View of my little town: Asabata
On the left, the green building is the 'Shizutetsu' supermarket.
Assisted in the Panda classroom today, and put the front and back covers on the memory books. The children loved them! They were each looking through at their work, and then put them in their lockers to take home to their mums. The kids had spaghetti for lunch which was as messy as you would expect with their white tops. The students are just starting to get used to me, and ask me questions. Usually they scream out ‘Rebecca Sensai!’, but now and again they will come and ask me for help instead. It’s a slow process. Just a short day at the kindergarten for me, and I spent the afternoon punching the washing machine till it would work. I think it is more of a lint depositor rather than washer.
I made a ‘feelings’ worksheet for the Juku students. They had a lot of fun pulling faces to match the feelings. This time I sketched out the letters for them to draw over. Even the ones who can write, write totally in capitals SO EVERYTHING THEY WRITE SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE SHOUTING. One girl either refused to make facial expressions for each of the feelings: her
On the right is WinterLand, sort of like PriceLine, but bigger and with some food products.
angry, happy and sad were identical, or she literally felt no emotion. She didn’t blink and her face barely twitched! I didn’t even get an eye-roll or a raised eyebrow. Ah well, I’ll work on her.
I have a new student in Juku. She’s 10 years old, but she looks at least 15. All was explained when she said she had just come back from a 15 day exchange in Australia. They grow ‘em big in Aus. (There’s secretly something in the Vegemite.) She said she didn’t think she’d tried Vegemite, so her host family must have snuck it into her food without her knowing.
After Juku I went to the Soba restaurant with some of the foreign teachers and Rebecca’s Australian friend Scotty who is on a world-wide escape! We were the only ones in the restaurant, and a nice old couple who owned the place served us. It was about 1800yen each for a big bowl of udon with tempura, a humungous beer and some sake. Next thing we knew it was 11.40pm, and we headed out so the poor couple could get to bed! Walking home we found we had a lot more to chat about, so we moved on to Tom’s house, via Rebecca’s to pick up some wine. It was interesting to see both Rebecca’s and Tom’s apartments. I think that Rebecca’s may actually be the same size as mine, but her bathroom is separate from the kitchen, and has a door, plus her washing machine is inside. Tom’s house had a whole ‘nother bedroom, and a separate bathroom and hallway. I quite like my apartment, but I am now inspired to make it more ‘mine’ and set it up for me. Plus, I’m going to get a new curtain for my bathroom (to replace the hideous yellow-green one)… all come pay day.
Walking home at night, the trucks on the new high rise freeway look like aeroplanes. The freeway blends into the darkness of the mountains, and only the high beams of the vehicles are visible.
Woke up this morning to find that I had missed trash day.
Had a fantastically long sleep in, and have pottered around all day, putting my washing out, writing lesson plans, cooking Croquets and rice, and sorting through cupboards, (namely the kitchen cabinet!) Found a draw full of dead and beheaded cockroaches, and their many dismembered legs. Good thing my vacuum cleaner has powerful suction.
Dominique banged on the door mid-afternoon as there was a woman outside asking her questions that she couldn’t understand. I went out with my translator, but didn’t need it. The old lady just wanted to give Dominique a present: a bunch of roses! She told Dominique to put them in a vase on the table to make her house beautiful. Dominique was suspicious, and didn’t know if she could trust the flowers! I guess Westerners just aren’t used to random acts of kindness.
Just went to the Shizutetsu, and splashed out on a bottle of Wolf Blass (actually, it was only 890yen, but I’m a cheapskate) and some Camembert cheese (398yen). I also bought some cornflakes, as I am sick of bread for breakfast. I cooked up some pasta for dinner tonight. The way to and from the supermarket in the evening is a minefield of ‘Konbanwas’ with the dog-walkers, though I’m usually the one to initiate, I guess they’re just taking a minute to check I’m not some ghostly shadow come to frighten them.
Tomorrow I’m going to have a wander around the town, get lost and try and work out all these wiggly streets (and find a short-cut to the kindergarten! Haha!). And perhaps go into the city and have a wander around there: check out the Castle gardens, and work out where I can buy a pillow, a toaster and a water filter.
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