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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fill me UP!

I don't want to tell you the subject in the first sentence for I fear you might think the topic is full of gas and leave.

As you probably know from my 10,000 other blogposts, I've mentioned that service in Japan is top notch. Haircuts always have a happy ending, and by that I mean a nice massage. In between you are probably given a nice boiling wet towel to rub your greasy hands and face on, its FANTASTIC!
So minor and yet, so great.

I also enjoy the bows while greeting and on the way out. Its like I did them a favor and they are thanking me. Saying "IRRASHAIMASE!" which is essentially a simple WELCOME is a nice touch too.
I realise its all fake, but its still nice (just like Pamela Anderson haha not funny).

Imagine if you can't read Japanese. I always went for the cheapest and hoped there wasn't too much water in it. Wait, they don't do that in Japan? Maybe water costs too much.

Well today's topic is another place that many people have to visit while living in Japan.
It doesn't sound overly exciting but it can be quite fun.

As I may have mentioned I had two vehicles while in Japan. For the first year and a 1/2 I froze my butt off in the snow, and melted like a candle in the summer heat.

My co-worker (A half Japanese half Chinese American but family lived in Korea, so Korean influenced) and I bought a car together.
I wasn't too familiar with the vocabulary for gas stations as that wasn't something I'd ever learned at University while studying Japanese. That was more like "What time is it? Hi Mr.Tanaka" etc. Very useless stuff that no one ever uses (I later learned the object can be removed from a Japanese sentence most of the time as it was usually understood, and my Japanese teachers used to lie to say its always needed).

When I first went to the gas station I went myself. Unlucky for me, that some of my students worked at the only gas station near my place. They were part of what I called the "bad kids". Not the ones that might murder me, but fairly close.
Oneday I drove my car in and got a nice bow. The person said something to me of words I'd never heard before. 
I answered "YES" in English. He looked at me, it wasn't my student, but I could see one of my students inside the gas station.
He did not understand and neither did I.... oh mother trucker!

I got out of the car and reached for the gas nozzle, 3 people ran out of the shop, seemingly not impressed the damn foreigner was about to pour his own gas. They probably thought gas was unique to Japan and foreigners don't use it (yes a lot of things, I got asked that, I thought its just a bad joke but people were serious). You have rice in Canada? 

"Mantan desu ka".  
What the hell is a mantan I thought. I didn't have Google or smartphones back then, so I repeated "Yes" again in English.
One of my students came out and bowed. I realized this is probably the only time he'd ever bow to me. At school he was a total d$ck. A few times he threw erasers and spat spitballs at me. I contemplated breaking his fingers each time. I think he thought I was joking, but in reality I was holding back my inner 24 Jack Bower and ready to inflict some pain anyway I could, to get some terrorist information out of him (cause he threw erasers and its very similar).
He did his fake bow and started cleaning my windows. The thought of spitting on the widow and making him shine it also crossed my mind (that's a little mean, maybe I shouldn't have said the truth this time). Then when he went to shine it, crack one finger. He'd probably still be obligated to bow and thank me for coming.

They grabbed the gas nozzle from me (in a nice way) and filled up my tank. He asked "FURU OK?" meaning FULL is OK?
I realized maybe mantan is mixed word, man as in full and tan, short form of gas tank(tanku).
Turns out I was right.

My car was shined, windows buffed, they asked if I had any garbage in my car the throw out and took it away.
I paid and thought I'd get a bow.
All four of them assisted. One went to the road to block imaginary traffic, the other directed me onto the road (because I didn't know where it was I guess).
Another stood very close to the car (and very close to my wheel about to crunch his toes and he did a deep bow. Everyone bowed and thanked me.

I said "YES" in English and drove away into the sunset (there was no sunset it was already dark, but just pretend to end on a perfect note).

Gas served, bow necessary. Direction onto road mandatory. I like!

My Youtube Channel, wearing red tights and jumping around as Deadpool (but I say Dadpool to avoid copyright. Smarter than I look!)


  1. Now that's a pleasant story, senor coconut!

  2. Ah yes, senor coconut here. I don't like pleasant. I'll have to re edit it and make it sound like when I left the gas station I had left a trail of gas, and just as those mofo's bowed to me, I threw my cigarette out the window and caught the gas trail on fire. There were fireworks galore, and no one was seriously injured.


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