Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone Knows My Name

I was at the Haruki grocery store, looking at vegetables, when I hear a chorus of “Hello, Pamela San” coming from the back of the store. I recognized my greeters as third year Outdoor Life students from Ted’s classes, but I don’t know all of their names.  They all know my name.  Probably all of the people working in the store do also because this happens often.

I try to always be on my best behavior because I know I can’t be anonymous anywhere here. There aren’t many foreigners in this town so I am recognizable.   I’ve had people say to me things like “Where were you going the other day?  I was on the bus and saw you walking on Eki Mai Dori.” I never know when someone will see me somewhere.

I’m not so careful about what I say.  When Ted and I are out, I tend to say in English whatever I think because there is no one else around who can understand me.  Not that I would say anything that shouldn’t be overheard, you understand……

It hasn’t snowed in a couple of days, so the street workers don’t have to be removing new snow all day long. Yesterday, I saw them making our street wider.  The street we live on was barely wide enough for one car and over my head on both sides, like a skinny tunnel. To make the street wider, a machine shaves the snow from the side of the street and shoots it into a big dump truck, kind of like a big snow cone machine. A truck is filled in a very short amount of time and is replaced by another truck.  (These pictures were taken from my kitchen window with the zoom).

I still don’t know where they take all the snow that is picked up.  Last year someone told me it gets hauled and dumped near the railroad tracks, but I haven’t confirmed that.

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