Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thoughts 01

One of the things about having a broken foot is that while everything else feels fine, I just can't move around freely like I'd want to.  Right after the accident, I wasn't thinking all that clearly, and I felt fairly sluggish.  I attribute this reaction to my body's trying to recover from the sheer impact from my hands in through to my chest.  I did have sonograms taken right after the accident, so there was no detectable internal damage, but I assume time was needed to get back to normal, anyway.

So now, here I am, stuck in the apartment simply because I can't walk freely, and there's a limit to how far I can go on crutches.  Taxis cost 600 yen for the first kilometer ($7.20 USD for the first 0.6 miles), the nearest bus stop is 4 blocks away, and the nearest street car stop is 6 blocks away. If I had a car in the U.S., I'd be fine, because it's my left foot.  But, it's $300 USD to get a license in Japan, and gas is close to $7/gallon, ignoring parking fees and insurance.  It'd be easier to rent a car when I need one, but right now, I'm just going to sit here and kvetch.

Japanese TV programs don't really interest me, beyond a few limited anime shows.  During the day, it's largely soaps, talk shows and police dramas; and at night, it's game, variety, pop idol and cooking shows.  Even in Tokyo, there were only something like 5 broadcast channels and about 5 cable stations.  Not sure what it is in Kagoshima.  The really good programming is on broadcast satellite and that's too expensive for me.  So, I haven't bothered getting a TV yet.  It may be worth buying a handheld portable set anyway, if the price is low enough.

Kagoshima doesn't have much in the way of AM radio (2 stations with really weak signals) and only 5 FM stations.  Usually, 3 of the FM stations have really weak signals that fade out during the day, the 4th is a shopping channel that occasionally plays pop music, and the 5th is NHK.

NHK is the Japanese equivalent of America's PBS, focusing on educational programming.  One big difference is that the TV half gets its funding by sending "collectors" door to door for mandatory "contributions". If you have a TV, it's assumed that you occasionally tune in to NHK and therefore must pay a few hundred dollars a year as a viewing fee.  The collectors are really good at hounding people until they get their money.  Which is one reason for not having a TV.  As for radio, there's no fee, but most of the programming is aimed at elderly adults.  During the day, its enka (Japanese version of torch songs), variety shows, pop star interviews and some western classical.  In the evening, it's classical, and Japanese and western pop.  The worst part is when they do "radio dramas", which is used as a promotional vehicle for idol talents like AKB-48.  The radio dramas are absolute dreck.

I don't have patience to watch youtube videos all the time, and even if there's a song I really like, I get bored with it halfway through.  I'd love to get a game system, but new games are 8000 yen ($96 USD) and used are rarely less than 3000 yen.

Which brings me back to sitting at the laptop and kvetching.  I am getting some piecework and a couple of teaching classes every few days, so that breaks up the monotony a little, but I really wish I could sightsee again.  Reading is fine in small blocks, but I don't like sitting in one place like this anymore.

One bit of good news is that the doctor wants me to put more weight on my left foot, walking around without crutches as much.  I'm assuming that his plan is to stimulate bone growth by having the ends rubbing against each other. The increased irritation may trigger a defense response in the bone.  It's "good news" in that as long as I keep my weight on my heel, I actually can hobble around without the crutches and the foot doesn't hurt  But, I won't know if this is really a good or bad thing until the next x-rays in a week.

No comments: