The Car

So, a while back we were lucky enough to get a car from my wife’s parents. They bought a new car (Toyota Prius) and were planning on disposing of the old one. Luckily they offered it to us first.

It’s a 1995 Volkswagen Jetta (Vento in Japan). Done around 45,000kms and is in relatively good condition. We flew all the way from Chiba to Wakayama to pick it up and drive it home. The drive was about 8 hours long.

A few days afterwards I noticed the front passenger footwell was soaking wet. Upon removal of the foot mat I was surprised to discover a  large mold patch.

Not sure where the water was coming from I spent the next few days researching the problem online.  The forum at vwvortex was pretty helpful. It seemed to come down to three possible causes. One: The heater core was leaking, Two: Rainwater was leaking in through the drain for the windscreen or Three: The air conditioner drain pipe was blocked.

Long story short, I never did figure out which one was causing the problem, but I did double check the air conditioner pipe was clean, then sealed the area where the pipe goes through the firewall. I also ran sealant along the base of the windscreen. Hasn’t leaked since. The heater core is most likely fine as the water level in the radiator hasn’t dropped.

So after ‘fixing’ the problem, we spend a weekend removing the seats and carpet from the car, replacing the base mat where there was mold, shampooing the carpet and replacing it. Obviously it would have been better to replace the carpet entirely, but for an older car that we will only use for three or so years, its not really worth the effort.

What is worth the effort though is the sound system. I will write about what I have installed in a future post.

Oh, and for those of you who own Volkswagen cars in Chiba – The Chiba-Kita Volkswagen people are really nice. They have reset the car computer, shown me where the air conditioning drain is and checked a few other things for me for free.

All the white stuff is mold!

Another quirky station sign.

Do it in the garden

Funky Warning Sign At Roppongi

What has this got to do with the beach?

Warning Sign for Train

Dentists are crazy cheap in Japan

With the 70% reduction in price (thanks to the national health insurance) it is so much cheaper to go to the dentist here than back home. My recent experience totaled four visits (two because I wasnt happy I didn’t get my usual dentist) and only cost 2440 yen.

For the first visit they drilled out a cavity (big one) from one of my molar teeth – took a cast and placed a temp filling. The second visit I asked to change back to my regular dentist and have the temp filling replaced – it had come out when I was chewing gum. Third visit I was with my regular dentist and she just checked that the temp filling was ok and put a nice smooth finish while I was to wait for the nerve to heal. The last visit they finished off by putting a nice hard white composite filling in. White!

I initially argued with the other dentist that I wanted a white filling. He said he wouldn’t be able to do it on the insurance because of the size of the filling. The national health insurance (J.E.T) covers metal fillings and small white fillings. It would have cost a minimum of 20,000 yen if the insurance wouldn’t cover the filling. Luckily I spoke with my regular dentist and she said she could get around the system for me, saving me a lot of money. She managed to do this because she made the filling in my mouth rather than having a mold taken and a special filling made.

Dentists Receipt

Sleeping Beauty

I know its a bit sneaky taking pictures of random people on the train, but I just couldn’t resist. Funny thing is, every time the train stopped, her head would return to a normal position, yet she was still asleep. When the train started moving again, her head would fall backwards. There were some high school girls having a big laugh about it too.

A lady sleeping on the train in Japan

I have Sinusitis. Drugs in Japan are crazy!

Ok, this isnt the first time I have been surprised with the amount pills I have been subscribed, but I think this most I have ever had to take. One bunch is for five days, the other for ten. I have no idea what they are, just that they should fix my problem.

Pills in Japan

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