Wednesday, January 18, 2006

new years

I guess lemme tell you a bit about what I did over break. I basically stayed in Hiroshima, and rode my bike everywhere!! I got hiroshima maps, and went all around the city on my bike. I'd pick two points furthest from each other and just go. You can really make it anywhere on your bike here, it's flat, not geographically large, and interesting. There is something in every inch of the city. I saw the peace park, bu thte museum was closed so i just walked around the park. I was actually sort of relieved because i'm not sure if i want to go through the museum yet. I went to the international center and got papers with all the municipal facilities, english TV programs, japanese lessons, events in hiroshima area, places where you can use visa at ATMs, and all kinds of cool info. Also, that day I went to the rest house where they gave me info on a bath house, the train to get there, the bus to get there from the train station, etc... so i went to the station, hopped on a local train and went down to a public bath house. It was pretty wierd being naked around a bunch of men, but i figured they're all japanese and i can't even talk to them and will never see them again, so it's a good time to get used to it, because i want to start going to onsen. Google search onsen if you don't know what they are, but there are a million to discover, and it will be the perfect weekend hobby!!I also went up to the top of the mountain behind the station and hiked down through the shrines and 100 tori-i gates with emma, tomo, greg, vernon, and kate. There are picture of all of this, I may not be the most reliable blogger about my adventures here, but i am proving to be a fantastic photo journalist!Also, I went to Miyajima, which is amazing. We didn't get to hike to the top, though, so next time we'll have to leave earlier.
Work is work, it can be really fun, but also it's so hard because i work 50-60 hours a week. It will just get easier, though, so hopefully soon i'll only be there the time that i SHOULD. Don't take this as complaining, i hope i never complain about work because the JTs (japanese teachers) work sooooooooo much harder. they have to have meetings about the profits, they have to answer phones, they have to call all of my students' parents when they're absent, or call to arrange classes for me, everything. They do everything, but since we are just gai-jin and don't speak japanese, and aren't expected to, our only real duty at work is to teach our classes. So long hours, but the work isn't too bad and it's getting easier and easier.Now that i'm familiar with the area, I'm devoted to saving money during the week and taking weekend trips (maybe to onsen, or to okayama, whatever.) Mat, my friend from training, came down this weekend from okayama and totally inspired me. He just grabbed hsi sleeping bag, caught a train over and slept on the ground, and we hung out and saw stuff then he went home today. It was fun and made me actually realize that i can do that sort of thing easily, too. There's no need that working at ____ has to be my life, it just does tuesday through saturday! I mean, it's easy to forget that the reason i'm doing it is to SEE japan. I've drank and ate away a lot of money the last month, although i don't regret it or anything, because i've made a lot of friends, learned my city, learned a LOT of japanese, and had a great time. It's just time to move on is all. Next weekend if there's room I might go with him and the trainers to a vila, villa, i'm not sure if it's the spanish word or some japanese take on it, anyways thats what it's called. You get a bunch of people together, rent some house in the middle of nowhere for the night, and bring your own food, rice, stuff to prepare, sake, or whatever, and make a dinner in an old traditional home, and have this house to yourself to stay up all night and party or chat in. (usually they are located near onsen to go to, etc...)

Last night mat and I were looking for a good okonomiyaki joint to eat in, because the one we wanted to go to was closed, and I ran into this mom and kid from _____. So we said hi, and i asked "doko e oishii okonomiyaki ha taberemasuka?" (where can we get some good okonomiyaki?) and we chatted for awhile, and she ended up inviting us with her to dinner! So we went with her and this kid, who is like REALLY cool, to this place that was basically a cafeteria. There are shelves of stuff, and you pick them up and toss them on your place. Like you pick up an egg, put it on, some natto, tempura yam, whatever, and everything is like 60 yen so it comes out really cheap! I don't even have this kid as a student, but i told him that he should take lessons with me, and i think he will. It was really cool getting to just sit around and chat with this family. Yuudai, the kid, like i said is really cool ~ he's one of those people who enjoys talking to anyone; i see him in the lobby very animated just talking to 4 or 5 adults who are listening, and nodding, like engrossed by whatever he's telling them. I figure I'm going to have a full schedule teaching no matter what, so I might as well PICK my students, yeah?

well, check my videos and pics!! (right hand side there)


At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are really learning about the country.Food sounds good. Heloise

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Janelle said...

Your documentaries and photos are SO interesting! You're doing a great job of keeping us informed. It's such a treat to be able to see all this through your eyes and camera and tongue! Your blog is bookmarked and I check it every day, even though I don't always comment. Thank you. It is appreciated.


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