Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, I haven't been to the gym for a while. Two months actually. The time went by so quickly. First, I went away for Christmas. When I came back, I was sore from skiing and then visitors arrived. Then they left and the next day, another visitor arrived. Then she left and Wayne and I madly tried to make the apartment more user-friendly. Then I started school. A number of times I planned to go to the gym, but it was so cold riding on my bike that I thought I'd go home and wait for Wayne to get back with the car. By the time he got home, I was warm and settled in the apartment that I really didn't want to go out again. Then I got sick. Then I had more visitors. Then I got sick again.

Finally yesterday, I was ready to go back. Ready and eager. As I hadn't been to the gym for two months, I hadn't paid my January or February fees. I knew I'd have to pay both and was prepared for that.

Well, I arrived and the staff scanned my card. I got a shy look from the receptionist who asked me to wait. She ran and got someone. That women then looked at the computer and got someone else. They disappeared into a room together. I was asked to wait some more. The first women shyly said "So you haven't been here for a while....?". I agreed.

The second women came back to tell me the news. My membership had been cancelled! As I had been so slack and not been for two months, they cancelled my membership, ok, as I hadn't PAID for two months, they cancelled my membership. Bugger! I was told that I could sign up again, but would need to fill in all of the forms once more. Mmm.... problem there... I can't read Japanese and last time Natsuki helped me sign up. I asked if they had my old forms on file, which they did, so luckily I was able to just copy everything off them.

As with most things in Japan, it took time, but finally, I was once more a member, with a new card and everything. The funny thing is, it ended up costing me much less, about 10,000 yen (about $100) to have my membership cancelled and renewed than what I was going to pay for those two months.

I also have a private shoe locker at the gym which I pay for. In Japan, gyms will only allow you to wear "indoor shoes" and I was sick of carrying them to work and then to the gym each time I went. I told the receptionist that I also needed to pay for it. She asked me if I wanted to have my locker from the same day my new membership started (this coming Friday). I told her that actually, my shoes were still in there. She gave me a cute, sly smile and said "We'll start it from Friday" then in a whisper - "Don't worry, your shoes are still in there".

I now can't wait to get back to the gym this Friday. The weather is warming up and I'm feeling the need to get moving again and to work off that winter insulation I've been growing ;)


Kelly-Chan said...

It's funny..why didn't they just phone you to tell you that your payment was due and it would be cancelled if you didn't pay it? It's another one of those quirks of Japan!! I can't believe your shoes are still in there too...they seem to have this protocol that they have to follow to the letter, even if the circumstances are's the sheep thing again!!

Badaunt said...

That turned out well! It seems to me that the huge joining fees they used to have are coming down these days, which is a good thing for you.