My Japanese Life

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June 28th 2006
Published: July 1st 2006
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Hi Rob :-)

So I've been in this crazy mixed up beautiful country for three months now- that means a quarter of my time is over and its time for a bit of insight into what life is like on a day to day basis- not when we are being tourists, but when we are living and teaching in a foreign country.

So.... heres some of the crazy mixed up things that make you realise your in Japan...

Only in Japan
- would someone lean out of their car window while driving and offer me an umbrella when I was walking in the rain.
- would you buy green tea and bean paste flavoured Kit Kats
- would you watch cartoons at 11.00 at night
- would you see women riding bikes in high heels and pretty skirts
- would you see men carrying parasols and handbags for their girlfriends
- would grown men dance in front of a mirror at a club to 'Sex Bomb' and know all the moves
- would people sleep on the train, in the park, at traffic lights and just about anywhere
- would parents give presents of origami and bean paste
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The rice paddies around us have been flooded (not like they dont get enough rain!) I must be in Japan!
balls to kindy teachers
- would there be cushions kept in the classroom in case of earthquake

Granship and Gyoza

The Granship is a giant Darth Vader type building in Shizuoka. It is a centre for the Arts, you can take music lessons there, watch theatre and look at art works. We went because we had read about a music and dance festival that was on, but when we got there found out that there was a fasion parade on, unfortunately we couldnt work out how to get into the area where that was!!! So we listened to a bit of instrumental Disney, took a few photos and went on our way.
On arriving home we decided to make gyoza (we eat them every Saturday night, we should learn how to make them!!!), so got out Marissas' Japanese cook book and went shopping. You can see the end result- not bad and they tasted good too!!!!

At the hairdresser

On Saturday Marissa and I got our hair cut. Who'd of thought it could be such an adventure!! Booking the appointment was surprisingly easy enough, and upon arriving I was led straight to the sinks and
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Asabata is the area of Shizuoka we live in
sat down in what looked like a dentists chair, and moved up and down and tilted you up in the air like a dentists chair!!! The best was yet to come. Hair washing in Japan is an art form- I nearly fell asleep in my special chair!!! we have been thinking about getting a massage, but I reckon I'll just go back for another hair wash! Anyway, I finally got out of the super duper chair and through broken english and japanese and the use of magazines we worked out how my hairdresser was going to cut my hair and away she went- scissors and hair flying!!! What good fun, I cant wait to go back!!

What time is it?

Leigh (the other Aussie who came to the v Japan match) invited us out to dinner with some of the people he works with on Saturday night. Well it ended up being just Leigh, Hiedi, Marissa and myself, and a Japanese woman who turned up later, so after eating Japanese chinese food we proceeded to show Leigh some of the nightlife in Shizuoka. For a start off we went to a shot bar called Couscous and after a quick stop at Donkey for some funny photos we headed to Flyte Tyme.
Surprisingly, we got home before the sun was up!!! Just

A day at the cricket
Whaaaaaat? In Shizuoka? Yes you read tadashi (correctly), on Sunday (in the rain) we went to a cricket match. The sportsfield is quite close to us and there was a baseball match going on, the cricket team is made up of aussies and kiwis and Indians, and they were playing the British embassy, so not a Japanese person in sight- how bizarre! Even more bizarre, I met someone who was born in Clare!! Talk about a small world, that kind of freaked me out!

Smack Down @ Boozer
In our attempt to make the most of our World Cup experience in Japan and because we couldnt be bothered cooking we went to Boozer after the cricket to eat and watch the England v Ecuador soccer match. We had a bit of time to kill before the soccer started and we thought we were goin to be a bit bored, when in walked VK. (You might remember him from one of my first blogs- the dude from Houston Texas with the
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Veggie gardens are going crazy at the moment
gun lighter?!!) Anywayz, he had brought his Play station and some bash em up, knock em down game with him- we were bored no longer!! And even though we got our asses whooped (as VK said) it was great fun and more exciting than the soccer match that we had gone for in the first place (the only good thing about that game was David Beckham- his goal of course).

Kindy Days
I feel very lucky to have the job I do and be doing what I am doing right now. While kindy is hard work and the kids can be naughty the good certainly makes up for the bad. I cant wait for Mum and Dad and Gran to meet my kids, they are so full of beans and just adorable. They are learning so quickly and never cease to amaze me with what they pick up and what they know- how many four year olds know the word for thermometer in their own language let alone a foreign one!! That could have something to do with the Japanese obsession with health and hygiene tho!! This week we have a bamboo tree in our classroom, part of a
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Strawberry eco shelters!!!!
tradition here in which you hang a wish on the tree. We decorated it with paper chains and today the children wrote wishes to hang on the branches.

A big part of kindy is singing songs with the kids, and I have just introduced them to the purple people eater- they love it!! One of the kids' wishes was that he was the purple people eater! They also love Incy Wincy Spider and You are my Sunshine. We line dance to Achy Breaky Heart and relax to Somewhere over the Rainbow. And we do the Weekend dance to anything turned up loud. They also love the Chicken Dance!!

On Mondays we do art and English conversation on Thursdays, where they practice letters and how to say their age etc. During the week we also do flashcards of things like animals and food and common nouns, also sentences such as "How does it taste", "Whose turn is it" and "Are you ok" (one of them asked me this when I slipped over while mopping today, it made me laugh which was good coz otherwise i might have cried- it hurt!!!)

The weather is hot now and so starting
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Rice paddies
next week we are having water play time- I cant wait to see the kids go crazy with the hoses and stuff- they change into bather like clothes i think so they can get as wet as they want!!!

Apart from kindy during the day, tuition in the afternoon and cramming as much as we can into the weekend, my life involves trips to the Shizu to buy groceries for whatever we are making for tea, looking after Fuji and Sushi, the coolest turtles in the world and watching Nip/Tuck or something else on DVD or that weve downloaded, and some totally warped Japanese TV. And of course at the moment soccer soccer and more soccer.

Marissa and I are always talking about home and the people that we love and wondering what you are all up to, we love getting your emails and comments, the first thing we do when we get home is check our mail box and our inbox. So keep the news coming and dont forget we are only a phone call or an email away!

Heaps and Heaps of Love to EVERYONE. I miss you

Amy in

Mum can you send my flute- Im thinking bout taking it up again. Also Karina Marissa would like her trombone :-)
Japanland xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooo

Additional photos below
Photos: 60, Displayed: 27



A selection of Japanese childrens books

Darth Vader???

Dancing outside

Only in Japan!!!
Absinthe @ CouscousAbsinthe @ Couscous
Absinthe @ Couscous

No green fairies though!!
The DonkeyThe Donkey
The Donkey

Just for laughs
Bobo and MarissaBobo and Marissa
Bobo and Marissa

The dance leader- I think he appreciates that we have a go and dont care what we look like doinghte Para Para!

Us and Flyte Tyme Manager

A Brazilian/Japanese guy

1st July 2006

just love your kindy kids and cant wait to meet them in oct. the new hair cut is super but it musthave been a bit scary
24th July 2006

I miss Asabata
24th July 2006

And Asabata misses you Blue Steel aka Peter Piper
28th July 2006

oh looks absolutly on...shoudl leave it it done like that all the time, u'll be dating johny depp in no time:), and i must say looking very fit too :) mwa keep enjpying ya self luv

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