Monday, July 13, 2009

Driving disasters

Bad luck better bloody come in threes!

In addition to my fender bender on the way back from the beach, I've added two more unwanted notches to my driving belt.

On Wednesday I managed to break the blinker stick in a very unique manner. I remembered far too late that I am supposed to be measuring the distances from my house to the schools I teach at, for my travel allowance. I was coming up to School 2, which I teach at second, and heading past it to go to School 1, where I teach first. I decided to measure the distance between School 1 and School 2, since I knew the office had the distance from the juku to School 2. Probably would have worked just as well for my purposes to just measure the distance home from School 1, but that's hindsight.

So as I approached the corner and began to turn I quickly reached up to the dashboard to press the little button that takes the counter back to Zero. But my finger slipped off it at first so I ended up with my hand in there for just a split second longer than I anticipated. Meanwhile I was rounding the corner. Suddenly I found myself having turned the corner and in desperate need to straighten the wheel NOW or crash into the side of the road - but my hand was too far through the wheel touching the speedo and I didn't have time to get it out. So I kind of let my arm follow the wheel back around and in doing so, it hit the blinker switch and BROKE IT OFF!

I drove to the school with no blinker (3.6km exactly, I did get that stupid button pushed!). Luckily I was very early and I had time to fiddle with the switch, which I managed to get back in place - I had to as the lights are on that switch too, and they were on! So to avoid running the battery down I HAD to fix it. Funny what you can achieve when you really need to! (memories of fixing an iPod tune juice thingy with a bandaid and a safety pin on the way to Beppu with my sisters. No kidding!) I got it back on, but it's loose, and the lights can get bumped on if you're not careful.

If that wasn't enough, the same car gave us all grief on the way to Keio in the afternoon. Driving up the road near Keio, I saw a car parked at the side of the road in a no-parking zone, with the hazard lights on, which everyone here feels is enough of an effort to allow them to ignore No Parking signs. It's a narrow road (hence the No Parking sign) so going past it meant moving into the oncoming lane. I was unable to do that as cars were coming, so I stopped, but hit the brake too hard. That happens a lot in that car, to me and to Kanji, it's a sensitive brake pedal. But the problem was that there are no seatbelts in the back...where Amy and Lena were...and they were thrown about a bit, Amy bumped her nose and Lena hit her back. So of course I feel awful about that, as I could have taken the other car. But then that would have left Kanji with the same seat-belt-less car to pick the girls up, so we really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm not sure what to do - Baachan picked them up that day, so I could have taken the other car if I'd thought about it. I think I'll get him to switch cars in the Keio carpark.

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