AWotD: Research! That’s right, I’ve been doing research all day. I’ve been tasked with informing my Sysmex people about the health insurance system in the UK including answering a set of questions such as “How much does each test cost” “Where it is a patient goes for primary care” and “is there a consultation fee”. Boy are they going to be surprised, an possibly slightly confused, when they learn about the NHS. Medical fees? What are they? Some sort of instrument? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Though that’s only half the job. Once written (and illustrated with diagrammatic examples), they want it translated. Oh what fun, I have no idea how to write academically in Japanese as it involves two forms I’ve yet to properly practice (and to demonstrate their complexity, they’re the very last three chapters in my Genki 2 Textbook). Ah well, I never liked having it easy anyway.
Guess what that is (besides me coated silhouette). That’s a crossing mark. They put these on the road by ever four way crossing and at night you can see the red light light up. It flashes horizontally and vertically (right now, vertically). It’s such a strange thing to see while walking home at night, it’s as though a UFO got tired and went to sleep but couldn’t find that great a place. I don’t have a picture of this, but it’s something else I’ve noticed. The rules on traffic lights seem to be a bit more liberal in Japan. I’ve noticed that at pedestrian crossings with lights, if the road is free then the car couldn’t care less whether there was a red or not. It just goes. This creates the awkward moment as a pedestrian where you’re allowed to go because the green (or blue) man says you can, yet still feel like you’re holding up the traffic. It seems to only occur when the cars are turning into a new road. Though it does make me wonder just what traffic lights are meant for and whether this is a rule everyone breaks or just not a rule. And lastly I present to you, number plates.
Japanese number plates are much smaller than the UK ones, and as a result, shorter and more interesting. They always have the city they’re from (this one says kobe) a number beside it, a random piece of hiragana and a four digit code.
Pretty neat eh? They’re the same format for all vehicle it seems, be it bike, car, truck or tractor… Though I’ve yet to confirm the tractor one.
They also come in a fun variety of colours. And no, it’s not just one is at the front, one is at the back. It’s really a different colour. I have no idea what it means, if anything.
See, there’s a green one! (also, and this is the first time I noticed this, this one’s not labled kobe, but naniwa…hmm…) And finally, something for the Katamari file. It’s a green school road with diamonds on it. If you played the game, you’d know. You’d just know! So uncanny!!!!