Friday, December 23, 2005


It was one of those nights when things are supposed to work out perfectly, and nothing does. I went to Christmas party for some kids thirty minutes south of Kyoto. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of their English and the delicious snacks they brought with them. There were even a few less than shy kids who entertained me all night by asking questions like, “What are the names of all of Santa’s reindeer?” and “Do you have a car?”

But the return trip was not happy. Twenty seven minutes into the thirty minute train ride back to Kyoto Station, the train stops. It seems that three stations ahead there is a problem with a switch. We sit and wait for twenty minutes until it is fixed. This, of course, makes me miss the last bus back to my house. I head to the subway, where during the eleven o’clock hour it only comes three times. I wait for twenty minutes, change trains, and wait another twenty. I change again to the Keihan train line and wait another fifteen minutes. At this point I am tired and just want to get home. I wait for ten minutes in front of the station for a taxi. No luck. So I hop on the last one man Eizan line train and then walk twenty minutes home.

By calcuation, I spent 7.5 hours on this party. I got paid 10,000yen. Transportation fees were 1620yen. Net gain = 8380yen. Hourly wage = 1117yen. And I thought the Christmas parties were supposed to be lucrative.

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