What Cold Wave?

Friday, November 10, 2006

It turns out that the cold wave was just that. It came through and went just as quickly. Monday I was wearing a scarf to Odochi and today I had on only a thin long sleeved shirt at Tosayamada. Tomorrow it'll rain and probably make things cold again. Either way, it's not getting any warmer in the end!

Actually, the cold wave hit all of Japan and in the very tip of Hokkaido (the most northern Island of Japan) the winds got so bad that they actually caused a tornado and 9 people died. It was close to record breaking. Some cold front!

I ended up freaking out about the cold (surprise) and when I got my first free moment I went over to Uni Qlo to pick up some more clothes...that would be yesterday (4 days after the cold front hit). It turns out that Uni Qlo changes their merchandise about once every 4-6 weeks. That's great! I went in there thinking that I was going to have to find something new in the pile of old stuff but it turned out that almost everything was new and rearranged and I got about $100 worth of fantastic clothes! 6 shirts and two super warm cotton/fleece, fuzzy lined jackets!

Also, against my mothers advice, I bought a down filled plastic jacket. Its super warm to the point of being hot but she told me not to get it because it wasn't lined on the inside. It's just plastic all around. We'll see how it works out. For right now, it's better safe than sorry. I'd rather waste money than go insane.

Next on the list is keeping my apartment warm. I really do believe that the mornings here are going to be the death of me. I can tolerate going to bed cold and being cold during the day (kinda) but waking up cold is a different matter. When I'm half asleep my mind plays tricks on me and I get angry or frustrated faster over dumb stuff. Like, when I first got here, I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating because it was so hot and I would keep myself awake worrying that I was going to cause mildew to grow in my futon! If I had been awake, I wouldn't have worried about such crap. But now I wake up thinking that my toes are going to freeze off or that I'll die in the shower from being cold.

I told Kae that one day I just wouldn't be there. I wouldn't go to work or answer my phone and no one would know what happened to me until someone finally broke down my door to find me curled up under my sheets crying because it's so cold!!!

Let's hope that doesn't happen.

I shall digress for a moment to tell a funny story before I get to my point (in a Nina sort of style)

Last summer.........two summers ago? Whenever, I went up to New York with my dad to visit his cousin Debbie. They are both in their 50's so keep that in mind while I'm telling you this. We had taken my mom's Cadillac which is quite a nice luxury car with all these random gadgets in it.
As we were driving around New York in this car, Debbie suddenly asked "ooo, it's kind of hot in here" which it wasn't really though it wasn't cold either. A minute or two later she said "am I going crazy? I think my seat is warm!" Lo and behold she had turned her seat warmer on without knowing it. We laughed a little about it until she announced "goodness I thought I was getting turned on for no apparent reason!"


So, I was standing in the living room of Kae's house when this story came to my mind. ;) I thought, am I going crazy? or are my feet getting warm?

It turned out that she has an electric carpet that she decided to turn on that day. Very nice! She and Wakako made it a point to tell me that it wasn't cold that day regardless of how wrapped up I insisted on being with my heavy sweater and scarf. I thought, sure it's not cold to you, you're sitting under the Kotatsu with your electric carpet to boot! (A kotatsu is a table that has a heater underneath it. You place a blanket under the first layer of table so your legs get nice and toasty while the rest of your body freezes)

So, I know that my mom is going to be upset that I just wrote that story about Cousin Debbie whom I love dearly. Actually, there are a couple of things that I've written that she worries about. What if someone were to read it who's from my area? What if one of my students or teachers read it? What would they think? Would they think that I hate them or their country? Would they understand some of my jokes or would the be insulted?

I have another interesting story for you:

The morning that I left for Nagoya, I took the train into Kochi city. I ended up timing my train at the same time that all the students from different towns were coming into Tosayamada to go to school. I ended up passing about 20 of my students and even one English teacher! I also passed an advanced English student, Ai, who actually had the guts to ask me where I was going since I clearly wasn't on my way to school. I told her I was going to Nagoya for a vacation. She said "have fun" and we were off.

This Thursday I had class with Ai and the other 7 advanced English students. Ai saw me and said "So how was Nagoya?" I told her it was fun, I went to visit a friend of mine. She said "oh yeah, who's your friend" to which Yui, another student, chimes in and says "Aozora".

That stopped me for a second. Wait...had I told Ai who I was going to visit and she then told Yui and promptly forgot herself? No, I hadn't told Ai. I hadn't told anyone that I was going to visit Aozora unless they knew her in the first place! And no one at Tosayamada knew Aozora. Why would they?

I ask Yui how she knew that and she kind of ignored me. The conversation then quickly took a turn and went onto everyone asking if Aozora was her real name or not. Aozora hates her name which means "blue sky" in Japanese. I personally don't understand why it's a bad name because everyone's name means something or other here. But hers is so uncommon that most people wonder if that's the name she was born with or if it's a nickname.

After that was over I brought it back to Yui. "No seriously, how did you know that?" How could she know that? Did she hear about it from someone else? Who would know that? Had she read my blog? No way! Her English isn't that good!!! Ai is the only person that can speak English in that school! (besides the teachers)

So I really pressed her for it. That's just too creepy. It finally came out though. It turns out that Yui was one of the girls to go to Largo last year as an exchange student. No wait, that can't be relevant. Aozora was there 2 years ago, not 1! There's no way that Aozora's good reputation at Largo would have gotten to Yui in the two weeks she was visiting there!

So I pressed some more. The truth of the story was that she was friends with my host sister Yuumi. Yuumi came to visit me the same time that Aozora was going to school at Largo. She then told Yui about her. Yui didn't just know her name, she knew that she wasn't actually from Nagoya but somewhere more north in Japan. She knew that she studied at Largo and a few other tid bits about her life in general.

I was totally creeped out. If Yuumi told Yui all of that about Aozora, what else did she tell her? What did she tell her about me or my life? What about me and Sou?!?!!?! ACK!

Whatever, in the end, she didn't read my blog and that's all that matters ;) Told you mom, no one knows it's here and if they do, I don't know them :)

I'll be eating those words one day. I just know it.

I hope Ketchup helps the bitter flavor!

3 shared their love:

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how small the world has become with airplanes and internet and whatever else makes far away things so accessible. Welcome to the world, my darling. I guess the whole world population has become neighbors in some way or another (just another thought from your one-eyebrow-raised mother). I've often wondered how many people that I don't know already know me or have heard something about me. I hope it's all good...weird thought, huh?

Tegan said...

I don't think you have to much to worry about. I don't think Japan has gotten into let me see if I can google this person just cuz I am board faze. Its just a matter of haveing keitaiGoogle :D

Nina said...

But I totally have Keitai Google....!

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