Friday, July 28, 2006
I won't be posting as normal here, and for that, I apologize. I am, however, working on a daily happy on my personal computer. If I make it somewhere with wireless, I will update then. If not, there will be a very big post to be made when I return to America!
Sorry for the inconvience, y'all! Love ya!
Monday, July 24, 2006
- God it is ROASTING today!
- So the last 3 days I’ve been cleaning my little heart out! All I have left to do, really, is to sweep up the floor in the kitchen and the genkan…then I am pretty done! Oh, and I have to take a million bags of trash out. Trouble is that since garbage day isn’t until Thursday, I have to walk them over to the dumpster which, I think, is near
’s apartment. Gah! I think that’s the closest one. Duncan
- Yesterday Yoko and I took Ocha to the vet. He is staying there for a few days.
- After the vet, I met Kana and we went to Ikebana. Awwe. It was so cute! My teacher is so wonderful. She bought cakes for us to eat and we ate cake and drank tea after we set up our flowers. Then when it was time to say goodbye, she cried! Awwe! Bless her!
- Around 11:30, Manabe-chan came over. She showed me her sister’s wedding pictures, and then gave me copies of the photos from my birthday! They are SUPER funny. She stayed over and we chatted till around 1am.
- This morning, I was awoken in the worst possible way. My landlord came around 8:30 and just rang the doorbell ***4*** times in quick succession. I was shaking because my body was not able to really wake up so fast! And then I had to run around the apartment looking for a pair of pants while he is ringing the doorbell! Ugh! I told him to come back at 6pm. He was very surprised. I guess he thought I would want to be out early today….
- I walked my suitcase and a few bags over to
’s apartment. When I was up in his apartment, I stole a banana and some Calpis because I was STARVING and have NO food left in my house at this point. I’ll tell him later. He’ll be cool with it. :o) That’s why I like Duncan . He’s just so laid back. Duncan
Sunday, July 23, 2006
- Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!!!! I love you all!
- Friday night, Sara came over and we went to yummy yakiniku. Then we stayed up and chatted for many hours. It was so nice!
- Saturday morning, Sara and I ate chocolate croissants for breakfast, chilled out and relaxed. Then, we took a nice hour-long walk around Tanbara.
- At 1:30ish, Yoko picked us up. We did some runs thru the grocery store, then headed to her place for cake making. It was nice fun. Sara and Yoko are both good at cooking. I wasn’t so good. But I was happy and enjoying being with friends. I felt very jumpy and happy, like when Ocha feels good, he does a binky jump. I was doing those.
- After we finished the cake, the 3 of us went to yakiniku at a DELICIOUS restaurant. Yakiniku 2 nights in a row killed my tummy, but was soooo good.
- Then was my party. There were about 15 or so people there. We ate at laughed. I got a couple of birthday presents which was exciting! Then we headed off to karaoke. About 8 of us went. It was such good fun! I sang loudly and danced a lot.
- Saturday night, Yoko and Sara stayed over. The next morning Sara went home early. Yoko and I played with Ocha for a bit, then walked over to
’s apartment to get Yoko’s car. It was blocked in by Betchi’s car. It turns out that she had lost her car key some time in the night!! So, she called her mom to bring a spare. Right when her mom was almost there, Duncan remembered that he’d hid her car keys the night before so she couldn’t drive home drunkenly! Ha! Silly Duncster! Duncan
- Tonight I took a long walk in the rain with
. We walked down roads neither of us had been before and made a few discoveries along the way, for example we found a little pond! It was nice to just walk and talk. I am going to seriously miss Duncan a lot. He has been such an amazing friend to me. My Tanbara brother. Duncan
- I ate Pringles for dinner at
’s house. My stomach hurts now. Duncan
Tonight I am not in a talkative mood. I will perhaps add more to this later because my birthday was certainly very exciting and fun!
Friday, July 21, 2006
- Number 1 good thing is that tomorrow is my birthday!!!
- Thursday’s enkai was pretty fun. Toda-sensei made me a goodbye DVD and the staff gave me a bottle of fancy looking sake.
- Toda-sensei also made an Abie Quiz to test the teachers about me. They did pretty good, but one teacher kept trying to cheat. He’d be like, “Abie, do you like sushi?” (in Engish which was good for him cuz he NEVER says anything in English). To that I said, “Eigo ga wakaranai…” (I don’t understand English). Muahaha!
- At the enkai, Kocho-sensei (the principal) wanted to give me a present, but he handed it to Yumiko, saying “Tell her that this is just something I had in my house.” But he didn’t want to tell me himself. So, I said “Kocho-sensei, I understand. Thank you for the gift,” in Japanese, he had a special silly reaction. By this time in the night, he was TRASHED off of sake. So when I said that I understood, he fell over! Just fell over onto his side! It was so funny! Straight down!
- This morning, I mailed off 3 more boxes home. 13000yen! Ugh! Ahh well, they need to get there one way or the other. It sucks though cuz tht was the cheapest I could send them.
- Today has been frustrating. I’ve been trying to sort how to close down all my bills and stuff. Damn, it’s complicated. I spent an hour and a bit in the bank with my supervisor and Yumiko. Every time I had something to say to make things easier, they all ignored me. It was so annoying, but super satisfying when I finally did explain myself, I was right. Ha!
- During the hour between errands, I played the Sims. Yay!
- Tonight Sara is coming over, and perhaps Stacey too. We are going to go to that yummy yakiniku place!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
2. I have 6 days left in Tanbara. This time next week, I will be in Tokyo, waiting for my flight to Sapporo!
3. Tomorrow, Sara is coming over to play. I have to clean my apartment, but it will be very nice to have the company.
"To transform the emptiness of loneliness, to the fullness of aloneness. Ah, that is the secret of life."
I haven’t posted in a few days. Sorry. I have been away from computers and the internet for a bit. And last night when I had a chance to post, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it.
1. Monday I spent the morning and early afternoon at home playing with Ocha. Oh, I also visited out Home Carpenter store to pick up a few things… When I got there, I found out that it is in it’s last days and is closing soon. That was weird.
2. At 3, Jemmy picked me up and we headed to Namioka-sensei’s house. It was a bit stressful at first and I felt a bit shy because it was me, my Japanese teacher, two other Japanese teachers, and my teacher’s husband. I felt a little pressured to speak Japanese well, which makes me not want to speak at all. But I did. Turns out that Nami-chan (Mr. Namioka) is really good at English! Woah!
3. Namioka-sensei made us a 6 course Italian meal! It was insanely delicious. Seriously, it was better than any restaurant I’ve ever eaten at!
4. After dinner, I got a surprise birthday cake and a beautiful pair of earrings from everyone. They are super beautiful and I love them!
5. Then, we went to karaoke and rocked out. I’ve never been to karaoke with adults before. It was a completely different experience.
6. Monday night, I stayed over at David T’s apartment. We chatted till late and then he had to go to sleep cuz he was exhausted and had work in the morning.
7. Tuesday morning, I walked around Niihama Fuji for a while and found Karl a couple things. I also got Yoko her goodbye present. Then, I met David T for lunch.
8. At 1, David T had to go back to work, so I walked to Aeon (a real mall-style shopping center!) and walked around. I eventually me tup with my friend Emma and walked around and chatted with her for a bit. Then, I met David T from work at 4:30 and we talked in the park, then headed to his friend’s store. There, we talked about how to say sexual things in English and Japanese. We learned a lot.
9. Today was my second to last day at work. I had my Japanese lesson. I was extremely surprised that I didn’t cry. I think Namioka-sensei could tell the moments when I was about to, and she would do something silly to distract me. What an amazing lady. I will miss her dearly.
10. Tonight Duncan and Yoko came off for dinner before running off to do their various errands and things. I will miss those two lots.
Lately has been a bit difficult for me. I keep having to say these goodbyes to my friends. It is so hard. To people who you know you will never see again, it’ very hard. And even people you are sure you will meet again…you have no idea when, so that is hard. I haven’t said a single goodbye to a friend and not cried. Last night after saying goodbye to David T, I cried on the taxi ride to the train station.
I wish life would be easier, really. I feel so lost and lonely lately. I know it will pass (soon, hopefully), but the here and now is not so difficult right now. I have started feeling scared and nervous to come home. I have no idea what I am going to do. But I don’t want to stay in Tanbara, can’t stay in
Sunday, July 16, 2006
- I’ve been feeling very quiet lately. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s my impending departure from Tanbara. I have just over a week left here!
- Today I went with Yoko and Kozue to see our friend, Miwako, and her orchestra perform. The cultural center was packed! The orchestra was very good, although during some of the pieces, I had o seriously struggle to keep awake.
- After the concert, the 3 of us went to a coffee shop to crab a coffee and some nibblies. I was very quiet. I just seem to have lost anything interesting to say. I hope I am more chatty tomorrow.
- When I got dropped off at home, around 6, I started cleaning. I am rounding up all my things to pack. As soon as I am packed, I am going to start a mega clean. Unfortunately this apartment never looks as clean as it is. Ugh. It’s fairly old and there are some stains that have been here for eons.
- Tonight I read some nerdy stories on the web. I have started writing a story a school, but it’s really crap. Ahh well. It gives me something to do.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
- Today was Yoko and Kozue day. I met up with them around 10:15ish. We went and took a ferry to an island outside of Imabari. The ferry ride was a pleasant 20 minutes.
- When we got there, we went to a rose garden and ate ice cream. I got sweet potato ice cream! YUM!!!
- Then, we went to the beach! We stayed there for hours. I didn’t put any sunscreen on my legs because they are MEGA white. Turns out that was a VERY bad idea. Now they are like two lobsters attached to my torso: red and angry! But, the parts of me I put sunscreen on (twice) still got burned some…it’s a lose-lost situation.
- On the way home, we got crepes. I got cream cheese and blueberry, which was yummy…but I ended up wearing most of it. Doh!
Friday, July 14, 2006
- It was my last day of teaching! Now I am finished teaching!!!!! Woooo! Only 2 more days left at school!
- After school, I went to the doctor to see about this itchy rash that I’ve got. Being a foreigner is sometimes super cool! I went to see our English-speaking doctor friend, Iio-sensei. Anyway, I got in the office, gave them my card, went to the bathroom and basically the second I got out of the potty my name was called to go back and see the doctor. I waited, saw the doctor, paid, AND filled my prescription in less than 20 minutes, in spite of a MEGA crowded waiting room.
- I went to Richard’s surprise birthday party. We sang karaoke, ate cake, and set off fire works.
- When we were setting off fireworks, this old lady came and yelled at us. Well, she was across the river, but she was yelling at us about it being late and stuff. Anyway, so we moved away from the river. Yuriko was trying to get everyone to be super quiet, and then she set off the next firework, which she thought would just spray some fireworks into the air about 3 feet. Well, it turns out that she didn’t read the package properly because it ended up shooting about 4 super loud missile-like fireworks into the sky! Ha! Take that, Obaachan!
- I slept fairly well last night. I don’t remember my dreams, but I do remember that they were good.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wow, what a busy, but good day.
- I was supposed to get up early to shower today, but opted for 20 more minutes of needed sleep. Then, I had just enough time to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast!
- I had 3 classes today at Higashi. They went by fairly fast, and they put me that much closer to ending my teaching!!
- After lunch I felt SUPER exhausted, so I ended up sleeping through cleaning time before going to elementary school.
- My first class at elementary school put me in a small mood cuz they were so horribly behaved. But, my last class ever at elementary was with my FAVORITE teacher I’ve taught with to-date. Kurokawa-sensei is motivated, keeps his kids in line while still letting them have fun, and up for a good time! His classes are always good. I used to HATE the 4th graders at that school because they were PSYCHOTIC. But, then when they became 5th graders, they got him as a teacher, and now they are the best class in the entire school. It’s amazing what a difference the teacher makes in the personality of a class. Anyway, today’s lesson went by PERFECTLY. I was amazed. It was the highest note I could have finished on.
- After class, I got cards and letters and even presents from my students! It’s so amazing. Kids are amazing. They gave me things that I know are a big deal to them. For example, this one give gave me a clay frog sculpture she’d made. 2 other girls gave me their (very loved and used) Keitai straps. Then giving me something that beloved means a lot. I was amazed. Another girl gave me a used, but loved eraser in the shape of a clown. It was so touching! I also got 2 fancy presents. One is a beautiful mug and the other is a folding fan, the expensive kind that comes with a silk case! Wow!
- After classes were over, the
saw me off! THE WHOLE SCHOOL waved goodbye to me as I rode away. I almost cried. I will honestly miss that part of the job. I love the working with kids part so much. Children are just so genuine. WHOLE SCHOOL
- After elementary school, I met up with Duncan, Ayaka, and Kasumi. Duncan and I treated the girls to karaoke and purikura today. We sang lots of songs, danced, and had a merry time. I love those girls. Duncan and I both forgot our cameras, like dorks, though.
- After karaoke, I raced home. Yoko met me at 6 and we took Ocha to the vet. He has to go back next week for his checkup. Today was a preliminary checkup and nail clipping. At the vet, there were these baby pugs, maybe 3 or 4 weeks old. Holy geebus they were cute!
- After the vet, we brought Ocha home. Then Yoko and I went out to eat at a delicious, yet cheap yakiniku restaurant.
- I have had a great day. I feel very good tonight. Tomorrow is my last day of teaching, and I really only have to teach in 1 lesson. The other 3 are skit performances. Woooooo!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
- Last night, I slept with the light on in my room to keep cockroaches away… The light kept me from sleeping well, but it was comforting. Did I ever tell you about the time at my parent’s house years ago when I was sleeping on my bed, and a roach crawled onto my face! Yeah. I couldn’t sleep in my room for about a week!! So, that kinda explains why I may be a bit irrational when it comes to bugs, especially roaches.
- My cooking lesson was cancelled today. Apparently the students decided that they wanted to have a party instead, since it’s the last class with me ever. It was very fun! Both special classes combined for this party. First, Ryoto and Mao gave a mini-speech. Then, we played cards for a little bit. Then, Junko-sensei taught us to make paper airplanes and we went and had a contest in the library to see who could throw theirs the farthest. Then we came back and sang some songs… 2 Japanese ones and one English one. The English one was a struggle because no one knew the words (for then cuz it was in English and for me cuz it was a Carpenter’s song…). Then Teroyoshi and Homare gave a speech. Then Mi-chan. Then it was over. It was cute!
- After class, Yukia-kun, a boy who only babbles nonsense when you try to talk to him, asked to show me some of his English homework. He had been practicing converting katakana words into English. His theme: fighting beetles. He then proceeded to give me a thorough explanation on about 25 different breeds, where they came from, and what kind of attack they have. I think it’s from a card game here. It was so funny. He never wants to talk or even attempt ANYTHING in English, but today he wanted to explain to me about these beetles. Granted, I understood about 3% of what he said… but it was nice.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
- This morning I was in a SERIOUS funk again. But, I had mid-morning classes at elementary school, so that cheered me up.
- At elementary school, between my two lessons, they held a goodbye ceremony for me. It was cute. Some of the classes re-enacted some of my lessons. Others performed on recorders. One did a dance.
- I went to a Thai cooking class tonight. We made lots of delicious food and I ate a TON!
- This one is VERY BAD news, but it needs to be mentioned. Tonight when I came home, I found TWO VERY HUGE LIVE cockroaches in my sink! I sprayed the hell out of them, thereby condemning my newly washed dished to another wash in the sink. God, I hate cockroaches! Seriously! UGH UGH UGH! God, I hope they aren’t running rampant in my home without me knowing about it. Ugh.
Monday, July 10, 2006
I was in a bit of a funk all day. All day, that is, until Ikebana. For some reason it makes me feel more optimistic. Today I spent a lot of my day feeling angry at Tanbara. I know it’s a bit strange to be angry at a whole town, but it can happen. The post office about killed me with their lack of attention to detail. Then everyone has been rude and grumpy all day. Maybe it’s the weather. But Ikebana always cheers me up. I tried a new style tonight and it was hard. Sensei did most of it while I watched. Next time is my last, so she is giving me a small goodbye party. How sweet!
- For some reason, they decided to have cleaning time first thing this morning. So, instead of helping like a nice person, I went in the tatami room and napped. I ended up sleeping through the entire 1st period.
- After my nap, I came back to the staff room to prepare for my FINAL lesson with one of the 2-nensei classes…and it turns out it’s been cancelled! YES!!!!!! I was surprised, but it was definitely a good surprise.
- A huge bee flew into the staff room today. When I say huge, I mean HUGE. It was like a wasp on steroids. It was NO JOKE the size of my thumb! That’s a damn big bee. This country has some of the biggest bugs ever, geebus! Last night I saw a spider near my mailbox that was almost the size of my palm.
- We decorated wind chimes in my special class today. Homare got excited and accidentally smashed it into the table. It shattered into a bajillion pieces. He got very stressed and started yelling a bit. Luckily, I had an extra wind chime because Shiori-chan was absent from school. So, crisis solved. He was much more careful the second time.
- This isn’t a good thing, but it gives you a hint of how much I don’t like my job. I can count on ONE hand the people from my school that I will possibly miss. Honestly, I really can’t wait to leave Higashi. I was sad about leaving Nishi, but I am not even SLIGHTLY sad about leaving this school.
- Ahh ikebana. Thank you for curing my grump.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
July 8, 2006
- I played with Ocha for a long time today. He was extra jumpy. I think he was really happy because it was a sunny day.
- I went to
Duncan’s concert in . I rode there with Yoko, Rich, and John. It was very funny. Yoko and Rich still kinda pretend in our area that they aren’t going out. But it was cute in Mats to see them hold hands and stuff. Matsuyama
- I got all dolled up for the concert. I looked pretty hot. It was exciting.
July 9, 2006
- Today I watched Spirited away while playing on the computer.
- At lunch time, Yoko and I rented Big Fish. Then, we went to Marunaka and bought some groceries. Then, I cooked Yoko (and later one, Rich) my Honey-Parmesan chicken pasta. They enjoyed it, which pleased me greatly.
- Yoko and I watched Big Fish before Rich came over. Every time I see it, I cry. It’s just such a lovely movie.
- I’ve watched a billion Hard Gay episodes on You Tube today. It’s been funny. He is such a crackhead. I love it!
- Rich and Yoko discovered a HUGE spider and spider web on my back porch today. I named her Beatrice. I’ve always liked that name for some reason.
Friday, July 07, 2006
July 6, 2006
- During one of my elementary school classes, some of my Junior High 2-nensei boys were in the class with me as a work experience. IT was weird. 2/3 of the boys there were some of the shit-heads. So, that was interesting. Anyway, because they were there and the students were so excited to have the visitors, the class was psychotic.
- I booked my travel details all by myself yesterday, all in Japanese! That’s quite an accomplishment! I have to get Ocha and me from Tanbara all the way to
. Then, Ocha will stay in a pet hotel while I go and visit David. I will be in Tokyo from the evening of July 27th (Karl’s Birthday!!!) until the very wee hours of August 7th. My plane leaves Sapporo at 7:35AM on the 7th. Ugh! That means I will have to leave David’s apartment at around 5am or something like that. Gross! But, it’s all good. I am happy to get to go visit David again. :o) Sapporo
- I watched the last of my 5 rentals: Life is Beautiful. I enjoyed it. It was certainly not at all what I had expected. I think out of that batch of five movies that I rented, my favorite was My Life Without Me.
- I went shopping and bought myself a nice small summer travel purse. No more big clunker with shit I don’t need in it. Just the basics, for the summer.
July 7, 2006
- We had a slice of watermelon with lunch! Oh, we also had WHEAT BREAD! That’s amazing! It’s pretty rare in these parts. In my year of eating school lunch, it was the first bread day that we had non-white bread.
- I booked my hostel for
Tokyo, Ocha’s pet hotel for my trip to , and Ocha’s reservation for Quarantine. I did it all by phone on my breaks. But, every place I called was in Sapporo , so someone spoke English each time. :o) But still, that was 3 things I got to cross off my mega-long to-do list. I am whittling it away. Tokyo
- My 2-nensei class got cancelled today! That’s like the best news in a long time! Hehe. Man, I was so glad not to have to teach those kids. They are out doing work experience today.
- 1 more week of teaching, and then no more for me. I won’t miss the school part of my time here. But, I will miss the rest of my time. Going to school was the price to pay for living and experiencing
- I went over to
’s for dinner. Yuka cooked us a delicious meal which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then we watched the movie about the traveling pants. It was aiite. Duncan
- Tonight John is coming over and we are going to watch Animal House and drink some Jack.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
- This morning when I woke up, I was SO hungover. I didn’t even want to move. Luckily, once I did start moving, it went away…gradually.
- I wore my purple dress to work today. It’s raining, but I don’t care. I wanted to dress pretty today.
- I woke up and watched Ever After for a bit. I naturally woke up around 6:30, so I had time to sit and watch a bit of a movie. It was a nice way to wake up.
- I got July 18, 21, and 24th off work so I can clean my apartment! It’s going to take that long! Ugh!
- My birthday is in 17 days!
- I went to Richard’s with Yoko for dinner. We ate huge hamburger steaks. Geebus, I’m still painfully full 3 hours later.
- Yoko taught me how to give hand massages. Woo!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
- Tonight I went over to Raul’s to celebrate 4th of July. It was Raul, John, and I.
- We drank 5-6 bottles of wine between us and then some chu-his.
- Raul and I taught John how to do “Yo mama” jokes. John isn’t American.
- Also, because John isn’t American, Raul and I sang the Star Spangled Banner after shooting firework off in the rain.
- I rode my bicycle home. In the dark. In the rain. With no umbrella. Wearing no glasses (cuz of the rain). While drunk. And survived. Woo!
Monday, July 03, 2006
- In my 2-nensei class, we did a project where we were re-writing the textbook in our own way, using Anpanman, a famous Japanese cartoon character, as a main character. Anyway, at the end, I asked the kids to write their names on it. One boy, Kohei, wrote Kohei *heart* Abie. Haha. It was so funny! I never thought I’d have a student get a crush on me.
- I did a cooking lesson with my special needs class today. We made chocolate chip cookies. It was WONDERFUL! Teroyoshi and Homare just sat and watched the oven to wait for the 9 minutes to be up. The other kids, Ryoto especially, were MEGA-keen to help out (a rareity, I assure you). It was fun AND I got out of cleaning time for it because our cookies weren’t quite finished yet. Double yeah.
- Tonight I went over to
’s for tea. He played me a song he wrong about Ehime with some catchy and funny lyrics. His next project is to write a song for his girlfriend, Yuka. But he is having trouble thinking up lyrics. I told him about the song David used to sing to me (“She’s got red hair and glasses…”), but I am not a musical person, so I couldn’t explain the riff, even though I can hear it just fine in my head. Duncan
Sunday, July 02, 2006
- Today I stayed in the house for a long time, playing Sims and playing with Ocha. It was nice to just hang out.
- Tonight I went to Raul’s for a 4th of July party. There were about 14 or so people there. We ate delicious hamburgers (with hamburger buns!!! – they are mega rare) and potato salad, American Style. Then, we went out and set off fireworks for a while. The kids and…well, the grown-ups too, really enjoyed that!
- There was a little 6 year old girl there who looked just like the 6-year old, girl, Japanese version of my old roomie Stephen. It was really random.
- I am going to go to bed super early tonight. Well, at 11. That’s early-ish. After leaving the party and being around people, I’m feeling a bit lonely. I need to sleep it away as best as I can.