Thursday, April 19, 2007

Okay, Fugi-San, and me and some brit, and then Kellen and Jenn. We are clearly as photogenic as the mountain.

A Day in the Life

This may be an atypical day in its positivity but it still hints at the average day.

I woke up at 6:15, got to sleep in a bit since I was getting a taxi to school, made some breakfast and studied japanese for twenty minutes or so. The 10 minute taxi ride was a relief after my usual 30 minute bike ride. Once I get to school, Sakagawa Jr. High, I greet all the teachers with an, "Ohayo gozaimasu," and a bow, and the the students with, "good morning, how are you!" My mug of hot ocha(green tea) is sitting at my desk and I sip it as I look over the lessons for each class I will be with this day. I am teaching a third year in first period and we go over passive sentence formation and some other rather dry stuff. Second period is a first year and we have a good time with pronounciation and the alphabet and whatnot. Third period is prep time for me and I throw together a game to teacher my 4th period second year students about is/was and are/were.
Then there is lunch. I eat with the kids and try and get them to speak in english but I also practice my japanese. Lunch was hamburger(something made with groundbeef not an acutal hamburger) and a potato/carrot curry stew and some cabbage thing and rice and milk. Pretty good as per usual. Then, and I think this is something I would always like to follow lunch with, we played a wicked game of badmitton.(sp?) After the post-lunch time there comes cleaning time. In Japan there are no janitors and the teachers and students all clean at some point in the day. Today I wiped the floor down while teaching the kids to say, "whats up" and "clean." As far as cleaning goes it was pretty allright.
For the final two periods I basically oscillated between emailing people and studying Japanese and trying not to fall asleep.
Here is the best part. I had been invited to "join" the track and field club and today was my first day. -Every student is required to be in an after school club, mostly sports. Often a students day, especially highschool won't end until late in the evening- We started the run and were going to slow for me to even stand so I started passing kids and then the teacher and two boys and three girls pulled up ahead with me. I found it was actually pretty easy to communicate running ideas to them and we did some sprints and talked about the beautiful country hills we were running through and if I owned a turtle and what japanese food I liked and what were their names and it was great. It was the most english I have heard from any students and I now know all their names and I am stoked to do it again tomorrow.
After the run I grabbed my stuff, threw on my IPod-which has been so unbelievably useful-and rode back to my apartment. I worked on some writing, took a shower and then rode over to my friend Gene's place where I am currently writing this. We are going to have some Yakitori and maybe go out to Mal's later.
Not too bad of a day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Japanese maps are even harder to read than their english counterparts.

I decided to ride my bike to this mountain called awagatake but I sorta only knew what direction it lay in. So, in high spirits, I bought some ice tea-horrible stuff, turned out-and headed off. I am not sure I made it or not. I did go for a hike up this peak where, once you reached the top, you looked out over all these wheat colored trees and cherry blossoms. When I turned around to leave I realized that part of the peak was elevated a bit further and there was a small clearing where an old shrine rose, serenely from the ground. All in all it was a lovely trip.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Around four yesterday I ran out of things to do and decided to go for a bike ride-which is sort of funny since I already spend so much time on my bike. Anyway I road about ten or so miles then when I came back I found this spot like two blocks from my aparto. Not sure what I am looking at there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It is strange how much English is used in advertising here. Considering most people don't speak English, which is evident in the, sometimes hilarious, attempts, it is a really strange cultural phenomenon. The only equivalent I can think of in the States, which is silly, but doesn't even come close is that whole get a kanji tattoo phase everyone went through. Anyway, it's weird.

It's actually quite spacious, if sparsely decorated. The bathroom is an enlarged plastic doll house commode but besides that its pretty okay. The one-burner set-up isn't that great since I am only able to cook one thing at a time. Luckily I bought a toaster oven which, oddly enough, is called a pizza oven here.
I have been trying to cook japanese style food(ryori) and been doing pretty good I think. Miso with tofu-the tofu here is delicious, it actually tastes like some sort of food-Udon-this fried and pressed tofu stuff-rice. I had to consult with the grocery store worker to find out what miso to get and what sauce for the udon, etc. Next step is fish, which is super cheap here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kellyn and Eggdog, respectively.

This is what parts of Alaska look like when staring down on them from inside a Jet where you sit next to a girl who, when you ask if japanese names mean anything or if they're just names like mine, says yes and that her name is a combination of the words meaning summer and hope.

This is what i look like after being at Fred's for an indeterminate ammount of time.


Sorry all,

I didn't have internet acces with my laptop and all the computers here are in japanese and this site was too damn difficult to figure out. Anyways, new posts will becoming forthwith-lose not hope.