Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

JCMU Deja Vu

Today I went to JCMU to watch one of my English club students participate in a speech contest. The student, one of my team teachers, and I took the train that would get us to Hikone Station in time for the 8:20am Hikone-Maibara bus. Our troubles began when we found out that the bus schedule had been completely revised as of October 1. The Hikone-Maibara bus route, which I had used when I was a student at JCMU, was completely gone without a trace. We were later to find out that it was replaced with a bus that went from Hikone Station to the Prince Hotel (next door to JCMU) and made a U-turn to go back to Hikone Station. ...And the only bus that would get us to JCMU before the contest started had already left before we arrived.

How inconvenient.

We thought about taking a taxi, but then we noticed that the Prince Hotel free shuttle bus would start at 9, which would get us there just in the nick of time. We hung out at McDonald's while we waited. I had the following conversation with the cashier who took our order...

Me: I'd like the Egg McMuffin with no meat.
Cashier: There's no meat on the Egg McMuffin.
Me: <looks at picture of Egg McMuffin with blatant meatage>
Cashier: There's only ham.
Me: <exasperated> Ham *is* meat. No ham!

I'm sure my team teacher found this amusing. Silly foreigner, calling ham "meat."

The shuttle bus plan worked out well, and we got to the speech contest just fine. At the first rest break, after five students had given their speeches, my student insisted she wanted to turn around and go home. She stuck it out, though. She was at a disadvantage because she is also performing in the Creative event tomorrow and had to spare time for practicing for that, so she wasn't able to memorize her speech very well. If she had, she would have done much better.

After the competition, we checked the REAL bus schedule and went out and waited by the bus stop. And waited. And... The trip from the station to JCMU takes 15 minutes, and the bus wound up being about 17 minutes late. Huh? For punctual Japan, this is ridiculous. I speculated that the reason they reduced the bus service so dramatically was that so few people took it because it was such a poor service to begin with. Oh, well, it gave us a chance to watch the sun set over Lake Biwa.

When we got on, I noticed that the fare was 300 yen to JCMU/Prince Hotel, but 200 yen to every other stop. Way to be obvious about gouging the foreigners and the tourists, guys.

I was quite glad to get back home. Tomorrow is the Creative event. I bought a new long-lasting battery for my videocamera; hopefully this will fix the problems I've been having with it. Sunday I'm planning to head to the flea market in Kyoto.
Tags: school
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