A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Days with Fives and Zeros

I figure that unless I am being held hostage as part of a bank heist, I should never have to spend more than 15 minutes in a bank. However, today, despite the noticeable lack of masked hoodlums in my local branch, I spent over one hour trying to get my bankbooks updated.

When I complained about this to one of my colleagues, she said:

ごとおび だから じゃない?
gotoobi dakara ja nai
It’s probably because today is a day that has a five or a zero in it.

To which I said, “huh?”.

It seems that the days that end in zeros and fives (5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th) tend to make for good deadlines for a variety of things, and payments in particular. This means that banks and, since people need to get to banks, roads tend to be busier on these days than the other days, and the earlier in the month they are, the more likely they are to be busy. The rather efficient way to refer to these days in Japanese is 五十日, or literally 5&10 days (五=5, 十=10, 日=day).

So, I learned this lesson a bit late this time, but I will remember it the next time I need to update my bankbooks. From now on, I am only going to do things on days that include sevens. (Sevens are lucky, right?)

One Comment

  • Laura H... says:

    Ah, Shaney, you’re hilarious AND informative! A fantastic combination!! :D It’s actually great to know this. Now I can avoid those hour plus standoffs, too… ;)
    Laura H…