Rest in peace, dear camera

It’s the middle of a long weekend now, and I got back about a half-hour ago from spending about 4-5 hours down in Kōchi City, in Kōchi Prefecture, to the south of Tokushima. I wanted to visit their famous open-air Sunday market again and just wander around a bit. I didn’t buy anything (I wanted to, but I spent too much time elsewhere, and when I got back to the market, it was closing up for the day and I was too late), but while I was there, I happened to run into one of my first-year junior high students and the science teacher from my junior high, over 50 miles from home. It’s always amusing when that happens.

Yesterday, I ran into a couple of my students and friends around town yesterday as well, when I went on an hourlong walk from my apartment to the train station closest to my junior high and then caught the train home. I’m driving out to Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture tomorrow–I’ve only been there briefly before, to see Utada Hikaru live, but we didn’t spend any time lingering in the city. Apparently there’s some fantastic Indian food out there…who knows, maybe some of my students will be there, too!

While I was in Kōchi, I attempted to take a few photos (just a few; I only lingered within a few miles of the station and wasn’t terribly impressed, though I like that they have trams)–but I was horrified to find that after a while, my camera refused to focus, and only would snap blurry photos.

From early on during my stay in Japan, I abused the poor thing inadvertently, when I put it in the pouch in the front flap of my shoulder bag and kept flipping the flap carelessly back to open the bag when it was lying on the ground, which was the equivalent of slinging my camera repeatedly onto the floor. I’ve dropped it a few times, too. Once I realized what I’d done, I immediately started being a lot more careful, but I was worried it was too late, that I’d done too much damage already, and I guess I was right. (This camera was a graduation/Christmas present from my parents, anticipating the acceptance into JET that wouldn’t come for another 4 months.)

Luckily, though, I somehow had this huge stroke of luck and won ¥5000 in gift certificates from some Yahoo!BB holiday campaign, and one of the participating companies is DeoDeo, a local electronics chain that has a location here in Ikeda. I’ll be using those gift certificates towards buying a new camera from DeoDeo, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. I’m looking for something that’ll produce higher-quality images than this camera has, something fairly economical but worth every penny, not too simple but not too complex. I’m considering a digital SLR, but let’s just see what DeoDeo’s selection is like.

As for my current camera, my Sony CyberShot DSC-P41…I guess I’ve beaten the poor thing into an early retirement. It’s had quite a good and eventful run, though, and it’s documented over 3/4 of an unforgettable two years of my life. I’ll be eternally grateful to it for all it’s done and all the memories it’s preserved.

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