Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Electric Bill

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

I received my first local electric bill last week and discovered that I owed the power company 12,333 - fortunately that was yen and not dollars!  The amount was the equivalent of about one hundred and fifty dollars.  I called my landlords after receiving the bill and asked if I could pay it at their office, but I knew that would be too simple..  They directed me to any of several local convenience stores.

Lawson's Mini Mart - Avoid the Chicken Strips!
The little stores are located throughout the busier parts of the island.  Basically they have two names, Family Mart or Lawson's.  There is a Lawson's located close to Kadena's Gate One that I pass every day on my way to work, so that is where I headed.  The process was simple, and the clerk who spoke very limited English had me taken care of in short order.

While I was there I decided to try the local deli selections.  I bought two chicken strips, secure in the knowledge that chicken strips are a universal item that could not be screwed up by cultural preferences.  Wrong!  These had a thin layer of nasty fat running completely through each piece of chicken.  It only took one bite to satisfy my cultural curiosity!

The typhoon is apparently heading toward Taiwan, but we are getting some of the crappy weather that these things generate.   Maybe tomorrow will be better - it would be nice to have one sunny day on a weekend!

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