Friday, April 30, 2010

My first holiday

Yesterday, Thursday, was a holiday. Don't ask me what for or which one because I have no idea. I just accepted it and went on. I was planning on going to the only mexican place around with a bunch of the AETs for lunch. I woke up late and was just wondering around my apartment looking for something to do (which doesn't take long because its not that big) when I get a knock on my door. Now lets be honest in saying that I haven't made many friends here yet so I normally don't know who is knocking at my door. It turns out it is my landlord who lives in the house next door and is a really nice old man. His wife and daughter went to Tokyo for the day and just thought that since Kendon isn't around he would take me to lunch. REALLY sweet except I already had plans but I couldn't say no. So I went to lunch with my landlord and during that time they dropped by to pick me up and I got left. It was fine because I didn't want them to wait on me but I was a little disappointed.
I then get a call from another group of AETs that are going on a scooter adventure. Now I love food but I love an adventure more so I hopped on my scooter and zipped over to their house. We took off to Kasama which is famous for pottery but it was so nice out we just wondered the mountain roads on scooter. We were passed by many a car and tried to scooter up a hiking trail but didn't quite work. We stopped at azalea hill known for the blooming of TONS of azalea bushes. The hill turns pink when they all bloom but unfortunately we were about a week too early. Some blooms were out but most needed just a little bit more time. The day went by quickly but it was a good day. I can't tell you how fun it is to scooter around. To have the wind blowing everywhere and the smells of creation surround you. It's amazing!!! We stopped by a random coffee shop that was in a old train car with creative artwork and shoes being sold nearby. You never know what you will find in Kasama, Japan! As we scootered home at dusk it started to get chilly so we stopped and grabbed the car for dinner.
There were several moments yesterday where I thought about how crazy it was that I was riding scooters in Japan. Not only that but the fact that I am living the Japan for the next year. There have been times in the last two weeks I have been tempted to count how many days until I get to go home but yesterday wasn't one of them. I did think, however, of how I would describe the day on my blog so that all the people I love could be apart of it. There is nothing that I would want more then to have all of you share in my adventure here with me. I think of you often and wish that you could be here with me! But until then...I'll keep writing and keep describing the best I can!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It has been raining all week so you know what that means!?!? I am in my rain suit everyday riding my bike to school. Why do they call it riding when you have to do all the work? That's not riding at all! I will be glad that I have my bike and that I actually ride it because what I eat after school is not quite that healthy! The burning in my legs every morning and night are probably for the best!!!!
Today (Wednesday) it downpoured ALL day from 8-3! I watched it come down all day from the teachers room in awe. Normally in the States it will let up sometimes but not here. It is CONTINUOUS! So my Kocho sensei (Principal) called me to his desk today after class and showed me his computer. He was looking at the weather and explained in his broken English that they were expecting 3mm of rain from 3pm-6pm so he wanted me to go home at 3. I sure wasn't going to complain so I said thank you and sat back in my desk. When he left, in Japanese, he was sure to tell me to be careful on my way home. He was really worried! SO at 3, I left. Now today I rode my scooter to work because I wasn't feeling great. So I was driving home and came to part of the road that was completely covered in water. I decided this time wasn't a great time to test out my scooter surfing skills...don't worry mom! I made it home safely and a friend is coming to pick me up for church tonight! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bike Issues

The second day of Souken I woke up because of jet lag pretty early so I was able to talk to people back home for a while. When it was time to go I went outside only to find that I couldn't remember the code to my bike lock. I was getting really angry at myself because when Kendon told me the code I told myself to go inside and write it down but clearly I did not! Of course, just my luck, my landlord was standing outside this day and saw that I was struggling. He discovered the problem and offered to drive me to my school but I didn't really want to walk back at the end of the day so I refused. He then proceeds into his house and comes out w/ a saw! He wants to CUT OFF MY LOCK!!!! I couldn't believe he wanted to do and was sure that I could remember the code! I felt like a big dumb idiot! As time passed, it was getting later and later. He then went back into his house and came out with an unopened, dusty, new bike lock and offered it to me. With this now he asked again to cut it off and I had to agree because I had to get to work! So he just sawed off my lock and I went about my day. Very embarrassing!!

Second story--I went to the train station to catch the train and I parked my bike alongside all the other bikes. When I got back I found a note on my bike but couldn't read it because it was in Japanese so I just thought I would go about my way. NOPE! There was another lock on my bike which was not mine chaining it to the bike rack. I then had to gather that this note I had was telling me that you had to pay to park YOUR BIKE! HOW SILLY!!! So I had to go talk to the 3 old men in the booth and explain to them that I didn't speak/read Japanese which they gathered quickly when they spoke to me in Japanese and I just looked at them. That pretty much sums up my life here so far!!! My bike and I have had many stories to share already and its only the first week. More to come I'm sure!!!!

First week mistakes...

I know that you all have things to do and don't need to read 12 pages written about my life so my goal is to keep these stories as short as possible for quick reads.

First- this week was a week of training at Souken (which is the Board of Education for English basically) It is required at Souken to wear suits so everyday this week I had a suit on which is weird to begin with. Secondly all of the suits that I bought are skirt suits and until my school approves it I have to ride my bike to Souken and to school. SO everyday this week I have to ride to Souken with track pants on and then when I get there I have to change into my suit. If that isn't dumb enough the first day I decide I would look good with heels so picture me riding my bike 15 mins with track pants, suit jacket and heels!!! Needless to say I'm so hot when I get there. BUT not as hot as when you have to wear your rain suit because its raining!!! Those things don't breathe AT ALL! The thing is...the japanese people give you rain suits to wear on your bike but they won't wear them. They would rather walk in their normal clothes with an umbrella instead. They just allow me to look like an idiot which is typical for me I think!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The scooter adventure!

So I needed to get to church and so Kendon allowed me to take his second scooter (which he sold to me later.) He was very nervous about me taking it but don't worry Simon and I rode them in Rome and if I can survive that I can survive anything...right?

Well....about the second turn I almost didn't make it. I was following him and didn't realize he was turning and so by the time I got my scooter to turn I almost ran into a pole...but no worries I didn't! The ride to the church after this incident went well. We scootered all around Mito to introduce me to the roads and to get adjusted to riding the scooter. And then Monday on my first day of work...when at City Hall getting my aliens visitor card I also officially changed the scooter into my name. So I am now the proud owner of a scooter!

First day of training was good. We spent the majority of the day at city hall filling out paperwork but boy did I look good in my suit! Suits everyday this week while at Souken. woo!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I finally made it...

So I finally made it to my apartment and finally got to go to sleep. After my 13 hour flight, we had to wait at the airport for everyone to arrive and then took a 2 hour bus ride to Mito City. We got off the bus only to find it about 35 degrees and raining. I hadn't expected it to be freeeeezing outside so I was quite cold in my toms and t-shirt.

I have a buddy named Kendon who has been in Japan for 3 years and lives right down the way from me. He picked me up and hauled all my junk to my apartment for me. Now I've already told you that I was self conscious about how much I packed and now I'm looking at my apartment and regretting bringing so much! Hopefully it all fits. Kendon has been a great help to me already. Saturday after I tried to sleep in but then woke up at 7am I started to unpack and then we went on our tour of Mito.

We went to sushi with some of the other AETs, then went to the supermarket right down from my apartment. After that we went furniture shopping for a bed for me. Now I have futons **which are mattresses** but not a bed frame. I'm working on doing some research on the best one for me. He has been great giving me advice and showing me the things that I need to know for when I am let lose on my own when he travels to America in a couple of days. Great! I'm getting my wings so early...I'm not sure if I'm ready. I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The beginning...

So I'm sitting in my room in Ohio 4 days before I take off on this adventure and I'm wondering what in the world did I get myself into? How could I think this was a good idea? Going to Japan for a year, by myself, to teach little asian kids??? Am I crazy??? As I make preparations and say my goodbyes I'm second guessing every thought of how this was what I needed to do. I always said that I wanted to live overseas for a while and when this opportunity came up I thought that this was it...but now I'm not so sure. I know that God will be there every step of the way, my issue right now is all the people that I love won't be. Sure they will be as close as skype can get us but I'm doing this all on my own which is scary. 

Now don't get my wrong I'm super pumped about this. I know that I am going to grow in ways I never thought possible and hopefully come back better for it but it is just harder then I expected! And so I am trying my best to first get all my junk packed in my bags (which doesn't look good at the moment) and everything prepared for April 15th to start this new adventure!!