Friday, December 5, 2008

Putting my wallet where my mouth is

So after a year and a half in Japan, I finally got caught by the NHK man. (NHK--Nippon Housou Kyoukai a.k.a. the Japan Broadcasting Corporation--is Japan's television public broadcaster.) Actually, I saw him once before shortly after I moved in, but at the time I didn't have any money so I honestly told him "gomen, ima tarinai" (sorry, right now I don't have enough) and he just said he'd come back later.

This time, though, I did have enough money, and I also got the form to have the fees automatically deducted from my bank account. Looks like they've finally gotten wise to some of the tricks people use to avoid paying.

Before my doorbell rang, I heard my neighbour's bell being rung, so I pretty much knew it was the NHK guy without having to open the door. I honestly considered ignoring the bell, but then my principles kicked in. Even though I don't watch TV very often, I do have a TV and I do watch shows occasionally, so I should be paying the NHK fees.

I had another mini crisis of conscience when the NHK guy asked me if I have BS. I knew that if I just said no he would accept that, but I do have it, and the BS weather channel is one of the few channels I actually tune into fairly regularly, so I had to truthfully answer "yes"--thus increasing my bi-monthly fee from 2000-something yen to 4580 yen. ^^;;

But I believe in honesty, so I had to do it.

*sigh* Normally I wouldn't be too troubled by paying such a fee, but this month my budget is pretty tight because I sent money home before I remembered that I'd have to pay for my train tickets to Narita airport (to go home for Christmas). Usually I would just pay by credit card, but with the yen-dollar rate the way it is, it's not worth it to use a credit card. Unfortunately, I may have to pay for at least part of the ticket fee on credit card because I don't think I've got enough to pay in cash anymore. =( Hopefully I'll be able to do a split cash/credit payment so I won't get too badly dinged on the exchange rate.