Tuesday, August 17, 2010

bfg is now The Fool on The Hill

Before I say anything Japan related... Star Wars. Blu Ray. My lifetime.

So I am happy! Very happy. So happy I am thinking of buying a used PS3 in anticipation.

But first, I will have to buy a scouter.

Ah yes folks, the decision has been made. I need a set of wheels and I don`t want a car. Please not the use of `want` and `need`.

I can not do it anymore. It has just been two weeks but it is always the same. I dread coming to school and going home at the end of the day because deep down inside I am certain I will die.

And I almost have! How many times has a car turned the corner and almost killed me? About 1.5 times a day I tell you and always the last three block before I get to the bottom of the `hill` - not appropriate for the size of that thing, but anyways- which leads me up to school.

The hill is gynormous. It is also steep as fuck. It is the only time while I am in Japan that I have been significantly depressed, considering taking a free-ride down the ridge into the water since it would be less suffering than what I go through.

Eatten alive by insects. So much sweat I need to bring a towel with me and make pit stops to mop my brow and other areas. Aches while students with their parents drive up waving and pointing as they shout `ALT! ALT!`. On my way down, I go so fast my brakes hardly work and I am sure I will die but if I walk it makes the 40 mins extend to 60...

Above all else, it is walking into the staff room in excercise clothes, red faced and dripping as I feel the gushing flow of sweat down my back and teacher`s giggle as they look `Atsui! Atsui!` Atsui my ass! They don`t really sweat just stare at me. I don`t blame them for the staring - it is sickening.

Hence, my resolve for the scouter. It will save my life and though it may mean spending money for a time, it does mean survival.

Many people have said to me that I should just do it! It will make me fit! Yes, but I am not coming to school to exercise? No - to work and the thought of standing in front of the class while I scratch my armpits because they are irritated is just not a possibility for me.

Flood Under Fridge
In other news, there is a little flood in my apartment which has me concerned. The supposed fridge that functions in fact rotted the floor it was under. The landlord has investigated thank goodness and all should be well. It doesn`t bother me as much as the crack in the tub though. As you can see by the pics, not a pretty site. But I really do love my apartment. I think taking the time to decorate it and make it my own has helped me adapt and think of it as home. The decor is not finished but I am enjoying overall (though it will be even better when these two problems are fixed). I am just happy I went with my gut instinct and not buy my predessesors stuff. Many JETs from Shizuoka and Montreal have said they regret it - the stuff is old, doesn`t work or, in most cases, you realize it is just junk. They did have the convineance of sleeping in a bed the moment they got off the plane and not stress as much as I did... you choose what is right for you and I definitly did. Annoyed as I am about the fridge, imagine how much more so had I paid for it? Now I have to get rid of it but the landlord said he would and I can finally get the fridge I want. I just look forward to the day it happens and am hoping it is done before school starts.
Crack in Tub

Haven`t touched the thesis work in a week, though I did start translating the manga adaptation of Nitobe`s book Bushido. This week I desided to set it aside and focus on making a year long curriculum for all my classes and the lesson plans. Next week I have a meeting with most of my JTE`s (Japanese Teacher`s of English) and once my curriculum is confirmed I can make the sheets, start on the supplies but above all else kinda set it aside and focus my mental energy on completing this Master`s.

I am quickly learning that the true success of a good teacher, besides towering over everyone and not having to worry about disipline, is being organized; know what you are doing and being ready at any moment to explain why. At first, my supervisor seemed a little frustrated at my requests of having net on my computer since she probably thought I would spend the day on Facebook. I do spend time of FB, especially talking to other JETs, but today I made a calendar, did all the lessons for OCI class (my main class), made a list of supplies, designed my hanko (points) card for the students and started to outline my first lesson in detail; before leaving she said how excited she was at the fact that she knows most of the hard work is done! She was also very resistant at my idea of using `teachology` in the classroom but after I showed her some specific ideas she caught on. One of the major stresses is one`s relationship with their supervisor; be yourself and don`t be vague. I think the idea of computers scared her but showing her a movie of Sasha rolling around in the grass for my self-intro and how I was going to embed it in a power point presentation got her even more excited about our upcoming classes together.

Last weekend though I did have fun. Friday night after Prefecture Orientation (which I should be blogging about now but whatever), the Shizuoka JETs met up went to a few bars and a club. The night was great fun except at the end when my houseguest for the weekend had her bag stolen. It was not the smartest thing - she left it in a locker without locking - but everyone didn`t quiet believe here. `This is Japan! No one steals in Japan.` And I mean everyone said it, my new Japanese friends, my exchange partner Ken, the three police officers at the koban - they all looked at her surprised. It sucked because along with loads of money she had her passport so, for lack of a better way to phrase it, she is paddling up shits creek to be sure.

Best Coffee I ever had in my life
- served with Maple Syrup!
A moment where I really missed Antonio
We spent Saturday doing the paperwork and just walking around Shizuoka city. It reminds me of Saint-Hubert street in Montreal a lot; the wide sidewalks, the storefronts. Although the shops in St-Hub are shit and here they are just utterly amazing and I don`t understand how people can survive. I don`t even cook yet the kitchen stores. OMG - the sister and bf would die here. I reframed from spending money since most of my day was filling out forms and ... *drim roll* getting Internet.

That is right people, I have internet. The freedom. The wonders. How JETs survived pre-Internet, mobile phone I don`t know. I would die. I almost did racing my bike to 24hr Internet Cafes and drinking loads of Cola as I listened to suspicious sounds in neighbouring stalls. Still, they sanitize those places like mother-f**ers! I now have Softbank`s mobile to go: unlimited internet access, everywhere and anywhere I get a mobile signal for 4,480 YEN per month. Best of all, no 4 to 6 week wait with Yahoo BB nor concern if I ever have to move out because I wake up drowning in fridge-water.

Rolling Sushi. Cheep and oh-so-fresh
Sunday I met up with Ash and showed her all the malls and shops for taller, wider people such as moi. And while inside there were mega, mega sales and well... we couldn`t help ourselves. Softbank gave me 5,000 YEN gift-certificates so I bought loads of stuff but did not pay a lot. It felt good and very normal, like a right of passage. Ashley is fast becoming my `buddy JET` though I have promised myself that I will not be locked to the JET nishe. Hence the mega-ultra dinner planned for Wednesday with loads of locals, Ash and I.

For now, I shall get ready to leave my first Japanese class this evening! Wish this fool riding down the hill luck.


  1. awesome post ness..glad that you got internet and that you're getting a scooter. What are the steps to getting one if you don't have a motorcycle license in canada?

    also..pictures of the gundam pls

  2. "Atsui my ass!" LOLOLOLOL!!!!
    Show me that Softbank please!