Published: August 6th 2009August 6th 2009 Settling in to my new town
Value supermarket entrance
the metal birds that welcome you to the store
My God, it's hot here!!! The first thing I noticed literally as I stepped off of the plane was the intense heat! But excited all the same, especially as all we could see out of the window as we landed was just lots of greenery. Mmmm....
The airport, unsurprisingly, is not that big and therefore it didn't take long for our bags to come out on the belt. I managed to get my broken black trolley bag and headed out to the exit. There were lots of signs with the names of the new JETs that were arriving, and a welcome "committee" for each person. As soon as I walked out, someone addressed me as "Satsuki", and I found out he was the head of the Board of Education in Kochi. He then showed me away and tried to find my committee, who were talking to me trying to get my attention, but I just totally didn't notice them. Oopsie! But I found them in the end, and was surprised to see 4 people from Yamada High School (where I'm based) there just to meet me! The principal, vice principal, an English teacher who
from my cycle around town
was my stand-in supervisor while my real supervisor's recovering from hospital, and my predecessor Nina. I felt a little special, in the unique sense, not the other...
I was the only one that hadn't eaten lunch, so we stopped off at a restaurant on the way to Kami city, where I had a small tempura set meal. My first Japanese meal in Shikoku. Ever! So exciting, although the dessert was coffee flavoured, so I didn't eat it and everyone found out that I don't like coffee. But all the people were really friendly and helpful-looking, and the principal ended up paying for everyone. How sweet =)
We then got back into the 2 cars and headed to the school, where I met the office ladies (whose names I really don't remember) and some other teachers. I saw my desk and Nina filled me in on a few basic issues. And I saw my tote with my backpack in it, which I'd forwarded on from Tokyo. So glad to see it here, especially as one of the guys at Tokyo orientation had said we might have to wait up to a week to get our stuff. Two of the
a few minutes away from my country abode
office ladies were carrying it for me in the tote, so when I saw them, I opened it up to reveal the backpack, which obviously I could carry on my own. Oooh, magic!
After a little cotch, it was time for us to go to the flat, which rather annoyingly I've been calling an apartment here - it just comes out of my mouth like that! Grrr... Anyway, we got to the flat and had to sit in the cafe downstairs to complete all the paperwork, which wasn't that much. The landlady gave us all complimentary ice coffee, which I felt really bad about not drinking, so I tried to put as much milk and sugar in as I could, but everyone kept telling me not to drink it if I didn't like it. I signed several pieces of paper, and had to put in a date for when Alex would be joining me. Doesn't seem to be too much of a problem...
We then all headed upstairs and I got to see the flat, which was actually really nice and spacious, and I have a good feeling about this place. Yay :) The gas man was in
I live in a shrine!
there, sorting it all out, and after a while the landlady gave me 2 keys for the flat and everyone bar Nina left. We chillaxed for a while and I found out that as it's so inaka (countryside), most of the restaurants and shops shut by 21:00. So around 18:00, Nina took me to Hey, Paula - an okonomiyaki restaurant, where one of the students works. I had the pork okonomiyaki, which apparently is the most popular, and Nina got the pork kimchee okonomiyaki. I also tried an apple chuhai, which tasted like watered down apple juice. I was grateful to Nina for being so helpful, especially as it sounded like her predecessor didn't really help her all that much (which she's still bitter about!), so I paid for her dinner, and we went back to the flat. I was so knackered I fell asleep after showering. All in all a productive start to my time here =D Settling into my new job
The very next day, I have to go into school to start work. I'm just glad I'm not in Tokyo anymore with loads of other JETs surrounding me. Not sure why, but there seem to be
Yamada High School
my desk(s) in the teachers' room
loads of camp American guys - what's that all about?!?!?! Anyway, I'm finally at my base, and looking forward to getting into the swing of things. Hopefully the next year will be full of joy and fantasticness.
I managed to get myself a mobile - well, not really get myself, more like got taken to the shop and had it done for me. BUT, either way, I've gotten myself an 8MP camera, so I'm happy happy joy joy =) I've also managed to become somewhat familiar with the area, so I'm able to do my own grocery shopping (yes, even more Americanised terms I seem to be using more and more of) and do certain other daily activities all on my lonesome...
I've just realised that the previous paragraph was not technically about my new job and should probably be in the first section, but that's the beauty of life - nothing really matters!