Traffic Violation, etc

Autumn Sky in Kamae

I have a cell phone but I often forget to carry it with me because I only get about three calls a week,  but invariably one of those calls is when I don’t have my phone with me. So when I have my phone and it rings, I always pick up. Even when I’m driving….”Hello?” “Hey, Kate, are you driving on the road by the river? I just passed you, just calling to say hi.” “Hi! see you when I get home.” I hung up and was feeling all warm and happy…until a siren blared from behind. I pulled over and ended up in the back of the squad car getting a ticket for talking on a cell phone while driving or was it driving while talking on a cell phone. Regardless, I hate small talk especially from a cop who is writing me a ticket. I don’t really care if you’d like to go to America someday.

鯨の墓 Whale Tomb

The fine was 6000 yen (about $65) and I lost one point from my record which will be returned to me if I have a full year with no violations. OK.

This morning I had a few extra minutes on my way to one of the schools, so I hopped out to take a look at 鯨の墓(whale’s grave) that I noticed while driving by a few months ago. I am not sure about the origin of this site, but it seems that there are several memorials built to honor whales throughout Japan. There were two markers that were built in the Meiji Period around the turn of the 19th century. I did a little reading that said that these type of graves were built in compassion for whales and their calves killed. I plan to find out more specifics about this site. I have tried to have conversations about whaling and whales with many Japanese people, but often it ends up with me being accused of cultural bias and of pushing my western values on Japan. I would really like to have a conversation about the deeper issues of sustainable oceans and adapting cultural “traditions” when faced with changing landscapes and more informed understandings of how cultural practices are outdated and sometimes wrong.

View of the sea from the tomb of the whale

Kai and Nina and Nina’s friend are coming to visit at the end of January. YAY!

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