Monday, December 05, 2005
Blackouts and NHK bitchiness
I am in a bit of a bitchy mood right now.
SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!
That is the rent on my apartment, and yet I can not turn on the aircon(or any other heating device), the hot carpet, and the computer at the same time and then have a desire to listen to some music.
It happened TWICE last night. Once when I turned on the stereo and again when I turned on the blow dryer. I actually have to choose between heat and turning on the fan to cook dinner. AUGH!!!
Stupid Japanese houses.
The NHK guy came to the door asking for money. I had just had a screaming fit about the shitty electrical source in our apartment; I was not about to deal with this guy in any civil way.
NHK is the Japanese equivalent of CBC or BBC. Sort of.
It is a TV station that sends out a signal that anyone can get anywhere in Japan. They try (note the word try. Not) to be neutral (haha) so do not have commercials. Instead they advertise their own shows. These shows tend to be a large variety of ‘variety shows’ and talk shows. Some people like them; I personally don’t.
They got caught in quite a scandal a few years ago and made a lot of people very angry.
Now unlike CBC and BBC, we have to pay for this TV station. Thing is, I never watch it.
Our apartment has a special little cable plug that you attach your TV to. Ours is not attached. We have satellite. Our satellite gives us English and Chinese; NHK nada.
NHK offers about 3 or 4 English evening movies a week. They can be heard in English if your TV or VCR has a language changing thingy on it. These movies are usually fairly old. They also offer the News translated to English (the changy thingy again) but the translations SUCK and they only offer it for 30 minutes and the last I heard the English news was from 5:30 to 6:00. HELLO!! Who is home at that time? Not me. I am only just struggling with the door key and a kid in the same hand just before 6.
The money amount for this is somewhere around 50 odd bucks for three months. (I don’t know exactly). Not a huge amount but I am not paying for something I don’t use.
When the NHK guy came around last year I told him, in very bad Japanese, we have satellite in English and Chinese, we never watch NHK so I am not paying. He accepted my answer. I think he was more terrified of me. Who cares; it worked.
I remember Janet telling the guy a few years ago, that she would only pay for 10% of the fee because only 10% on the channel was in English (news, movie and the odd English learning). The guy left with no money.
Well Li talked to the guy, with me wrapping my head around the corner every once and a while yelling out:
I am NOT paying!!
Li explained to him that we don’t watch NHK and if they want to check our TV he can see that it is not even hooked up. The guy actually told him:
-It is now Japanese law: If you have a TV you must pay for NHK.
Li just did the hooded eyes look at him:
-We don’t watch NHK, my wife does not understand Japanese, and if the government wants us to pay for it they can take the money out of our taxes.
The guy didn’t quite know how to answer that and told Li that someone else was going to come by to talk to us.
Fine. BRING EM ON!!
Li’s theory is:
NHK is an equivalent of the mafia; they provide a service whether you ask for it or not, and then make you pay for it.