Sunday, May 01, 2005


It’s pouring outside.
To be perfectly honest, it’s giving me a bit nasty satisfaction at the moment.

We are in what they call “Golden week” here in Japan now, which is a period at the end of April and beginning of May with several national holidays. If you are an office worker and combine your paid leaves with the national holidays and weekends, you can have apx. 10-day vacation this year. Remember, this is Japan. People usually don’t dare to tell their boss that they want 10-day vacation anytime in the year. In this “Golden week,” however, the holidays are publicly given to everyone, so all you have to do is just to take a couple of paid holidays. Much less guilt involved.

If you work at a restaurant or a hotel or in any kind of sightseeing-related business in Japan, just forget about taking a break in this time of the year. You know what I mean. That applies to Izakaya-pub workers like myself, too. Golden week doesn’t mean a holiday week to us --- it’s a busier week than usual and we have to work just as our regular work shift requires, if not more.

Our Golden week this year started on the 29th of April, and that night we were working busy at the Izakaya in a rather cynical mood. Someone asked,
“Hey by the way, I heard there’s such a thing as “Golden week” in this country. What the heck is that?”
Then one of us replied,
“Oh that’s the name of a famous racehorse.”
Just the regular conversation we have every year in this special week. Next year someone would have to come up with something other than the “racehorse.”

Anyway, this time of the year, I tell myself how lucky I am not having to spend hours in a traffic jam or in a jam-packed train. You know what happens when almost all the people in this small country try to do the same thing at the same time, like rushing to the famous sightseeing spots. I’d rather travel when it’s not too crowded and better service is expected. Then why am I feeling the nasty satisfaction from this pouring rain which probably ruined some people’s gorgeous plans like being on the beach or something? OK, I admit it. I get in touch with the darker side of my heart and admit that I’m just jealous of the majority of the society who can legitimately appreciate the “Golden week.” ;P

It’s funny that even though my work shift doesn’t change in this holiday week, still I feel this week is a special holiday week… Maybe some holiday-special programs on TV and also seeing some stores/offices being closed contribute to this feeling. Somehow I’m feeling more relaxed today than on other regular Sundays. I guess I’m going to work on the template of this blog. Cherry blossom season is over … it’s the season of tender green of new leaves.
posted by obachan, 5/01/2005 02:45:00 PM


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