Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Nengajo Straw.

In Japan as well as many other places in the world, it will soon be the new year.

As is customary in Japan we have been engaging in the cultural obligation of sending Nengajos (New Years Cards). Similar in procedure to the sending of Christmas Cards, these cards are basically a postcard with a picture or graphic of some sort on one side, address, postage and a lucky serial number on the other.
In the days leading up to Christmas it was my pleasure to design the graphic side of the Nengajo, and subsequently Aukje brought the computer file to a printing shop for publication. I was tickled by my design thinking it to be pretty good, (though perhaps an improvement here and there was warranted). Nevertheless it was publishable.

A few days later...
Aukje got off the phone with the printing place who refused to print the cards because the graphic was not exactly the right size.
This caused me an unjustifiable amount of frustration. An almost physical reaction at the audacity of the printshop. What is wrong with these people? Next I will be refused from entering the country because I don't look EXACTLY like my passport or I will be told I can't pay a bill at the bank because my signature isn't EXACTLY the same as before.
After I dealt with the frustration, (without throwing anything) we put together an emergency contingency plan, and ran out to Yodobashi the next morning to pick up a colour printer cartridge for out printer. We purchased blank inkjet nengajos as well, and I spent several hours babysitting the printer, alternatively massaging it and strong arming it to spit out each Nengajo.
In the end we were successful, (not without some stress) but we managed to get the bulk of them in the mail by about 11pm, with just a few (the ones I could not coerce the printer in to spitting out properly)to finish off.

The moral of the story you ask? Well I suppose (ala Christmas Cards) next year we'll start earlier.

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