The Waitress

We now enter the final four days of the A to Z Challenge! It was actually rather difficult to choose the jobs for the final four letters, except for Z. I’ve known what Z would be for quite a while. X is tomorrow, and I had a tough time with that one. Y still hasn’t been chosen. But here is W.

The Waitress

Ariadne

New Athens

Fourth day, seventh month, ninth year after colonisation, Ariadne Era (7/04/09 AE)

“Sal, I’m going on break,” said Kaoru Hara as she walked through the kitchen and back to the staff room.

“Right,” he responded. “Bit slow out there now?”

“Not a single person out there. Shane’s taking care of everything.”

“Enjoy.”

Kaoru grabbed a tablet from her bag and checked her messages. Two messages. That’s odd, a message from the school. She tapped on the call icon and watched the small waveform animation. A face appeared on screen. Margaret Sanderson.

“Mrs. Hara? I’m so glad you called,” she said.

“Is there something you wanted to talk to me about?” asked Kaoru.

“Yes. I’m afraid there’s something I need to see you about. It has to do with Chisa.”

Chisa? She couldn’t have fallen off the table, could she? She’s always climbing up there. “What happened?”

“Well, this is a bit hard to explain. You know the incident two years ago with the young Knight girl?”

Knight girl? Kaoru’s eyes widened. “No. I mean yes, I know what happened. But there must be a mistake. Chisa? She couldn’t—“

“I’m afraid this isn’t the second time a child has exhibited unusual abilities. Chisa has shown the same abilities as Solona Knight. She showed me a small flame. It always seems to start with fire with these kids. I suggest you come over here to see her. She’s really frightened.”

“Of course, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” said Kaoru. She turned off the tablet and ran to the kitchen.

“What’s up?” said Sal.

“Sorry, Sal. I need to go to Chisa’s school. Something happened.” She pulled off her apron.

“No problem,” he said. “Take care of your kid.”

“Thanks. You’re the best.”

Kaoru dashed to the break room and grabbed her bag. Why does this have to happen to my kid?

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Life in Japan: Least Favourite Thing

Another week has passed. Time goes by too quickly. Well, it’s time for another question about living in Japan. This is kind of a part two question from the last week.  Again, it’s S. R. Carrillo asking.

What’s your least favorite part about living in Japan?

JPY_BanknotesUnlike the last question, I find this one easy to answer. There are some things I don’t like about living in Japan (cockroaches, very big spiders, drivers who run red lights), but there’s one really big thing that I don’t like.  Banks.

Japanese banks are pretty similar to those in other countries.  They have ATMs, they have bank tellers, they have many services. However, the ATMs tend to only be open during business hours or slightly longer than business hours. But that’s not the worst thing. The banking system is rather archaic.

In Canada, waiting in line to see a teller isn’t that long, and once you’re up there, you can get everything done within two or three minutes with a minimum of paperwork.  Everything is electronic.

In Japan, you take a number and wait.  And wait and wait. Often fifteen to thirty minutes. Then your number is called and you go up, give them the forms, the money (if depositing), and then they give you another number.  As I watch the bank teller, he or she (usually she) works on processing the transaction…on paper. She then hands it off to another person who works on it for a few minutes, still on paper. Then that person hands it to yet another person who works on it, also on paper. They don’t use computers very much.  Finally, they bring it back to the teller, who then calls me up to get my paperwork and anything else.  Total time waiting can be up to an hour, though I’ve gotten through everything in as little as fifteen minutes.  That’s rare, though.

For a country that’s high tech, the banking system is incredibly old-fashioned. And everyone pays with cash! I’m used to that now, but when I return to Canada, I’m going to find it strange using my debit card again.

If you have any questions, check out the original post and leave a comment with your question.  Any comments on this subject, leave them below.