Every summer, Kazue Schmitz takes a group of students to Japan. She teaches Japanese at Columbus High School, as well as being the school's swim coach. Kazue is married to WTVM 9 meteorologist Kurt Schmitz.
They've been taking the students all over Japan the past couple of weeks.
Today, I got an e-mail from Kurt saying, he saw a sign that said, "Pachinko Sandra."
He wondered if I had a side job!
Not hardly, though it's not a bad idea. Every pachinko parlor I've ever seen is packed.
A friend of ours lives in Hokkaido, and her father owns the pachinko building in half of the island. He's got plenty of money!
What is pachinko? It's like a slot machine, but it has a bunch of tiny ball bearings that fall and somehow, you get some of them back. When we were there last fall, our cousin Ken took me and Nancy to a pachinko parlo. I spent 5,000 yen and I think I got seven balls back. That's very, very bad. Nancy did much better. I didn't like it because it's very loud and smoky. It seems everyone in the building was smoking except us. Yuck!
It was a small place and almost every machine had someone in front of it. Maybe when I'm retired from the Ledger-Enquirer, I'll go to Japan and teach English and buy a pachinko parlor.