Finishing my report and spending time at a beach… :O

Right now, I’m working on some stuff I have to finish before Friday. My internship officially ends on the 24th and I’d like to have my report finished by then, even though the official (well, sorta official) deadline is “before September 1st”. Saturday, I went to my office to work. It’s a bit Japanese, I know. I would have stayed at home and worked at the computer room, but the air conditioning there has broken down, which is about the worst that can happen to you with the heat and humidity here.

I can’t spend too much time on this update, but it’s been a while, so I’ll jot down some thoughts and remarks, and photo’s of course.

Monday, I picked up my bike. They had cut my lock πŸ™ And I had to pay the full fine, after all. I had mentioned before that the lock on my bike was flimsy, which must be due to the low crime rate in Japan, but also means that the police can easily cut your lock when you’re wrongly parked. Business-plan in Japan: Sell those thick bike chains that can only be opened by specialist tools or heavy (electric powered) equipment. 8) Friday evening, I told some people about the adventure and then someone told me and Wim that whenever he gets stopped by the police, he starts taking pictures of them. Apparently, police have no privacy what-so-ever and if you take pictures of them they will leave, because they – obviously – don’t like it but can’t do anything about it.

Edit: When I picked up my bike, we had to go all the way to South Kyoto (that’s quite far without a bike πŸ˜› well, not farther than with a bike, but you know what I mean) to some big parking lot as you can see on the pictures. When we got there, there were three Japanese men, two to take our money and one to guide us to our bikes. We walked up to the windows to the two men and had to fill out forms, only guided by the men’s fingers pointing to the spots on the document and saying “Nemu!”, “Addoressu!”, etc to make clear what they wanted us to fill out. Then, they wanted to see my alien registration card (affectionately called Gaijin Card by most foreigners), so I gave it. It was very, very quiet for a moment. Then he said “oh”. I dreaded what was about to happen next. He looked up with a big grin and said “Oranda. Waldo cappu. Secando”, which was his way of trying to strike up conversation about the fact that the Dutch team had lost the finals of the World Cup to Spain the day before. Yes, I KNOW we lost, thank you. Can I just get my bike back without having to endure some sort of revenge for the fact that “Orange” beat Japan in the group phase? πŸ˜›

Thursday evening I went to Gion Matsuri with Anne-Fleur and MΓ‘irΓ©id. Gion Matsuri is apparently the biggest festival Kyoto has. Walking around together was fun, but frankly I think the festival itself was quite boring. There were just lots of people in kimono’s, walking around buying food and drinks and looking at some festival floats with Japanese lamps hanging from them. Parades during Carnaval back home are a lot more interesting, at least there’s music >:O I intended to go back Saturday, to check out the parade, but I decided to spend some time on my report instead, mainly because everyone I talked to confirmed my suspicion that the parade isn’t that interesting either.

Sunday and Monday I joined Wim and Meika to Omimaiko, a camping near Lake Biwa where quite some people go to have a barbecue. Yes, you read that correctly, I went to a beach and camping… It’s the combination of bugs, lack of clean water, dirty toilets and sand in your clothes that usually keeps me far, far away from places like this, but even I can’t always avoid it, because you can’t always stay at home and sulk πŸ˜‰ In case you were wondering: Yes, I had fun and No, I won’t go to the beach with you, unless you gather at least ten people and peer pressure me into it πŸ˜›

Some other stuff:

  • Last week was the last week of heavy rain, apparently. You can see some photos of the chocolate milk colored substance that now flows through the Kamo river instead of water.
  • Kyoto has its very own mini-vuvuzela’s at this time of the year. You can hear them HERE. It may not sound that interesting, but you’ll understand what I mean if I tell you to turn up the volume of your speakers/headphones as far as they will go…
  • On Friday I said goodbye to the bento lady :'( That was the last day of the semester they were selling the bento’s. I said goodbye to her and gave her a dictionary that I, in turn, had been allowed to keep when I stumbled upon it at a restaurant. She was happily surprised πŸ™‚ Edit: They are still selling the bento’s, but she’s not there. I guess she meant she was going on holiday? I’m not sure, there’s only so much you can convey with four word sentences, smiles and gestures.
  • Taking pictures of oneself and others is a national sport here and everyone will happily line up, as you can see below from the Omimaiko pictures. Of course, there’s always somebody who thinks that making a peace sign is something no good picture can do without, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve succumbed to the peer pressure a couple of times as well.

3 Replies to “Finishing my report and spending time at a beach… :O”

  1. 1

    Hallo Diana, nog ff door bijten tis nog maar een paar dagen.
    Dank je trouwens voor het lees plezier.

    Het is trouwens hier (denk ook hierboven) veel te warm om iets te doen. Als je terug bent plannen we wel een BBQ als je zin hebt.


  2. 2

    Hoi Rene,

    leuk dat je meeleest πŸ™‚

    Toen we net introkken was het inderdaad bloedheet en ik had al het vermoeden dat het elk jaar zo zou zijn. Niet is minder waar: Sander liet weten dat we sinds kort airco hebben boven, haha.

    Barbecue lijkt me geweldig, jullie hebben een mooi terras πŸ™‚ Zoals je kan zien is het nog iets minder dan twee weken. Tot gauw!



  3. 3

    Slightly off-topic photography rights discussion/rant:

    > Apparently, police have no privacy what-so-ever and if you take
    > pictures of them they will leave, because they – obviously –
    > don’t like it but can’t do anything about it.

    Actually, this is also true in the Netherlands to some extent. As far as I understand it, taking pictures of people (including policemen) in public is pretty much always allowed, it’s the publication of the pictures that is often disallowed to protect the photographee (see “portretrecht”).

    However, there are no black-and-white rules for this; rather it’s a balance between the photographee’s rights (such as privacy) and the general interest (such as news value).

    The interesting thing here is that because the police perform a public service, their privacy rights are diminished while on duty, and thus the publication of pictures of police are much more likely to be allowed, especially if these pictures have significant news value.

    Unfortunately, the Dutch police have no problem intimidating you into stopping taking pictures, even if they have no legal grounds for doing so. Also – in my perception – the police will arrest photographers and/or confiscate their cameras more often than they’re allowed.

    Of course, this is a complicated subject, as police officers can get into unreasonable amounts of trouble for some pictures (think radar speed traps, for example). For more excellent reading on this topic (in Dutch), see . As far as I know, the situation is pretty similar in the states (and indeed, a lot of other countries).

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