Friday, November 16, 2007

Nagasawa's Frame

Nagasawa promised me that when he emailed about the status of the frame he would use as little Kanji as possible. Nevertheless, when the mail came, it was written in standard Japanese and, hence, full of Kanji. I got basic message, which was, "I'm finishing the frame tonight, come by and pick it up on Sat or Sun, but let me know before you come." But there was some stuff in the middle that I didn't understand, even though it included Kanji that I had just learned. It said something like, "If you want a rearrangement, bring the bike, there's no charge for the rearrangement." I talked to some Japanese friends about it and they didn't really get it either. Finally, I realized that since I told him I already had the other parts, he must have assumed I had them on another bike and he was saying that he would swap them all over for free.

I wrote him back, saying that there was no need for an exchange, that I was coming out alone and reminding him that my Japanese sucked. I didn't hear back from him, but when I shot him an email en route he responded that he would be there when I arrived.

When I got there the frame was wrapped in protective cardboard sleeves that he took off in pieces to show me various things, such as the fact that he had put my name on the top tube. The frame was sweet and I could see immediately that the color was gonna be sick with my hubs. I actually never unwrapped it entirely and I'm gonna wait until the bike is all built up.

Nagasawa, his daughter and I chatted as much as was possible given my Japanese, and the fact that they only know individual works of English. His daughter asked me about what I do for a living, despite the fact that she had already talked to Ken and Jon about this. When I told her that I did research on the history of mathematics, she exclaimed with great excitement, "The history of mathematics?!?! Cool!!!" Which sounds as absurd in Japanese as it does in English (suugaku-shi?!? kakkoii!!! 数学史!?かっこいい!!).

Since I didn't need any labor for the parts, Nagasawa asked me if I needed anything else while his daughter filled out the forms. He ended up finding me some chain tensioners, a pair of MKS Unique Custom pedals, clips, and Fujita straps. He gave them to me tada, as he said -- which is the expression young people use for free. (Actually, in distinction from most people his age, he uses a fair amount of young people's lingo and words borrowed from European languages.)

The receipt they gave me is so cool I had to scan a copy of it. It's printed on some kind of anti-counterfeit paper that looks like a bond note. It has a special 200円 stamp on it that also appears on one of the forms for one of my bank accounts. (I'll have to ask someone about this.) It is then stamped twice. There is the small circular stamp with a name in Kanji that all Japanese people carry with them, and then the abstracted square one that was engraved on a large piece of stone. The stamping of the receipt was and serious affair and since there was excess ink, it had to be hung up to dry.

Like most Japanese people, they preferred my middle name, and as you can see they made the receipt out to Camillo. (I smugged out my last name in the image.) Somehow, however, Nagasawa determined that my first name would me more appropriate for the frame itself.

Here's a picture of the frame, still in wraps, surrounded by some of the parts that will be on the finished bike.

1 comment:

Jackie-Rae said...

I'm jealous. You bike is going to be so beautiful.