And I thought Japan was bad!

“We joined the swarm at the school gates. So did five police officers, who, it turned out, would spend the morning marshalling the crowds and directing the arriving and departing traffic.”     Crikey!


15 comments on “And I thought Japan was bad!

  1. Karen says:

    Scenes you’d never see in the US.

  2. Petra says:

    Oh dear, oh dear… that article sounded ghastly. I am so glad that I do not have to bother with all of this crap.

    The development I see here in the US is rather disturbing, too, although on a slightly different level. If you do not go to a (“good”)college and do not get a degree, you seem to be doomed. But you are doomed anyway, because if nearly everybody has a college degree and yours is just not “good” enough, because the name is not prestigious, where do you go from there? University, right. At those prices here for a university degree, if you want to go to a “good” one giving you a head start on your CV?

    The dividing line for me seems to be money – the line between those who can afford it and those who can’t. How many are left by the roadside in low paying jobs they do not like not because they are not intelligent enough, but for lack of funds?

    What does that do for the economy, the sciences, just about every part of society?

  3. Karen says:

    Petra, our daughter is living proof that a person can pay for an education in this country. There are generous college loans available here at reasonable rates and long term paybacks. She also worked part time when she was in school, and did get 3 scholarships (very small ones, though). However, she went to a state university, which is much less expensive than the really top notch private schools like Stanford, Harvard, and Yale.

  4. Karen says:

    BTW, I’ve decided to say no more about Vegas. Too whiney. I didn’t like it, that’s enough.

  5. Miko says:

    I’m so sorry you didn’t like Vegas, but I hope you had a nice time with your family. Three of my ladies went there, they had a blast! But they would. BTW one of them lost her camera, and got it back the next day. I was shocked (in a good way) to hear that.

  6. Miko says:

    I really think the whole system needs an overhaul. It never ceases to amaze me the number of gaijins I meet here in their late-30s or even 40s who are STILL paying off school loans. (One of them even told me that he expects to be paying it off right up to retirement.) And guess where their expensive educations got them in the end? Why, working here in Japan in crappy little cram schools. Something seems wrong with that.

    Kudos to Nicole for putting herself through school! That is really admirable. In Japan it’s the parents who bear the brunt of paying all school fees, up to and including grad school. I don’t expect my life, or my wallet, to be my own for another few years. When I think of what I could be doing with all that money. Thank goddess cats don’t go to school.

  7. Petra says:

    Karen, I am aware that I might have painted a picture with too broad a brush. But you have to admit that for a large majority the picture is that bleak. I see it so very often, the gap is there and unfortunately it is widening at a horrifying pace.

    As to Las Vegas – I am sorry that you did not like it. We are there once or twice a year, but we concentrate mostly on our friends, the amazing surrounding areas and on rugby. Okay, there is a bit of shooting crap involved, but even there we have found the places where the pace is slightly slower, the atmosphere more friendly and the price are lower. Those places, however, are outside of Las Vegas…

  8. Miko says:

    Rugby? Did someone say rugby?

  9. Petra says:

    Yes….. didn’t you know that the love of my life is a former rugby player and now the Vice President of the Referee Society in our part of the state? And that I love rugby and have ever since I lived in the UK?

  10. Karen says:

    Oh, we did enjoy the friends, and it was great from the family to be together. Nicole and Steven found Boulder City and loved it. We just need a slower pace at our age.

  11. Miko says:

    Like rugby? Need a slower pace? Move to NZ!

  12. Petra says:

    Boulder City is quite interesting – no gaming allowed, for one thing. 🙂

  13. Petra says:

    Yes, I know a lot of rugby players from NZ. They all seem to be a bit fed up with the slower pace and love the US!

    Actually we will be at the wedding of a female referee at the end of the year – she is getting married to a guy from NZ…

  14. Miko says:

    I’ve met quite a few professional Kiwi rugby players here in Japan (even dated one, but that’s a story for another day), and can say the same thing. NZ has extremely high rates of emigration … thousands of people leave every year in search of the bright lights, and most never return. I should know, I’m one of them!

    Did you know that I still own my old All Blacks rugby shirt? It’s compulsory to have one!

  15. Petra says:

    As a rugby person I am awed – a real, honest to God All Blacks shirt?

    The only thing I can offer is a photo of me with Jerry Collins (aka “The Terminator”); we met him at a function and he is the sweetest guy imaginable off the pitch. In action – oh well, he does carry that nickname for a reason. He’s retired from the All Blacks now and plays for a club in Wales.

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