Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Day Off Tomorrow!!

Kaori and I are headed to Hiroshima for a nice, relaxing day of Christmas shopping. The only shitty thing is that we have to work on Saturday instead. Oh well, exam time is usually pretty relaxing. In all my glorious wisdom I decided that all the oral exams should be individual this term. So instead of listening to 130 pairs speaking with each other, I now have to speak with 260 students (one-on-one)! The conversations are only 1 or 2 minutes depending on grade. Oh well, it was my idea.

Candice and I are going to The Philippines in less than 3 weeks but it totally hasn't sunk in yet. We made all our plans so long ago that it doesn't seem real these days. Doesn't help that there is massive flooding and death in the Philippines right now (NOT WHERE WE ARE GOING). Let's just say that I am not advertising my holiday plans to the other teachers right now. I can just hear their gasps and warnings.

Christmas cake in cooking class tonight!! For those who do not live in Japan you are probably thinking "why get excited about cake??"

The longer you live here the more you get excited about things that Japanese people get excited about.

For example, in the Spring cherry blossoms bloom and the whole country goes nuts. Wellllll there are cherry blossoms blooming in other countries, that look just as beautiful. When I first arrived I was like "so what? The blossoms in Victoria are just as beautiful". But NOW the frenzy has worn off on me. Cherry blossoms in Japan are a celebration, a reason to throw a party, take a trip, sing a song, write a poem, or even name your child (I know a kid named Sakura).

Christmas cake is the same way. It is special, but really, only because everyone says it is.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Phantom Kagura Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Ahhhh Magazines!

I found this site (netmagazines) that sends magazines to foreign addresses. The prices are all in US dollars and are pretty competitive. The average English magazine costs about 1000yen here so getting them sent from the states is actually cheaper. Last year I subscribed to Time Asia but I think I would prefer a few women's monthly magazines (which are cheaper) this year. That's makes me sound really dumb doesn't it? I mean trading Time for women's mags. Oh well.
This link will take you directly to the list of magazines that ship to foreign addresses.

Happy English reading!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Stupid Bloody Exchange Rates

The stupid bloody Canadian economy is soaring. This would be a good thing if I were actually in Canada. It is the worst possible time to send money home. It hasn't been this bad the whole time I have been here. As of today I am making $3000.00 less a year, due to the exchange rate!! Of course, I NEED to send money home now, isn't it always like that?

Stupid bloody Canada.

Never Ending Thoughts....

These days I have been thinking a lot about recontracting. The final decision doesn't have to be made until Feb. but it is on my mind CONSTANTLY!! I wish I could just make up my mind and deal with it. I want to stop thinking about it and get on with life. One day I am sure that I will stay. The next day I change my mind. If I could just stick to my original goals then the decision would be easy. Stay, earn more money. BUT it isn't as simple as that anymore.

I am giving a presentation at the mid year conference in three days and I am not at all prepared.

A new English teacher arrived today. He told me he has never taught a conversation class before. How can this be?? He is at least 27 or 28 and has worked at a few high schools. Lucky me, I have 4 conversation classes a week with him. He asked me to "be the lead teacher". No problem, I prefer it that way anyway. I feel sorry for the guy. He was soooo nervous today. He will only have this job until March but he still has to move here, set up an apartment, try to make friends, and to top it all off, he has a mouth full of braces (very uncommon here). He made a point of talking to me today so he's obviously a nice guy.

I made apple lemon spice muffins tonight. They didn't work out due to my stupidity but they will next time. I love having an oven!! Thank you Brad and Stacey!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

At the Sake festival a few weeks ago. Posted by Hello

My Gramma, Wylie, and I at Shian's. Posted by Hello

My Gramma kicks your Gramma's ASS!!!

My Gramma bought herself a condo!!! She already has a house with her boyfriend but this is just HER condo, in a seperate city!!! I am so proud of her. I can't wait to visit her again.

Monday, November 01, 2004

It's November??

November already. It looks like it's going to be a busy month.
Last night I had a "Holy shit I'm in Japan" moment. I get these moments only about once a month these days. Last night was the annual Ootoshi Jinja festival. This is a Shinto shrine in my neighbourhood. Travis and I know the shrine-master because we both did home-stays with the family. The kagura began at 8pm and then when it was finished a new one started, and it went on ALL night. Kagura after kagura. I'm sure some of the hard core fans stayed all night too. For me, Kagura is like watching paint dry, only because I have seen it so many times.

My "Holy Shit" moment came when Travis and I were standing above the crowd looking down on all the people and the performance. It just hit me. Travis described it well. He said that if we were to return to this shrine, a hundred years from now on Nov 1st, the exact same thing would be happening, we would know the family of the shrine-master (the job is passed down from one generation to the next), the buildings and grounds would be exactly the same (as they have been for hundreds of years now), and of course, there would be an all-night Kagura dance performance.

History. History that we just don't have in Canada.

Not that Canada is a bad place because of it. In fact, I would love to be there right now. I would be headed to the nearest Mexican restaurant for lunch. But I am here, so off to Lawsons I go.