So many things I appreciate about Japan. Last Saturday, I stopped at the ATM. Here in Japan, ATMs offer more than just a place to withdraw cash. One service is, when you insert your bankbook, it updates all the transactions.
Except, last weekend the machine told me that my bankbook was out of pages. What to do? Well, next time at the office I asked a co-worker. She said the ATM would generate a new bank book. So, another trip to the ATM. Insert my bankbook. Fortunately, there are English menu options, since my ability to read kanji is still very limited. Sure enough, one of the menu items is “new bankbook.” Pushed the button, and the machine starts making computer noises, with a screen that says this may take a few minutes. A few minutes later, viola – a new bankbook pops out, followed shortly by the old book. Gotta love it.
And then there’s sushi. We have a favorite sushi place near Tamachi station. Nothing fancy. There’s a conveyor belt sushi-go-round, and also sushi chefs who will fill orders upon request. There’s an English menu, but the Japanese menu is more complete, and by now, we know enough to read some of the Japanese menu. And… we’ve even learned how to place orders in our infantile Japanese. The sushi chefs are very patient, and most of the time we can communicate well enough to get what we want. It’s always good, and pretty reasonably priced.
Of course, there are many other things we like about Japan. We’re already thinking about what we’ll miss when my assignment ends in a year and a half. In the meantime, we plan to enjoy all the things this culture has to offer. It’s a great experience.