Thursday, June 28, 2007
The kids here are sometimes too young to know what is going on, but they are all perfectly conditioned to make the peacesign whenever a camera appears. Good girl!
My mom requested some pictures of the rain here in Japan, because I told her how unbelievable it can be at times. This picture doesn't even begin to show what it can be like during rainy season in Japan, but it's all I've got. The other day I walked the 300 meters to the internet cafe with an umbrella and my clothes were soaked so badly that it looked like I had just gone swimming. But I dried up nicely in the internet cafe so no water puddles in my apartment.
On Monday, Adrik and Eric came down to Inuyama from Nagoya and brought Katie & Jen (also AEON teachers) and Maiko (AEON student) with them. We were heading for Monkey Park in the monorail and excited about seeing some monkeys and riding some rollercoasters.
And in a park of monkeys the most interesting species will always be the homo sapiens a.k.a. human. See how the Katie-monkey is helping the Adrik-monkey get rid off his flees, aren't monkeys considerate? This was seriously the funniest and best attraction in the whole park!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Well, I’m just trying not to think about home to much and it helps to keep busy. Tomorrow, Adrik and Eric (from my training group) are coming to Inuyama, and we’re going to Monkey Park, some kind of rollercoaster park with monkeys (I guess). So, that should be fun!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Getting used to the Japanese garbage system is really frustrating, they have these posters with like 11 different groups of garbage and everything needs to be sorted accordingly, only the groups make no sense to me (for example paper is in 3 different categories) and I’m not sure of the pickup place in my neighborhood anymore (after I tried to dispose of my burnable garbage last night and there was no trash of my neighbors to be found at the spot Glenn (the teacher who lived here before me) pointed out to me. I did see a big cage with garbage near the spot, but the cage was locked and I couldn’t put my stuff in it. And I have no idea whether I put the right stuff in the burnable garbage because I just don’t understand the system, but I’m afraid to make a mistake because Megan (one of the trainers in Nagoya who used to teach and live in Inuyama) once made a mistake and they dragged her to city hall to make her separate her trash the correct way in front of the city and the manager of her school.
Another frustrating experience is going to the grocery store, I just don’t know what the packages say and the stuff in it looks so weird! I tried to buy stuff for dinner yesterday but after browsing the aisles for about 40 minutes I came out with just apple juice and ice-cream. What I wouldn’t give for an Albert Heijn (Dutch grocery store) around the corner. Yasu will need to teach me a lot about cooking and grocery shopping, unfortunately I will not see him until June 30th, so I’m not sure what I’ll do the next two weeks.
These frustrations and not seeing Yasu this weekend made me a bit depressed yesterday, I suddenly had an urgent yearning for my sweet mother, brother, and stepfather. Yeah, it is inevitable when you move to the other side of the world that you’ll miss what you leave behind sooner or later, and during training we were told that severe homesickness kicks in around the third month, so I am not looking forward to that at all. I remember how terrible I felt in Atlanta during my homesickness and frustration with everything American, but I was there for only four months… I’m planning on staying here permanently, I wonder how tough the culture shock and homesickness will be here.
What is nice is the 100 yen shop next to my apartment building, where you can buy almost anything for 105 yen (tax included) or about 80 Euro cents. I have bought baskets, plates, glasses, utensils, chopsticks, rice bowls, an umbrella, post-its, 40 clothes hangers, a cutting board, towels, rice bowls and much more there! It’s really cheap! There is an internet café in my street as well, where you all sit in booths (like I am right now) and use the computer (or plug in your laptop) for a couple of hours while enjoying some dinner or drinks. It’s so close but unfortunately I don’t have enough time to go there, but today is one of my weekend days so here I am! Also my street is kind of dark and once again I am afraid to go outside in the dark again… But the sun comes up at 4 AM here (no daylight savings time in Japan) so like last night I could dump my garbage in the middle of the night but still with the sun shining down on me, yeah it’s pretty freaky.
By the way as you can imagine, Yasu and I have been using our phones a lot! I can’t wait to see him in two weeks, when I take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Osaka and we’ll be spending the weekend in his parent’s cottage in the mountains!