またクルマ買っちゃいました

Peugeot 307 Style
2年9ヶ月ぶりにまたクルマ買うことにしました。今住んでるところはクルマがなくても生活できるところということで選んだのではありますが、それでもやはりクルマがあるとないとではQoLがはるかに違うのであって、ちょっとした遠出をするのにも、コストコでかさばる買い物するのにも、ストレス解消で走りに行くのにも(笑)、クルマがあったほうがいいわけです。そもそも運転大好きな私が2年以上も足をもがれているというのは健全ではないわけで(爆)。
レンタカー借りればいいじゃん、と言われそうですが、やっぱり借り物と自分のクルマとでは全然違うというのがあります。
ということで、去年の暮れにボーナスが出てからというもの、クルマを探し求めていろいろネット検索したり車屋を探し歩いたりしてました。まず、小さいクルマに、それもマニュアルで乗ってみたいという願望がありました。イギリス人の真似したかったというのが1つ(彼らはほとんどMT車に乗るそうです)、小さいクルマならMT車のほうがよく走るだろうというのが1つ、MT車のほうが運転して楽しいというのが1つ、そして、今後出てくるであろうハイブリッドカーや電気自動車は、ほぼ例外なくATかCVTになると思われるので、MT車を運転できるのはこれが最後になるだろうと思ったというのが1つの理由としてあります。
ということで、条件に適したクルマが見つかりました。プジョー307スタイル(2002年式)、乗り出し価格38万円也。
駐車場見つけたり車庫証明取ったりに手間取ったので、手続きに1ヶ月以上かかっちゃいましたが、なんとか今日納車を受けることができました。

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I’ve got a car again

Peugeot 307 Style
I’ve made up my mind to have my own car again. Two years and nine months have passed since I parted with the last car in May 2008 and then moved to a house much closer to central Tokyo after I did it. The place where I currently live is so convenient that you can live without owning any car. Nevertheless, without a car it’s difficult to go on a slight outing late at night, to buy bulky goods from Costco, or to drive a car aggressively to get rid of your stress! 🙂 To do them you can hire a car at a nearest rental car shop, but it’s less convenient than having a car you can do as you like. That’s why I’ve decided to get my own car even if it’s much more costly.
To find an appropriate car, I checked Yahoo! Japan, Goo-Net or other websites listing up used cars and shops after I got bonus last December. Of course I had no choice to have a brand-new car. I wanted to have a small-sized, 5-speed stick shift car instead of a large automatic saloon, because I wanted to do as Englishmen did (most of them drive stick shifts rather than automatics) and I thought that manual transmissions were better for small cars giving more pleasure to drivers, and that it would be the last chance for me to drive a stick shift as almost all cars to be released in future would, petrol or hybrid, have automatic or continuously variable transmissions.
In the end of last December I found a car that I felt to be nice at a small used car shop in suburban Tokyo. It was 2002 Peugeot 307 Style (1600cc petrol), costing just 380,000 yen! I decided to buy it without hesitation.
It took much time from the purchase to the pickup. In Japan, you must register a car you buy to the government before owning it, and before the registration you must settle a parking space and have the garage certificate from the nearest police station. To have a garage, you must sign a contract with a local real estate company offering car parks in the area where you live. The trouble is that the real estate company and the police station open only in weekdays, so I had to take a day (or some hours) off to do those things.
An average parking space rate in the area I live in was about 30,000 yen per month, but I found a car park renting a parking space for 26,500 yen per month.
Anyway, all of the procedures to have the car had been done and I picked it up today.

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上海行ってきました

火曜の夜に戻ってきました。今回は観光旅行ではなく出張だったのであまり街をいろいろ見ることはできなかったですが、なかなか怪しくて面白いところでした。
ということであんまり写真はないですが、Flickrに写真をアップしました。
香港や台湾は以前行ったことがありますが、大陸は行ったことがありませんでした。似てるところもありますがそうでないところもありました。上海では歩行者が横断歩道を渡っていても横から車が突進してきます。大陸では車優先で、歩行者が横断歩道にいようが車は減速すらせず、歩行者のほうが車の流れを見て渡らなければならないようです。タクシーに乗ったときも、運ちゃんは道を横断しようと荷車を押していたおばあちゃんに激しくクラクションを鳴らしてどかせ、横断歩道を渡っている歩行者の集団に突進していってました。
浦東地区は高層ビルがいっぱいで、どれもド派手なライトアップ。日本じゃ見られないようなイルミネーションがいっぱいでした。
食べ物は美味しくて、しかも日本よりずっと安い。辛い湖南料理にニンニクを大量に食べても、次の日腹を壊さずしかも口も臭くならなかったのはびっくりでした。
セキュリティチェックは日本より進んでいるようで、地下鉄の駅の入口や大きなビルの入口には手荷物検査とボディチェックがありました。ただボディチェックはかなりおざなりにやってましたが。
ともあれ、上海は日本から近いし、もうちょっと暖かくなったらまた行ってみたいです。今回はちょっと寒すぎて歩き回れませんでした。。。

Shanghai — the exciting city

I returned back from Shanghai Tuesday night. I couldn’t see so many things there because it was completely a business trip, not a private sightseeing trip, and I had a lot of work there. But I found out how exciting and mysterious that city was.
I’ve updated a set of the trip on Flickr though I couldn’t take so much pictures.
It was my first time to visit mainland China other than Hong Kong and Taiwan. In some points they were similar but in other point they weren’t. Oncoming cars in Shanghai didn’t stop even when we were crossing the street on a zebra crossing. In mainland China cars have the right-of-way so pedestrians have to give way to them when crossing the road, not to disturb the flow of traffic. When we caught a taxi cab, the driver honked at an old pedestrian pushing a cart and beginning crossing the road and ran into the crowd of pedestrians crossing the crosswalk. It was amazing.
There were plenty of tall buildings in the Pudong area and all of them were illuminated by gorgeous floodlights. I was surprised at those floodlights which were so showy that you couldn’t have seen in buildings in Japan.
Foods tasted very good and they were much cheaper than in Japan. It was amazing that even if I had eaten plenty of garlic and spicy Hunan foods for dinner I didn’t upset my stomach and my mouth didn’t smell badly at all!
Security measures seem to be more advanced than in Japan. Luggage scanning and body screening were mandatory at every metro station and most of major building entrances. Officers did screening very roughly though.
Anyway, Shanghai is very close to Japan so I wish to visit it again in a warmer season. It was so snowy and chilly there that I couldn’t walk around the city very much.

上海行ってきます

今から上海に行きます。今回は完全に仕事の出張です。成田に来るときは大雪でしたが今は晴れています。
Gate 38
NH919 to Shanghai
さて中国でマトモにネットができるかどうか疑問です。TwitterもFacebookもブロックされてると聞いてるので。。。。

Going to Shanghai

I’m going to Shanghai for 100% business trip this time. It snowed very much near Narita Airport when I was coming in the Limousine Bus, but it’s fine now.
Gate 38
NH919 to Shanghai
I wonder if I will be able to use Internet in China because I hear Twitter and Facebook are all blocked there….

Happy New Year 2011

LONG LIVE HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR AND THE IMPERIAL FAMILY. GOD BLESS OUR NATION AND OUR PEOPLE. MAY THIS YEAR BE HAPPY TO US. THANK YOU.