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Posted in: Rail company workers have to pass the smile test See in context

I'd wish they'd bring the smiling software to Kobe...

Recently I've had two ticket mishaps and left something behind on the train. They weren't helpful or smiley. The week after, I humbly asked for them to look after my guitar for an hour as the coin locker was too small. "Use a big coin locker," was the gruff response.

To cap it off, a JR worker ran out and screamed like a banshee when I carried my folding bike down to the tickets gates at 11:50pm for not having a special bike bag.

Triumvere, I'll take the Arigatou gozaimasu mofo any day!

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Posted in: Japan to phase out onboard quarantine inspections as new flu cases total 178 See in context

@smithinjapan You hit the nail on the head there...you have to show your face. Many teachers even get silently resentful of us (assistant teachers) for taking our full quota of annual leave days.

The BOE is definitely freaking out about the possibility of us gaijin teachers catching the flu, because they know our community is tight and it'll spread quickly. I'm guessing they think it's much safer for us to be at school under the watchful eye of our vice principal (apparently the guideline is we must submit to an hourly temperature check). If we were given the week off, we'd get up to all sorts of risky behaviour instead of staying inside the safety of our shoeboxes like a good Japanese.

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Posted in: Japan to phase out onboard quarantine inspections as new flu cases total 178 See in context

An assistant teacher in a surburban Kobe school, I'm sitting idly in the staff room with nothing to do for the rest of the week. All the other teachers will stay here until at least 6pm, and at this moment are all quietly pretending to look busy.

Surprisingly, 5 of the 6 people who were wearing masks when I arrived this morning have removed them, but unsurprisingly 5 of the 6 were women. The vice principal circulated the room handing out multiple masks to everybody. I asked my desk neighbour if he would wear one and he replied, "outside, yes". On my commute about 90% of people were mask clad, and it was no different out in the open air compared to the train carraige. Their tentative collective demeanour is markedly enhanced, and the masks draw attention to the dead (or afraid) eyes. Feel like I'm in a movie like 28 Days Later.

Don't people realise that it's pretty hard to be infected by anything that isn't a potent biological/chemical agent outside in a fresh morning breeze? And yet, there has never been any soap in the students' toilets at my current and previous schools, and the two public toilets I visited yesterday were equally soapless.

I caught Type B flu a few months ago and was knocked around quite a bit, but it definitely wasn't that bad. This flu will be no different, just more people will get it. Really interesting to be in Japan right now...

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Posted in: 69-year-old man stabs noisy neighbor in Nagoya See in context

I played my stereo too loud for 2 minutes (a few weeks after I arrived in Japan) and was greeted by a raving cigarette-toting lunatic who burst inside my apartment and wouldn't leave for at least 5 minutes. His eyes were bloodshot and looked drug or alcohol affected. He came again a few days later to complain about the noise made by washing the dishes.

Reading this concerns me because I have an acoustic that I am serious about becoming accomplished at. :0 !!

A lesson for everyone here to keep your door locked at all times

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