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Apr. 3rd, 2011


This is my first post from Japan. I wish it were under better circumstances. I think I`ll start at the beginning. We had training last week from Sunday until Wednesday. That part I enjoyed very much. I met some nice people. Took away a lot of things that I wish I had known while teaching in Korea. While half of the things, I think would be impossible to do with classes of 40 students, they would have been great to run in my very small classes back in Cheongju. So, training was pretty good. Then came Wednesday. For some reason, I thought the day was going to be much longer than it was, but it was very short. We mostly just did medical checks. As an aside, I think having the enkai the night before medical checks is a terrible idea, as mostly everyone was looking and feeling pretty terrible. We finished up everything around 2, but I was probably the last one to actually leave. Patrick and John gave me the keys to my apartment, a prepaid cell phone that I can use for a month, and a map on how to get there. I didnt really feel like pulling around those two large cases full of stuff to the subway and to the apartment, but it couldnt be helped. I had to do this rather quickly, as my futon was supposed to be coming between 6 and 9 PM.

Anyway, a little after 5:15 I arrived in Minato-ku, which is the ward in which I am living currently. The map was not very helpful at all, since it did not indicate any actual directions; however a very nice ancient-looking old man stopped to try and help me out, although he didnt know where I was supposed to go either, but did indicate the street that I was on. He found a shop owner to help me find my way. Its a good thing too, because I was going in the opposite direction. Anyway, I made it up to my place and was at least happy that it has high ceilings, which give it the appearance of being large. It is, however, not very big at all. In fact, I wish I HAD just gotten stuck with a leopalace, since I would have internet already. As far as things inside the apartment, well, there isnt really anything. Ive got a single hotplate, a refrigerator, and a newly acquired futon (which did NOT come on the first night, because apparently they had written down the wrong day). So as far as my apartment, you now have all the details. I have not cooked anything, or heated anything up, as I do not have the basic things required to do them. I have been living off of bento at the FamilyMart, which is also getting expensive.

I have been sick for three days now. I suspect that the stress of moving and the radical change in temperature from Florida has had quite a bit to do with it. Thursday night I suspected something might be up, but was so happy to have a futon that I didnt really care. Friday afternoon, however, I knew the jig was up. The post-nasal drip started in, followed by a headache, followed by just about every other muscle ache, and a general feeling of listlessness. It`s just as well. I have nothing to do but be inside and try to study anyway.

All in all, this has been a very hard time. I dont really know what I was expecting, maybe thats the problem. Maybe I was just expecting so much and there has to be a beginning. A time when things ARENT exciting. But since I have been here, I have not had one moment of excitement. I mean, not even a feeling of accomplishment like ``I made it!`` I wanted to come here to Japan for so long. But now that I am here, I just feel sick, lonely, and frustrated. I know that I was warned that two months rent were coming out of my first paycheck, but I forgot all about that. On top of that, Nagoya contracts pay MUCH less than the other contracts. After all is said and done, my May 20 pay with be ¥15,000. This does not make me happy. I am hoping Graham contacts me soon about having to teach somewhere else for April. He said it wasnt a matter of IF he needed help, but WHERE. I think it would be good to get out and start teaching as soon as possible. It would also take a lot of stress away if I knew I was going to get paid something in May.

I cant tell you how badly I want a chair. Im sitting at the internet cafe now in this comfortable computer chair and I am about to fall asleep. This is the most comfortable I have been in a week. I am finding clevel ways of using trash though (since I am accumulating it quickly) My futon box is now my desk. I cut a hole into the side of it so that I can stretch my legs out. I was thinking about using the futon cover on it so that it almost resembles a table. God, this chair is awesome. I guess what really annoys me about the futon is not its lack of comfort, I CAN fall asleep on it. Its that I cant change position without waking up to do it. Maybe these are all just normal gripes from someone who has just moved here. I wish I had studied more before I came. While I dont know how to say a great deal of things (textbooks should be ordered in logical-problem based patterns) but that even if I do say something, the next 3 minutes of things spoken at me, I have no idea of the meaning.

I really want to eat ramen. It was such a big achievement when I was in Fukuoka, to finally have awesome ramen, and I have been here a week-- wow, it feels like much longer, and I have not yet had any. In fact, I havent had any Japanese food at all. Our enkai was at a Chinese restaurant. I had Chinese on day one because I went out with a group for lunch. Ive had bento, but mostly pork cutlet, which as you all know, I have had many times in Korea. I DID have soba one day, though, and I guess that counts.

I am just very stressed right now and dont feel like I am going to shake this cold today or tomorrow. I could use a nice hot cup of tea. Anyway, enough of my bitching. Im sure it will get better in time. As soon as I figure out what the hell I am doing. Take care.




( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
James, do you want my help?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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