guy think he is? Heck, I’m not even being entertained – where’s my scroll wheel?” But I do know one thing – you need capital to get anywhere.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m being small now so I can be big (or medium-sized) later. It’s a pain in the butt, but it really has to be done.

* * *

It’s hot here.

Like, I mean, hot.

You know how a sauna feels?

Well, halve or third that, and live in it. Eugh.

I still refuse to turn the air conditioning on in my apartment. You know how when you bake a potato the size of a room, it takes a month to cool down? I think I’m subconsciously hoping to save on heating this winter based on this thermodynamic principle.

But air conditioning is great when I’m not on the hook for it – I’m not shy about enjoying it in malls and restaurants and the other buildings at S.G. (the ongoing construction has the primary school systems shut down for the summer). I rode through a large, long shopping arcade for the six blocks or so leading up to the rental place – pedalling at speed through an air conditioned shopping arcade in July is one of my new favourite things.

In fact, even the ATM I visited today was air-conditioned. Maybe that’s why it costs more than $1 to visit after 6pm. I can also see why they’d close it at 8pm instead of keeping it running in a climate-controlled state all night long.

* * *

Finally, today in Year Four science class we were making graphs linking various activities to heart rate. In addition to “resting,” “running,” “reading,” and the other obvious ones, some more esoteric ones like “jumping” and “shouting” were coming up.

One girl had written “clapping,” except that she got one letter wrong. I didn’t realize this at first, since her other writing was immaculate, so I took her at face value and expressed my incredulity at the idea of the poor girl sitting on the throne with her fingers on her wrist and counting off heartbeats. I mean, okay, it’s science – if that’s what you feel is worth investigating…

We got it sorted out later when she made a clapping gesture. I had been worried and a bit grossed out for a minute there…
Tags: bills, career, driving, japan, jobs, money, rentals, spelling, teaching, travel

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