Today I bought a small refridgerator (used) for 4,000 yen and a bicycle (also used) for 500 yen. One of the buddies was selling off things left by previous residents in order to pay for a party or something.
I woke up at 6 am to find a flier had been slipped under my door. (The flier basically said that "Look! We're selling things for cheap because people left them and we can use the funds to pay for a party or something!" I think I will keep the flier) Because I woke up at 6 for no apparent reason, I managed to get the first pick of the fridges. I chose a small one, becuase I really don't need that big of one and also because it was the cleanest.
When I looked at the bikes, most of them required a little bit of fixing up in some way or another. (Which kind of explains why they were so cheap.)
I decided that I liked a blue-gray one. The guy I was buying it from (Yohei) said that it had problems with the "punk," but I could take it to a bicycle shop to get it fixed for about 1000 yen. There was also some sort of problem with the kickstand, but he said that could also be fixed fairly cheaply. The other two things were that I had to buy a bike lock and I decided that I wanted an aditional stand on the back of the bike.
So I went down to the bicycle shop and spent a good fifteen minutes going over what exactly I wanted done to the bike and how much it would take to do it with a very nice old man and his wife. Meanwhile, about 3 or 4 other people came and left, all asking to have something or other done with the "punk." (I have no idea what the "punk" is, and am still not entirely sure, but apparently this is a very common problem.) This was complicated by the fact that he kept entering the wrong figures into the calculator and having to restart and that I was being curious about which price pertained to which object.
I decided that I wanted a Hello Kitty bike lock, partly because it was about 500 yen more expensive and I felt bad for taking up so much of the guy's time, but mostly because it was cute and if I am unable to recognize my bike with that lock there is no hope for me at all.
In the end, it came out to 4,800 yen altogether. The "punk" thing seemed to be him taking out the inner tire and testing it for leaks, but I think I ended up with the same tire that I started with. (It looks like I won't be buying a spare tire after all, Daddy. There are bike shops all over the place and it looks like the Japanese bikes are a pain to dissasemble.) The problem with the stand turned out to be that it needed tightening. I probably could have done it myself with the pliers you gave me, but I think it was a case of 100 yen for the muscle and 700 yen for knowing where the muscle needed to be applied.
The Hello Kitty Lock went on without incident. It was one of those semi-useless locks that screw into place and just lock the back wheel in place.
The stand turned out to be a bit of a problem. Because the Hello Kitty lock had a little Kitty head on top of it, it blocked the place where a few of the screws on the stand had to go. Most of the time was spent watching the guy try to screw it in place which involed a lot of time and effort and several different nuts and a power screwdriver. In the end, it was in place.
I'll try to see if I can get the stand and the lock removed at the end of the school year, because they're perfectly nice and made up 3800, of the price....now that I think of it, I don't think they charged me anything for the stand thing.
As I left, I admired the wife's keychain, which she hadn't taken out until I was leaving. It was really cute! It was a little blue metalic star with a little bell attached. I was going to ask where she got it from, but she got out another one and gave it to me as a spare for the Hello Kitty lock's spare key. I think it's going to be the one I normally use, because while the Hello Kitty Lock is darling, the Hello Kitty key chain that came with it was kind of overkill.
I think the previous owner of the bike was a guy who didn't know how to ride bikes because the paint job is rather scratched, the seat's adjusted a little tall for me, and there were three identical Super Mario Bros. stickers on it.
On the way back, I began to doubt my ability to ride bikes as well. But it was mostly because I haven't quite worked out which way to dodge other people. They drive on the other side of the street, you know.
And Yohei ended up charging me 500 yen because it was kind of expensive. (If I hadn't bought the rack, I would probably have ended up paying more for the bike, so it all worked out in the end.) (Did I mention that the bicycle shop people were really nice? A great deal of time was speant on me not understanding what was wrong with the lock, almost to the point where I was going to just buy a new bicycle. There was a pretty blue one that I kind of liked.)