The last week

This week has been a relatively quiet one despite being in Japan where I have so much to explore. I have been waiting for pay day so I can stop living so frugally. Also I have started to get into the work routine. My life before did not really consist of any structure and now I am actually feeling drained after a day rather than not. Teaching children can really take it out on you and I sort of sympathize more to my old teachers.

On Sunday I was recommended to stay in by some of my students as a typhoon was going to hit. I took this advice for a bit and lounged around in the morning reading and watching TV I did not understand. Although it was incredibly hot and the typhoon seemed to be a false prophecy. So I decided to go out and do some shopping on my bike. It is very relaxing riding a bike around Japan, everyone seems to do it. It`s much quicker than walking and you can still take in the surroundings. I got to the supermarket with the weather still boiling outside. I did my shopping and came back outside to find it was raining heavily. I had to ride home in the beginnings of the typhoon, getting drenched along the way. The typhoon was quite violent, the wind was relentless, blowing down fences and rattling trees, and the rain brutal and constant. I stayed in for the rest of the night.

Monday I only had one lesson with Joji, one of the students I still hadn`t met. This went quite well. I had been doing “favourites” and “do you like…more than…?” with the teenagers as this allowed for some quite funny things to say about each other. When we had some time to spare, Teru took me to the bank so I could open up my Japanese bank account. The forms had to all be completed in Japanese, luckily Teru could help me with this. We got slightly worried that they would reject the form as I did a strike-through on a number 7. Apparently the Japanese don`t do this so we were laughing imagining that all the bank members were scrutinizing this seven, trying to understand what the hell it was, and deciding if they would accept the form or not. Fortunately they did. I got to choose the picture on my card and of course I got the one with some happy looking Japanese cartoon characters on in. In the evening we went and got me a card that allowed me to rent movies, books and cds from a place called “Tsutaya”. I got “There Will Be Blood” and a Japanese film that Teru recommended called “Tampopo”, a film about a Ramen shop, that is actually quite funny and definitely worth a watch.

Tuesday was a long day of teaching again. I did much better with the kids than then previous week as I had tried hard to prepare something a bit more constructive and fun. Although the one kid from Kuki Kindergarten who stole my flash cards last week still did the same this week. All I could do was let him have his fun. Back at the school I played a matching game with animal cards that the kids really started to enjoy and I avoided boredom in most of them throughout the lesson. The adult lessons went well again. Although, with Yumi I asked what she had been up to at the weekend and she explained that she had gone to pray for her friend who has been missing since the tsunami last year, the story was touching and gave a sense of reality of last years events, I had to try change the subject before it got too emotionally charged. After Tuesday was finished I could not be bothered to cook so I went back to that Taiwanese restaurant that served massive portions for a steal. I am getting quite good at ordering food and beer in Japanese.

Wednesday was much the same as Tuesday. Although at Fudoka preschool we were told that one of the kids wanted to come and have lessons at Intersect as well, which was very good news. Back at school I repeated much of the same sorts of teaching with the students of different ages. It all seemed to work quite well again but it became tiring just like Tuesday. One exciting thing that happened was that Teru asked me to check his English in the translation of the lyrics for the band “envy”. I had to proof read it, changing a fair bit and making it sound like it flowed much better. So when they release this song I will have helped towards the completion of it. I am now officially part of a shadow of a rock star. I finished this day by watching “There Will Be Blood”. Fantastic film. Thursday I played the matching game again with the children but two of them started fighting and one got in a mood and started to push the table around. I just made sure that I lent on it hard enough so he was just left struggling.

Also in the week I had been trying to brush up on my Japanese as I have my next lesson soon. I have started to learn hirigana, one of the phonetic alphabets, by repeatedly writing it out. It is starting to stick and now I can read some words if I stare at them for a couple of minutes. Any progress is still progress.

1 thought on “The last week

  1. ‘I am getting quite good at ordering food and beer in Japanese’

    Somethings don’t change. Lets do lots of that when i come to visit. Love reading these blogs of yours and picturing you tell little ones how to talk english.

    Spoon spoon.

    Duncan x

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