Apple Country

Stories of rural life as an ALT in a northern Japanese fishing town.

Blue Monday


No, not the New Order record, the other one: the third Monday of January, aka the most depressing day of the year.  It seems fitting; Christmas is long gone, it’s bleak, it’s STILL January, everyone’s given up their resolutions and Spring feels like it’ll never come.  I didn’t actually find out Blue Monday was a thing until the evening of, which made me realise why I’d had a bit of a crap day.

I had to take another day of holiday to go for a hospital checkup, but I got there early enough so that I could go back to work in the afternoon and would only need to take half a day.  (I’ve spent 7 days out of 20 at hospital so far, so I’ve come to appreciate any time I can save…)  Last time I went, my supervisor said if I got back in time I could come back to work, but it took forever so I couldn’t.  However this time I was done by 11 and could’ve easily made it back for 1.  So I rang my supervisor and told him I was coming back to work, and he basically said he’d already stamped the whole day as holiday leave so no-can-do.  He asked me if that was ok, and I was like “ermmm not really?!” but he clearly wasn’t going to do anything about it.  What annoyed me most was that he told me to “just go home and study”.  Well that’s the only thing I do at the BOE so why on earth would I do it at home on my supposed “holiday”??  I told my neighbour/colleague about it afterwards and she said she goes in and just crosses the stamp out if she decides to come back for half a day.  I was so annoyed.  Normally I wouldn’t care so much but I only have 4 days of holiday left and I kinda want to use them for doing things other than spending 3 hours waiting for someone to tell me that my arm has improved since last time.  My next appointment isn’t for another month thankfully so I really hope it’s the last one.

I’m usually terrible at holding grudges and it may seem silly to get worked up about losing half a day’s holiday, but it’s more the fact he could’ve done something about it and really just couldn’t be bothered to make a mess of his stamp book.  I’ve made sure my genki levels are lower than their usual standard/verging on bitch face.  But that’s probably more to do with the fact that my relationship with winter is beginning to suffer.  I finally felt like I was comfortable driving on the snow and ice, until I was coming back from hospital on Monday and somehow completely lost control of my car.  I’d learned when to recognise when my car was going to skid and before I’d always managed to control it, but this took me off guard (probably because I was mad about having to go home) and I veered over to the other side of the road, yanked the wheel so I could get back onto the left side, started hurtling towards a snow pole, yanked the wheel to avoid it and ended up hitting it with my rear fender before gliding into a snowy bank so I could actually come to a stop.  THANKFULLY there were no cars on the other side otherwise the situation would’ve been a lot worse… I got out of the car with a groan and gingerly prodded the area around my back wheel.  The fender was slightly loose but not enough for me to care or tell anyone.  I drove to the video rental place in a slight daze and treated myself to two of my favourite films in Japanese… Disney’s Hercules and Inglourious Basterds.

So now I hate the roads again.  They are particularly treacherous the day after a snowfall, and it takes me 50% longer to get anywhere because I now drive like an obaa-chan in fear of skidding again.  I’ve stopped caring about my loyal following of tailgaters; as long as the road feels like someone hacked up an ice rink with an axe, I’d prefer to drive slow enough that I don’t risk crashing into the side of the cliff.  Counting down the days until the snow melts at the end of March!!

2 thoughts on “Blue Monday

  1. Oh yes….been there and done it with the ‘car on ice’ once or twice…how about a full pirouette on a bridge over the M25, ending up facing the way I had just come on the other side of the road! Like yourself no other cars were involved, except a astonished onlooker just about to cross it! Even Zero miles an hour is not slow enough when you hit black ice 8S

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