5.28.2008

My Reality Show: The Japanese Office

I am 100% sure that I am on some wacky reality show.

Compounded by my rapidly growing frustration with my schools/ office/ sexlessness, I had an accident yesterday. No I wasn't hurt (just incase anyone was worrying). Actually I wouldn't even consider it an accident...it was an incident involving my vehicle and another person's vehicle.


This is actually all CLAIR's fault. Well not really, but the only reason I was at the Post Office in the first place was to mail off my final test, which they probably won't even accept anyway. To Shit.

Basically, I was exiting the Post Office in Kushikino. A car coming on the left had stopped to let me through so that they could enter the Post Office (since the entrance/exit was too small to accommodate both cars). So I pull out and am proceeding to the right when I see this car appear infront of me! I immediately step on my brakes but my front bumper makes contact scraping the right side of the woman's car. We both stop, eventually the police come, I call my English teachers, we exchange contact information, I apologise repeatedly and the issue is resolved in about an hour.


Or so I thought. But one of my english teachers had to call my office to inform my supervisor of the situation so that the insurance company could be contacted and compensation be arranged. After a long and drawn out conversation we head back to the school, crisis averted, no one injured and minor damage to each others vehicles.


I then have lunch and reluctantly head back to my town to report the incident in person to my office, because they're anal like that. I speak to my supervisor and he says he'll deal with the insurance and checks again if i'm okay. I say yes, the car only got a little scratch and I wasn't hurt. I then go home to rest because after such an ordeal (not the accident but having to deal with Japanese people in general) I just want to sleep the whole thing off.


Here is where the drama begins. I get a call around 6 pm from Cockroach (aka Kacho) informing me that we need to go to the woman's house to apologise to her. We being myself, him and Shacho (the big boss).


Now my first reaction was WTF?!?!?!?!


So I say "NO, I'm sleeping" because the whole thing just sounded preposterous. I mean I already apologised and noone was hurt. There wasn't even any major damage done.


I am rebutted with "But it is very important that we go. In Japan we apologise twice."


At first I thought it was a joke, but if there's one thing I have learnt about Cockroach is that he is incapable of telling a joke.


So I ask him if they had called her, because I assume that if we're going to this poor woman's house she's expecting us right? Right. There was obviously no way of me getting out of this without adverse repercussions and so I reluctantly agree.


I am so angry that I start crying because of how ridiculous this entire situation is. Why do I need to apologise again? Why can't I just sleep? Why won't they just leave me alone? Why me? Why?


We finally get to Kushikino after stopping to buy omiyage (Japanese for gift). Yes you heard right. They bought her cookies or cake or whatever it was. All this time I am still in shock at how surreal the entire situation is. I listen to my Ipod the entire way, trying desperately to avoid any unecessary conversation with Cockroach. Needless to say he still tried to which he got one word, monosyllabic answers. I was not amused and it showed.


As I had said before, I was under the impression that the woman was aware that we were coming. So you can imagine my horror when we finally find her apartment (after knocking on the wrong door the first time) and this poor woman has this look of confusion on her face. She had no idea who they were and what they were doing at her door.


Then comes the clincher: They ask, what sounded like "are you the person who had an accident with a gaijin today?" She says yes. Then they go on to explain that they are from my office, giving her their business cards. Meanwhile I look around for the hidden camera because this must be a prank.


Suddenly I am given the gift and I know what I'm supposed to do. I apologise again, bowing and holding out the gift to her. Typically she refused saying that it wasn't necessary and it was only a minor accident. I know that it's "Japanese custom" to be humble so I apologise again and offer her the gift, she says no again. This goes on for sometime until they beg her to take the gift. Eventually she accepted, we apologise again and she closes her door. I am still in shock. We run back to the car in the rain and head back to Ijuin. I sleep the whole way.


So basically they drove all the way to her house to apologise for the stupid gaijin (foreigner) that they are responsible for who hit her car, thereby blatantly insulting and humiliating me in the process.


Now that it's over and I've had some time to think, I am convinced that this was all staged and it was actually the first in a series of a reality show about my office focused on how many ways they can frustrate me before I snap. They were actually laughing on the way to Ijuin and i'm positive I heard the word "mission" in there somewhere.

So there you are. My life. In Japan.

Don't be surprised if you see a new reality series come out. With my confused and unamused face beneath the title.

Woe is me.
Nadya Dee.