I gave in and bought a car. It’s rather neat and extremely Japanese feeling. Mostly because it speaks Japanese and the steering wheel is on the wrong side.
One of the many fortunate things about moving to Japan was getting the chance to sell both of our cars. While I loved my MINI Countryman and my wife adored her Fiat 500 buying a brand new car was a horrible financial decision. Buying a European car made by BMW was downright stupid on my part. Being able to sell both cars and become payment and insurance free was an amazing feeling.
When I first got here my intention was to avoid getting a car, ride my bicycle, and walk. My initial dream of a strictly muscle propelled existence was first shot down by my Chief who pointed out that I might need to be at work for an emercency or a recall. The trains in Japan tend to stop running after 2400.
The second element is the weather. I’m going to be living several miles away from work. About a 15 minute drive but 45-1 hour bike ride or walk. I don’t mind the walk itself but I have to be at work around 0530 and don’t leave until after 1700. It’s been 32 degrees out here and walking or riding a bike in the dark windy weather rather sucks.
So I gave up, went and picked up a car 100% money down. The paperwork, insurance, registration, and emissions handling went by so smooth. It’s vastly superior and a lot more fair than the U.S. I got the car, so anybody who drives it, covered for material liability for 240 a year and bodily harm for another 100. Back home I was paying 260 a month!
I have been driving around and about for the last two days trying to get used to the whole wrong side of the road concept. I can’t remember if you are allowed to make a left on red here so I just sit on it until the light turns green. I hope I’m not upsetting anybody. It’s ok if I am because I have my noob stickers on the front and back. Yes guys, Japan if you are a new driver you have to slap a sticker telling everybody for the first year or so. If they hit you they take a larger share of the responsibility because they should of given you wide bearth.
Stand by for upcoming posts about my upcoming final move into my Japanese house. Going hand and hand with that will be the fact that I will finally have decent internet. That means I can get back into serious writing, so expect more interesting posts.