Getting Better

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yeah so the ups and downs continue but overall I’m feeling pretty good…at least for now.

Yesterday was the first day that I came into work since last Wednesday. I talked to my supervisor about how I had skipped out in such a rude way even though I didn’t actually break any rules. She was surprised. She didn’t think it was a big deal. That made me feel really good.

I finally got a chance to ask her a bunch of questions about my cable, internet, and foreigner’s card which I should have gotten way long ago. All the answers were satisfactory and I left feeling really good.

Actually, when I woke up yesterday morning I was a complete wreck. I didn’t really want to go to work, I just wanted to sit in my room and never leave…though there’s nothing here anyway. But I went into work and I felt miserable the majority of the day but as time went on I ever so slowly started feeling better.

At lunch time Tainaka Sensei (the woman who is going to Largo in October) asked me if I would like to join her for lunch. I don’t know if it’s a rule to invite the gaijin to lunch everyday or what but it’s the best time of the day! I love being invited because I don’t really know what to do for lunch when it’s vacation time. When school is in session I can opt to have a bento lunch or I’ll bring it….when I learn to cook Japanese food. But for now, I love going to all the different restaurants and learning what people like. I’ve learned to say “what’s the most popular thing?” because I always said that in America when I didn’t know what to order…I didn’t always get the best results but I’ll still use that line a lot. So glad I can say it now. Especially since I can’t usually read the menu. (the better restaurants are the mom and pop shops that only have kanji menus and no pictures…and they specialize in only one thing like Udon)

So yesterday at lunch I was invited to go out. We all piled into the car and drove to Inoe which is the next town over (really close actually…by car) and we had lunch at a very famous Curry place on the “beach”. It was very nice and we ended up seeing some students who thought it was so damn hilarious that they caught their teachers out on their lunch break! The girls were actually really awesome and after meeting them I started feeling a bit better. They were so happy and even though they didn’t know a whole lot of English they really wanted to try. They weren’t shy about it at all. I can’t wait to start working with them :)

On another note, I’ve found that Japanese people love Ramen and curry. About half the shops on the street sell ramen and 1/3 of all curry places are Indian curry. I actually have yet to try the ramen because I disliked it so much in the states…maybe it’s better here. I think that’ll be my next experiment ;)

When I was riding my bike home around 4, I was feeling great and on top of the world. I ended up going to Kochi city and partied with some ALTs. I like those people. They’re good people. But they’re not my people. I’m here to make Japanese friends and though I don’t think that my Japanese friends will really understand me, the ALTs don’t really understand me either and they’re all from the states!!!! We are all just different people with different ideas and priorities.

Did I mention that Kochi as an entire prefecture supposedly consumes the most amount of beer in all of Japan? I’d look it up myself but I don’t have the internet.

Ok, so some things that I’ve noticed about Japan…or at least Kochi in general. (keep in mind that all of Japan in not exactly the same. Every prefecture has it’s own quirks)

The latest fashion is layers. These people could be sweating to death and they’ll have layers of shirts and skirts over jeans and whatever else they can think of to accessorize themselves (both men and women) They also like to wear long sleeves so the sun doesn’t burn their skin. They love the white skin business. I on the other hand wear as little as possible to beat the heat. And I do a pretty good job too (beating the heat not revealing my skin or keeping from burning. I’m actually pretty dark right now)

Next, there are a few of the same people that I keep running into. No one specifically but maybe it’s because we all ride the same train or shop at the same places but I keep seeing them. Just a observance. That would never happen in the states. It was very rare to run into the same person at the grocery store! Unless they worked there.

Finally, my favorite drink of the week is calpis. In Japanese it’s spelled “Ka-Ru-Pi-Su”. It’s really tasty. It’s kinda milky in color and it has a familiar sweet flavor but I don’t know where I’ve had it before. We don’t really have anything like it in the States. But we call it cowpiss…cuz that’s what it sounds like. HAHAHAHHAA

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