Sunday, October 22, 2006

I win!

Pretty mellow day today, highlight being some alone time for Yoshiko and I.

After breakfast this morning, we headed out to Yamada Denki prepared to do battle over my defective Canon Powershot S3. I was fully expecting them to put up a fight and insist on it being sent in for repairs, which would mean me being without a camera for god knows how long. In preparation for this confrontation, I'd received advice from a number of people, some of which advised me to use my gaikokujineness to my advantage and just go in alone and use English and gestures to make them understand I want a new camera. I seriously considered this tactic, but chose not to make use of it in the end. Yoshiko and I went in together and the conversation went something like this: (The "Us" mentioned here is Yoshiko, my Japanese voice for the exchange)

Us: This camera is broken, won't take a picture unless the button is pressed down very hard.
Them: Let me see. (snaps three quick pictures) I don't see any problem. Are you sure the mode dial was properly clicked in?
Me: D'oh! (Can't believe she thinks I'm some amateur who can't run as simple a mechanism as a mode dial. Fiddles with camera, recreates the problem after about thirty seconds) See?
Them: Ah, ok well we need to send it in for repairs.
Us: I would like a new camera. I really need my camera, I use it all the time. Also this was a very expensive camera which I expected to last more than 3 months.
Them: I'm sorry, since it's been three months, I can't exchange the camera.
Us: But I talked to someone from Canon who said you could, or if not you your manager.
Them: Hold on a second. (Comes back with new camera in box) Please fill this out.

Of course, the camera just HAD to work when she tried it at first... other than that, everything went fine. Seems dropping the Canon name worked well, even though she didn't ask for any further information. She obviously had the power to make the decision and just needed a little extra convincing. So once more, I am equipped to photograph the world... but it'll be raining for the next little while, so who knows when I'll get to try this new one out.

Watched Rabbit Proof Fence again today, such an amazing movie. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's an Australian film which follows the true story of two half-caste aboriginal girls who were taken from their families and put into a government-run camp. The movie follows their 1500 mile journey home, an astonishing odyssey for such young children. Highly recommended. The rest of the day was spent lazing around, watching some DVDs of Ally McBeal, enjoying tea and snacks... nice mellow day.

Tomorrow's plans depend on the weather, but probably not going to do much. Next weekend is AEON's Halloween Party, which means Saturday, and Tuesday we are allowed to wear costumes in class instead of suits. Unfortunately for me, my costume (devil) is only complete when coupled with a black suit, but at least I can go without a tie!

This week also marked another milestone for my return home. My contract will end in (now a little less than) 4 months, with a return to Canada in the works for 2 months beyond that time. I know it will go really fast, especially with the Vietnam\Cambodia trip smack dab in the middle of things. We've got to get started on Yoshiko's Visa application process, prepare to read some complaints about the inefficiencies of the Canadian Government!

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