Monday, December 18, 2006

A most excellent gift

A few days ago, I received an amazing gift: a CD of pictures. Not any pictures, mind you, but more than 800 scans out of our family photo albums, arranged by date, with descriptive filenames. I can't imagine how much time was spent sitting there, listening to the scanner's whine to produce that.

I will, of course, share.

Part of what was interesting here is that the file name included a bit of information I never knew: the name of the girl next to me. It turns out to be Chisuzu Tanaka. Why didn't I know it? All I can figure was that either she was very shy or I was (and the latter doesn't seem very likely). I seem to recall asking her in both English and Spanish (If you don't know one, you must know the other, obviously!) but not getting any answer.

Meanwhile, check out the details here... my amazing sense of style (plaid shorts with a tie-dye shirt and black socks), the similarity to any other shot you might see of a kid on the way to his first day at school... the fact that it's anywhere but North America...

I hadn't realized how much the Costa Rican landscape was burned into my memory.


Jonadab said...

The landscape itself doesn't look so unusual to me. The clothes you're wearing are a bit odd, but the photo was presumably taken about a quarter of a century ago, so that could be as much the reason as the location.

What really gets me though is that bus, specifically the red and black and white part. We've all seen busses in various non-schoolbus colors because they belong to something other than a school, but this bus *has* the schoolbus colors elsewhere, yet it's still got these other colors too. It's like some kind of schizophrenic bus that can't decide if it's really a schoolbus or not. I suppose the reason is probably something mundane, like they had to make repairs and the parts they could get were those colors and the paint job was in good condition so they didn't bother to paint over it, or something along those lines, but it's still much weirder, to my way of thinking, than your fashion statement.

It might even be illegal here. I think schoolbusses might be legally required to be painted all in black and schoolbus yellow (though I'm not sure about this, and it might potentially vary from one jurisdiction to another within the country), and I'm pretty sure it's illegal for a non-school bus to use those colors. So I'm thinking that whether the bus is a schoolbus or not, having black, schoolbus yellow, red, and white might be illegal in the US either way. It would certainly be abnormal.

Andy said...

As I recall, that's a relatively undecorated bus. It is probably freshly arrived, after some U.S. school corporation declared it unusable. As time wears on, the rest of the bus will acquire a color scheme that's more in keeping with what's going on with the grille.

Besides, it's more common in other countries to contract with local bus companies for the morning and afternoon school runs, rather than the school system having their own buses. So it wouldn't be unusual for a "school" bus to have the color scheme of the bus company.

Deborah said...

I didn't even notice the bus was different. I guess I'm just used to that sort of thing. After trying to make out the kids' faces, the first thing I did notice was that the scenery was not the US- look at that overgrown yard with anonymous parts laying around. I've never seen that in the US. I can imagine people around here doing that, but that yard in the picture doesn't have the same honky-tonk flavor.

Andy said...

Deb Kartheiser? Is that you?