月曜日, 8月 30, 2004

first day of school

Hey o
so today was the first day of school. It was very interesting. Super different than school in north america, thats for sure. The kids are super cute and sweet. Talk about well behaved too. We did a lot of team building activities and played a lot of games. They were psyched. I have two who are super shy, but who opened up some by the end of the day. One from malaysia who doesnt speak any english and went off on his chicken and rice a la mano. They were impressed with my chopstick abilities.
Roomie cooked up a sushi festival. It was kind of make it yourself rolls. I think I ate 30 something of em. It doubled as a food vocab lesson. Im full and sleepy....

日曜日, 8月 29, 2004

when cars go by

when cars go by
when cars go by,
originally uploaded by freebeets.
my busy corner

corner store

corner store
corner store,
originally uploaded by freebeets.
my new corner store

make your hair so fuwari

ahoy matey's
It rained like crazy all day today. Theres a typhoon on the way so it'll be rainy and windy for the next few days...
I did some shopping the other day and got some new hair goop that claimed to make my hair "so fuwari", and I guess it did. It held it all up and it was so soft...
Ive been practicing my new saying "kekko desu" (no bag) at the store, and clerks are usually super confused. Japan is plastic bag crazy. Everything comes in plastic bags. To bring your umbrella into a store, you slip it into a slender bag kept by the entrance. People are dumbfounded when I say kekko desu and carry things or put them in my backpack.
Tomorrow is the first day of school and things are looking good. My room is super organized and everythings set. Should be interesting!

金曜日, 8月 27, 2004

Are you free right now?

Are you free right now?
Are you free right now?,
originally uploaded by freebeets.
Hello! Lovely to meet you! I'm Kitty. Ive invited all my best friends to come over and play. Of course you can come too! Are you free right now?

Sumi San

I am now Mr. Sumi at the bank. All the foreigners who opened their bank accounts this week had to go change our names so that the fake Kanji stamps were "closer" to our foreigner names. Mr. Hadote was not close enough so I had to close the account, get a new stamp for a name that is not mine and open a new account as Sumi San. I suppose thats closer to Smith...
While sitting at the bank I was chatting with another teacher and noticed that these two old ladies were staring at me and moving their hands around their noses. They were studying and commenting to eachother about how beautiful my nose is according to Mime the Japanese teacher/translator/bank account helperer. I got a styly new account book cover and some tissues with my new account.

Next week the school will have 2 drills-a fire drill and an earthquake drill. During an earthquake drill the kids take this pad that they keep on their seats and put it on their heads. It looks like a quilted potholder. I have no idea how its going to help you if bricks are a droppin.

Theres no such thing as snowdays here. Kids get days off for typhoons instead. I guess theres a good one coming but should stay mostly to the south.

Im going to venture to shinjuku Tokyo for a bookstore tomorrow. I have to get some books for school and some japanese texts for me.

Mr. Hadote


I had another interesting visual on the way to work this morning. Work started a little later today, so the crowd was different. I found myself in a mass of white shirts, and black hair moving up the stairs from the subway. The staircase is about 4 meters wide and every bit of it was full. The rows of stairs looked like waves.
Today I bought a stamp so I can open a bank account. Most banks in Japan dont let you sign, because, well, the Japanese dont sign. They sell the stamps in huge cases like name licence plates at tourist shops. Funny thing is that the bank doesnt really care what stamp you use. The one I randomly chose says Mr. Hadote or something.
This evening was open house/meet the teachers night. I met some of my students which was pretty intereting. They seem like an interesting group so far. They were really shy inside, but chased another teacher and I down the street after the show was over.
I finally got the manual for my cell phone and spent a few hours going over that. I set it to control the television and to wake me in the morning. Its quite amazing.

火曜日, 8月 24, 2004

The boss loves you!

more propaganda
more propaganda,
originally uploaded by freebeets.
The boss loves you!

fine place for a nap

originally uploaded by freebeets.

purple dinner and modern pets

originally uploaded by freebeets.
purple supper and modern pets


originally uploaded by freebeets.

the pictures are supposed to be down here, but....

I worked out a sweet deal with the Boss at work. In Japan the company takes care of its peeps, it even pays for commuting costs. They dont pull the 39.5 hrs a week "sorry, you don't qualify for benifits" like SOME countries... Anyway, my commute costs roughly 6.50 US a day, and its cool if I parlay that into a sweet road bike. I'll have to up front the yen, but Ill have something to show other than pushing and shoving and stares. There is something amazing about taking the subway here. The flow of bodies blur, pidgens fly around upstairs, people people people, crazyness.
Speaking of Boss, Ive been sampling the beverages in the machines that are everywhere and discovered Boss coffee. Check out the can-how propaganda poster is that?!?

Under the cap is this little disk that uncrinkles into a washcloth. A REAL cloth washcloth! How loving the boss is! The boss knows you work hard and sweat for him.

Work today was pretty cool too. I helped my boss do an interview for a pair of potential new students. Names and blah blah blah are changed to blah blah blah, but basically we asked questions of the family and gave tests to the kids for entrance into the school. It was a lot of pressure for these kids... The boy put his pencil box on the table and cringed at the wee bit of noise it made, the girl would barely look up. Come monday theyll see how mellow I am. The boy is going to teach me to play cricket.

Watching out the window I passed this lot of statues near a temple so I hopped off and took some phonetos (I wonder if thats a word?). There were lots of street cats napping on em. Even cats and mice get along in Japan. I wandered around the park and the temple. It is so beautiful. The Japanese know how to put trees and green and beautiful buildings and statues and flowers and water together. It gave me goosebumps, seriously. Beautiful

Roomie was out when I got home, so there was no beer and no food. Thank god. I threw things together that I recognized: mushrooms, tofu, onions, garlic, rice and too much tobasco. I couldnt figure out any other spices or liquids and didnt want to do some kind of squid ink or fish juice so I poured in a bunch of grape juice to tone down the hot. It turned out pretty good, and purple. fer desert I had some modern pets.

月曜日, 8月 23, 2004


originally uploaded by freebeets.
semi (Japanese for cicada) are everywhere in Yokohama. This guy landed on the table when I was coffeeing on the porch.


originally uploaded by freebeets.
one of the clues to find home


So I took my first bath last night. I'd planned on writing a bit after, but was so tired and spacey... You push a button and a female computer voice says something like "I'm filling the tub now, get ready!" The tubs here are sweet-you sit shoulder deep and the water always stays warm. Like all other devices and appliances here it somehow senses whats in it. It figures out how big you are so it doesnt overflow. The washing machine weighs the amount of clothes in it and the microwave figures out what to do on its own too. All this high tech stuff, and my roomate still has a vcr. Which brings me to....
Im starting to bug about my roomate. She waits on me hand and foot. When I get home from a bike ride or whatever she goes to the kitchen and opens a beer for me, fills a snack bowl or cooks me a meal. I dont feel right being treated like a king. This woman waits on me hand and foot, and I'm not at all interested...
Today was my first day of work so I did the early morning subway thing, navigated the masses and listened to the lost in translation soundtrack. Soffia Coppola really captured the loneliness of overpopulation.

日曜日, 8月 22, 2004


Ok, a blog...
So im sitting in my wee room early sunday morning. I still havent gotten my sleep schedule adjusted for sleeping in.
My closet is full of vely espensiva crowsa so I have all these racks and stuff in here, making it seem even smaller. I guess I cant be too picky though, it is Japan "land of small stuff". My phone (which this blog will no doubt have pages about) is one of the most amazing small things ever. Im only on page 10 of 450 and Im blown away. Why doesnt america have them? Haven't we contacted the aliens to exchange technology yet? Ive been in Japan for 4 days now and have learned how to use all the buttons on the toilet, where the supermarket is and a few odd words and phrases. The ones I remember best have to do with things I experience or have. I got a big nikibi on my forehead the first day. Stress Im sure...
Im figuring out basic directions here too with my bicycle recons. Its pretty scary going outside on my own without the skills to ask how to get home. Im looking for hansel and gretel clues along the way. The other day it was a green microwave along the walkway to the subway. It fit right in like it was a vegetable. Being lost is really exciting though. Everything is fresh and new. The supermarket is challenging. Is the white powder vegetarian? Sugar, milk? I nod a lot to people. Ive pointed to my mouth and said "nihongo" while shaking my head no. Today Im going to check out some museums in Yokohama. Matane.


originally uploaded by freebeets.
how many buttons does your toilet have? I think the reddish one is heated seat. Havent tried yet because its been in the high 30's...