Tuesday, 14 August 2007

PostHeaderIcon An update of sorts

Ahoy hoy

I`ve been neglecting my blog ever since I left the land of Scotlando 2-3 weeks ago. I was exceptionally busy in Tokyo and I`m now finding it hard to get on the internet here in Tano (the kanji means rice field paddy field woo). I`m at my desk at the Board of Education and it`s now late afternoon after a long day so I`m being a bit lazy on the internet. Sadly this is the slowest machine in the world and has literally taken all afternoon to log in.

To Tokyo - I was 8kg over my weight allowance despite my bathroom scales LIES. I had to pay 5kg extra which was about 200 quid (I cant find the pound key). I was so stressed I didn`t care. Fast forward 20ish hours and I get to Tokyo to be told "Mr Hanta your bags not arrive, please go here". Not the best welcome I could have hoped for and I paid 200 quid for it!

Tokyo - One case had turned up so I had all my smart clothes with me at least. Most of those few days remain a blur due to the jet lag but I remember it being fun. On the last night the cool Edinburgh types went to the (very colonial and grand) British embassy and met the ambassador and such. Then we went to that bit you always see on TV with the big billboards and busy crossings.

The first bit of culture shock came when Americans/Aussies/South Africans couldn`t understand a single word I said. Most replies were "Whadya say?", "Are you... Irish?" and my personal favourite in reply to "I`m Scottish" was "Hop...scotch? Like the game?". Also, nobody outside of Scotland can pronounce `Craig` the good Scottish way. One Aussie girl who helped me get my lost case thought I said `Albert` when I told her my name. Sadly the Japanese of my name is KU-RE-I-GU and it`s just as much trouble.

Tano - So we flew into 35oC Kochi wearing full suits and met all our supervisors. I wasn`t on my own though because the new CIR (someone who knows Japanese and isn`t a useless Arts graduate) was starting the same time as me. Infact he`s sitting across from me now getting stuck into scary looking kanji. Anyway, his name is Noah and he`s from Iowa in America. So we both met our supervisor called Chika Takano who is really nice and helpful. She`s only 22, likes Oasis and wears converse to work. It sums up the kind of friendly and laid back attitude our prefecture seems to have.

We went for an Indian meal straight from the airport which was strange. They were asking me "Is there anything you don`t eat Kureigu?" beforehand and I was all "Nah nah" because I quite like Japanese food and was expecting sushi etc. Sadly I really don`t like Indian because all the spices make me ill and swell up my whole head. So that was pretty unlucky on my part but it turned out to be nice. I also got my first taste (boom boom) of sitting at a table and not knowing a single thing going on. Luckily Noah acts as translator for all the important stuff.

Man, I`m writing loads and its probably a mess due to the dodgy keyboard. To fast forward every so slightly. Our apartments are huge, furnished and FREE and the town is pretty small but is pretty well serviced with new supermarkets/drug store/train station. Everyone in the office is very friendly too and we`ve already introduced ourselves to most people in the schools/towns so we`re probably well known now.

There was a typhoon the second/third day here and I didn`t have a jacket.
We met some other JETs near us and they seem pretty cool.
We had a welcoming party (enkai) and they "made" myself and Noah get pretty drunk.
We went to the dancing festival in the city over the weekend too and met some other JETs.
I now know how to read Hiragana and Katakana which are these にいチニイ but I don`t know what any of the sounds mean yet. Last night on television I saw a quiz of Japanese people guessing what many kanji meant. These are the Chinese pictographs (I think thats the term) and there are thousands of them apparently. ANYWAY, this was a show quizzing grown adults on their own language! What chance does poor old Albert Kureigu have?
I might tidy this up at a future date and add all my pictures but it`s back to work for now.
Cheerio

2 comments:

Dam said...

hi creg

RBS said...

"There was a typhoon the second/third day here and I didn`t have a jacket."

Hahahah. Oh Gregbert.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins