|Posted by Andrew on July 8, 2010 at 10:14 PM|
I hope that you’re all doing well and enjoying training through the winter months.
Time is absolutely flying by and a lot has happened since I did my first post. My sister got married and had the wedding in Thailand, I found out that snow/ice is sometimes extremely hard and broke my wrist snowboarding near the end of the season (not as good as Michael Barlow unfortunately did his leg mind you), saw the beauty of the cherry blossoms and I signed on to stay in Japan for another year after my Dad retracted his comment that he’d freeze my pet parrots and send them over to me if I stayed in Japan longer than one year.
I’m very glad I've got another year to go because it's been too fast and I'd be really sad if I had to leave Japan now with still so more I want to do and learn. Also, I need to get my revenge on snowboarding after my time was cut short this year as well as participate in next year's White Battle (a snowball fighting tournament) and improve our team’s 50% winning record from this year.
The last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful. Last Saturday I celebrated my 28th birthday. It was so stressful that I only had time to do fireworks on the beach, go to an onsen (Japanese public hot baths), eat delicious sushi, go to a japanese pub where the owner is a funny, singing, psycho 50-something year old man, and do karaoke. I didn’t realise at the time but a friend back in Oz pointed out that it was a very Japanese day with onsen, sushi and karaoke. I guess Japan has had more of an impact on me than I thought.
It doesn’t end there. This weekend looks like it’s going to be as stressful as the last with a few of us teachers going on a bit of a roadtrip to a really famous onsen/hotel in Aomori prefecture where you sit right on the edge of a beach in an onsen (a wall separates you from the ocean) and can watch the sunset in 35-40 degree water comfort. Here's hoping for clear weather, good times and nudey fun (yes you only get to hold a modesty towel when you go into these places).
A funny story I’d like to share with you happened a couple of weeks ago when I was helping four of my students to study for an upcoming standardised English test and I was trying to explain a practice question to do with the human brain to one of my really good final year students. And when I say ‘really good’ I mean really good. She’s smart, friendly and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth… or so I thought. She couldn't understand what I was saying so I started drawing pictures.
At this point it is important for you to note that my students still seem to think I can’t speak any Japanese at all. Admittedly I’m still at a very low level but I can understand some things as this student found out.
I know I am no Van Gogh but apparently I am worse than I thought. At one point she said in Japanese to her 3 classmates, who all kept perfectly straight faces, my picture looked like a set of breasts. There was a bit of embarrassment for her and a lot of laughter from the rest of us when I replied to her ‘Is that true?’. Ahhh, what will they say next?
Another story was that I went to another local high school with three foreign female teachers from other local schools to help out with a big science presentation project their students were doing. After we had finished and were walking through the building towards the exit we passed a group of 15-16 year old girls and when one of them saw me she staggered back against the wall, sunk down a little and said 'Wow!'. Hahahaha it was classic. Unfortunately for me I do not seem to have this effect over women around my own age.
Until next time
Categories: Andrew's Blog from Japan