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I have finally discovered a setback to living in a really small town, besides not having any karaoke boxes or movie theaters.

If you do something stupid in public, everybody knows about it.

I realize this is a commonly-remarked-upon aspect of small town living, but I hadn't had it really driven home until this week. My own small town in which I grew up was just small enough to qualify for the name, really; it was several times the population of Uryu. And still, even in a town of 3000 people, you'd think infamy would fade a little. But...

This weekend, I had plans to go to the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (snow festival) and see the world-famous sculptures on Saturday. I was planning to catch the 1:14 bus, which would put me in Sapporo by 3pm and give me plenty of time to wander before heading home that night.

This bus, for the record, is always late. I have stood in the snow for five, ten, fifteen minutes past the official arrival time, glaring with alternate puppylike hope and baleful fury at the snowy horizon and wondering what's keeping the driver. However, on Saturday, it decided to be on time. Not even just on time--a minute or two early.

And, having been lulled into complacency by months of this 1:14 bus arriving between 1:20 and 1:30, I found myself on the other side of the zebra crossing, staring at a red Do Not Cross sign as the bus pulled up to the stop fifteen feet and an eternity away.

I flipped out. I needed to catch that bus, or I would lose a huge chunk of my festival time. I waved my arms! I jumped up and down! I pleaded out loud for the bus driver please to stay there! I had no idea, of course, if he'd heard me. The bus started to pull up towards the stoplight. It stopped at the red light, three feet down the road from the bus stop, but would of course be free to go the minute I was.

I finally panicked utterly, looked both ways, and ran into the road--in front of the ONLY CAR coming that way, which I somehow hadn't seen, and which fortunately stopped but also honked loudly. I sort of bowed apologetically backwards at them without stopping and dashed to the bus, which opened its doors and let me on.

What a relief, right?

So the weekend passes. I enjoy the festival immensely (photos forthcoming). I go to Komine-san's kyudo test, also fascinating, on Sunday. I chill with Claire on Monday, huge fun all around. Then Tuesday comes and I go to the Board of Education to see if Kakizaki-san can tell me why my bathroom drain isn't draining.

And I get a tongue-in-cheek, smiling lecture about road safety and how I mustn't cross the road when the light is red. I had forgotten it even happened. I'm normally a very safe road crosser! But somehow, she knew, right down to the details about flailing and jumping up and down first. I asked from whom she had received this highly entertaining news, and she said it was "a secret" and grinned some more. Then she explained that my drain wasn't draining because I locked it somehow while cleaning it. Boy, did I feel smart.

But my embarrassment isn't over. Today, in my first elementary class since The Incident, one of my kids gleefully brought it up in class. I tried to laugh it off and explain that it was a very Bad Idea and Ari-sensei made a mistake, hahaha. But I'm starting to wonder, how long am I going to be hearing about this?

Please let it blow over now. Please. I will never jay in this town again! I have learned my lesson.

In our orientations, they warned us to always observe traffic laws because we were representatives of the school board and the government. But they forgot to tell us that the gambling pot also included our dignity. :\

Date: 2008-02-13 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's like that at my school...

I called out the Provost one time on accident and EVERYONE knew about it the next day. It was ridiculous.


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