After a whole family meltdown on Friday, followed by hard-out party prep on Saturday and a bbq birthday party on Sunday, I went to the doctor on Monday. The splint and bandage were taken off, not because it's healed, but just because it's such a nuisance. I felt a little worried, but more happy - like the light at the end of the tunnel. Nearly over folks!
I'm still supposed to use the crutch though. I don't at home, it's too much of a nuisance, but I do outside. I've also started driving, I had to in an emergency yesterday morning to get Amy to school. She'd been promised a ride, and the Mum texted Kanji to tell him she couldn't go, but he didn't read the message until they were due to pick her up - no time to walk. So I drove half way to the school, and it wasn't bad.
It was bad today though, all the way to work, inside to pick up resources, to Mr Max to get crayons for Erica for kindy, then driving to the kindy, resulting in a numb, tingly pain through my whole foot. I was so glad I arrived 10 minutes early and could give it a rest before going in! About to try driving again and go to my hospital class, it should be okay, at least I don't have to jump around so much when I arrive!
Well that's done, and I was a good girl and took my crutch this time, so it wasn't as bad. Having the crutch, I felt justified using the disabled parking space - it's quite painful to walk a long way. The new hospital is finished but the grounds are still under construction, and the new parking lot not finished. One area being used is the former back parking lot, and it's a bit of a mess. They made an effort to supply some disabled parking though, three spaces right by the back door, in front of a mound of dirt that might some day be a garden. They are marked off also with traffic cones on the lined spaces between the spaces. They are off-centre to the other parking spaces, between the bus stop and a narrow road leading to more off-kilter spaces beside another mess of dirt.
So I parked in one spot, happy not to have to go too far. But then when I came out, I found a car parked directly behind me!
Now life in Japan has me scratching my head at times, but this truly baffled me. WHY would you do that??? And after hours, when the parking lots are emptying out? And at a hospital, where you can pretty much guarantee that quite a few disabled or limited mobility patients will be needing those spaces?
There's only two options: utter stupidity, or stupid nastiness.
It could be someone who decided I wasn't supposed to be there (because it was after hours maybe?) and that I deserved to be blocked in. The stupid part of course being that they had no way to tell if I was 'worthy' or not, as Japan doesn't have the cards you need in NZ to use these spaces. They operate on trust - and fail miserably, I might add. While these three spaces were pretty much left alone (maybe people in hospitals are a bit more conscious of the trouble patients have getting around) there are many places where every disabled space is filled every day with perfectly able-bodied people!
Or it was someone just being a brainless copycat? There were also cars parked in front of, but not IN the other two disabled spaces. Kind of a parking version of having your cake and eating it too - you get to occupy the space (there is still enough space for cars to pass between these double parked cars and the row on the other side) but not break the rules about not parking in disabled places.
If indeed it was not someone being nasty, but just being phenomenally stupid, perhaps they just pulled in alongside the other two cars, thinking it was rather odd to see my car parked there. Perhaps they park like this every day after hours and it's become so normal to them that they thought I was actually in the wrong.
Either way, baffled.
There was just enough space to get out (god knows what I would have done otherwise, called the security guard I suppose). There were a few guys hanging around the smoking shed on the mound of dirt that may one day be a garden. If they weren't there I would have taken a few more photos (I got one photo). They were kind of partly watching me, as I loaded my bags and crutch into the car, then hobbled around to the front and back to gauge the distances. So that when I got in and started to back up, one of them came in behind me to help direct. I didn't really need it as I have a rear-view camera, but it was nice of him. I did wonder if it was his car... they didn't seem like staff, so maybe they were visiting a sick friend and taking a smoke break. But then why didn't he move the car? Too lazy? Too embarrassed? Too confident that I would be able to squeeze out? Or just noticing my conundrum and helping out. That's a nicer thought anyway.