Regular readers will remember that my much beloved bird lens, a manual focus Tokina AT-X 300, broke when I was in New Mexico. I tried to get it fixed in San Francisco but everyone said the lens was too old and it would be impossible to get parts and stuff.
When I get back, I send the lens to Tokina in Tokyo. They send me an email saying the lens is old and normally they would not repair it but because the lens is beautiful they would see what they could do. A couple of days later I get another mail explaining they can fix the focusing problem, what is more, they would like to remove mold and generally refurbish. It would be like a new lens. This was all written in exquisitely polite and baroque English. I so appreciated the effort they made.
It arrived at my house, personal delivery at the time I specified of course, last week. It is a new lens. Thank you Tokina! Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Next. At the university we had some kind of private health scheme. Apparently the coverage was exactly the same as the national health scheme but we benefited from reduced rates at hotels or something. Having retired, I have to leave the scheme and join the Onna son health insurance set up.
It is cold, 20 C, and blusterly with showers. I have no car and am obliged to walk the mile or so to the Onna Village Office to see if I can get a new health insurance card. To my surprise, I find I enjoy walking in wildish weather.
The people at the Village Office are adorable and make every effort to understand my request, despite minus 90% language crossover. After filling one form and waiting 5 minutes the ladies come back with my new Japanese National Health Card!
This gives me full health care, medical, dentist, hairdresser etc. So easy, such fun, no cost! Happy, happy, joy, joy.