I got my first, “Someone is screwing up on the way they sort their garbage and you are a foreigner so you must be stupid and doing it wrong” note today. I was warned that the foreigners are always blamed for any mis-sorted garbage. Sigh. I know it wasn’t me but anyway, what am I going to do? I believe I’ve said before that Nagoya is crazy about trash.

This week was difficult on a domestic front. As I reported my internet was out at the beginning of the week. I got home on Thursday night and the internet was down again. Oh no! “Welcome to the 90’s,” said Tomo. I spent at least 30 minutes with a help desk that spoke no English. I got nowhere on that. I determined that I was having a power supply problem and insisting the company replace the modem (or what I was led to believe was a modem). My communication solution was to conference call from work with Tomo or a translator to get to the bottom of the problem. My mobile phone does not have three way calling capabilities. Things were much easier with a translator. It turns out that it isn’t a modem in my closet – just a hub. Oh, that’s it? I can replace that myself. I did a quick test with a hub already in use and everything worked. Yeah! I bought a hub and joined the 21st century again.

I got a late notice on my gas bill as well. I thought I could take the bill to a convenience store to make the payment. Nope. No bar code. So I took what I thought was the bill. Nope, just a meter reading. I couldn’t find the bill anywhere. That is, until I asked for help on the phone. I did one last rummage through my computer bag and found a bill. I don’t have to worry about getting gas cut off!

I’m frustrated that my Japanese isn’t better. It really comes through in phone calls. Plus, customer service people speak very formally (keigo) so it is even more difficult to understand because all verbs are modified to show their respect. I don’t need respect, just help! I need to start taking private lessons again soon!

Wouter is in from Europe this week for a visit. Yeah! Why in from Europe? He’s Dutch, we met in Luxembourg, and he currently lives in Spain. A true European. We are going to Gifu tonight for a fireworks festival with over 30000 fireworks. Yes, that’s right. 30000 fireworks. It should be fun. That is, if Wouter ever wakes up. I guess the futon is comfortable. He’s sleeping in the “cave” so he probably has no idea what time it is.

It promises to be extremely hot for today’s event. It is going to get up to 37 degC in Nagoya, or about 99 degF. Yikes. Well, at least the humidity is high too! I’m definitely wearing shorts!

Last night I had a very strange orthodontics dream. I had bands and wires coming lose all over the place. I haven’t worn braces since 1993. I wonder what that dream means?