Wednesday, 12 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon I have returned with ice-cream

Possibly not the best outing I've been on.

I've noticed old Eileen likes to make a scccrreeeeeeeee noise every so often when I start moving, I reckon first gear is half dead but as long as it works who cares? I went to turn left into the supermarket but put my window wipers on by accident and then ended up in the train station car park by mistake. In my defence the indicators are on the opposite side from back home and the two entrances are next to each other. In the supermarket I half noticed the "stalker" who likes to follow and annoy the local foreign people. Noah keeps seeing her about and I've been winding him up since I pay no attention and she is in his adult English class. I did my best to ignore her but whilst I was trying to decide between orange or apple juice she pounced on me. Man... she's a bit on the crazy side and now she's made contact with me noooooooooooo. I got my ice cream though mmm mmm

What should I write about now?

Teaching is going pretty great so far. I've finished all my self-introduction lessons with varying levels of success but mostly positive. The Junior High kids were quite hard to win over but I just about got there I think. The Elementary lot are great and fight for your attention at lunch/break and despite me knowing pretty much no Japanese I know a few phrases to interact with them all. I've been marking some English homework too this week which has thrown up a few surprises. The first task they were given was to write about their dreams (or dreems as many put) and it turns out a lot of students want to be chefs who make delicious food! I sense a lot of copying going on out there tsk tsk. Sadly the better students get the most red ink because they've tried something inventive so I make sure to give them a nice stamp. One student had written "When I grow up I want to be a nurse. I want to help sick people and to keep one's promise to my grandmother". Touching or what? Compare that to the last one I marked; "I want to de polish. I use want on car and [illegible]. I want to de polish".

That kind of sums up my teaching recently. The sports day is taking up most of the time at present and to be honest it's getting pretty monotonous. The principal keeps wanting me to go and watch them every day but they just stand there kicking dust rather than running. It's also very warm plus some teachers tell me to join in so I go home and change then it's all "Oh Hanta right yes hmm right not today". Oh yeah, did I mention I've made everyone call me Hunter now? It's much easier for them to say and it sounds much cooler I think you'd agree. It's official now as it went out in the town newsletter huzzah.

I did lots more stuff last week but I always forget after a few days. I do remember last Thursday a few JETs went to Rock Green Cafe which is an excellent little place about 20-30 minutes drive away. You get an excellent view of the sunset and it has nice food/drink along with some live music. We went to watch Dave and Nick (two Aussies who live near me) play a little set and it was a good night. Friday of course was the Junior High enkai that I've already talked about. On Saturday I went for my first drive as mentioned and then in the afternoon me, Andrew and Noah went up to the temple near Yasuda/Tonohama. This was the one where I got dehydrated a few weeks ago so it was a good goal to complete. We drove up a fair bit of the way in Andrew's beasting van which managed to survive the winding road. Even near the top it was a fair 30 minute hike to the viewing tower and we had a good laugh taking a shortcut and then running away when we saw spiders. The view was incredible as you may have seen from the picture I already posted. There was a FREE viewing telescope where you could actually see into my apartment window which is insane considering how far away it is - honestly I'll take a picture tomorrow to show how high it is. That evening we met up with Matt in Aki for dinner followed by lots of tequila and video games.

On Sunday we awoke at Andrew's place far too early with another hangover. We had to get into the city for the AMAZING RACE! as was its full title. Basically one of the JETs organised a pretty impressive scavenger hunt all over the city that had us jumping on trams and dressing up. I was paired up with Nick (the Aussie at Rock Green) who won it last year and is possibly the most energetic person I've ever met. The moment we got our first clue and Nick ran off like an Olympic sprinter I started to regret drinking the night before and having my first McDonald's breakfast in about 5 years. We were winning at the start and even tried to hitch hike our way to save spending our limited budget. It failed and as we sat sweating on the tram I remembered not only was I a foreigner (reason enough for stares) but I was a big sweaty one dressed up in a pilgrim outfit (with added walking stick) with face paint all over me. The poor locals of Kochi City didn't know what hit them that day I think. We had a bit of a setback by going to the wrong library and not being able to find our mystery book so we pretty much lost our lead. I personally enjoyed pulling some stranger into a photo booth (think Japanese style) and doing random poses with him. He even had a moustache you know.
That was the AMAZING RACE! and makes me up to date with events. I shall add some more pictures and then watch some Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Oh there was something else that happened today. The Japanese Prime Minister resigned DUN DUN DUN. He was called Shinzo Abe and his party got hammered in the elections the day I arrived in Japan. Personally I hated him and his nationalist agenda. His government in my opinion have been trying to change the history of WW2 rather than just leaving it in the past like Germany. They've also been antagonising China/Korea by saying blood bathes and forced prostitution during WW2 are greatly exaggerated and never really happened. On the domestic front the Health Minister claimed that women were "baby making machines". Anyway, my opinions aside I was surprised how nobody in my office cared in the slightest. It's like Blair resigning in the midst of the David Kelly suicide a few years ago in my eyes but they just shrug and get on with it I guess. My supervisor said "They'll just get another one who nobody likes". Ah politicians... hated everywhere.

The view from the top of the 27th temple (viewing tower)

Some amazing racers

Me... racing amazingly


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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