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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My new “K” Truck

I would like to introduce my new “K” truck. I don’t know why the Japanese call it a “K” truck. As I was thumbing through the owner’s manual, I discovered something. The truck doesn’t have a hood that you can pop open to look at the engine. I asked Erika if I miss understood the manual. She couldn’t find anything about opening a hood. “So, how do I check the oil?” I asked. Simple…just pull the seat cushions out. “Say what?!” The engine is located under the seats. I ran to the truck and pulled out the seat cushions. I could look down and see the ground, bottom of the truck, and the engine. Cool! The engine is compact and I can’t believe that anyone could work on such a tiny thing. One of these days, I’ll change my oil and I’ll write a blog about that experience. The pickup truck is a 4-wheel drive with an automatic transmission. This will come in handy for driving in the snow. The bed is large enough for carrying lots of building materials, firewood, and a tandem. I might even carry my sailplanes up some of these beautiful hills in my new “K” truck. Megumi, thank you for your help and the jack will help make those snow tire changes a lot easier.

I visited my last new school today in Yufuin. It’s located way out in the countryside. It takes one hour to get there from Tsukahara, but the drive is gorgeous. I have six schools each week. This makes it hard to figure out the different schedules, memorize names, etc. Imagine trying to locate these schools without being able to read Japanese. I don’t even know how to say, “Fill it up” at the gas station. None of the streets have names which add to the fun of getting lost in Japan. I know that Erika is worried about my survival without her at my side, but somehow I seem to struggle through it. The students help to make my day run a bit smoother by asking me to join them. We may not be able to communicate by words, but gestures and patience goes a long way. The honeymoon is over and real life begins. I’m driving and working on my own in Japan…and loving it! Not bad for living in a foreign country for only 4 months, neh?  


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