Hey everyone, sorry for the less-than-exciting posts I wrote while I was traveling. It made it easier to let all family/friends know I was in transit/had arrived.
Right now I’m in Chiba prefecture, which is east of Tokyo. I’m in Yotuskaido, about a 20 minute drive from Narita airport. Myself and three other new teachers are currently housed in the ALS guesthouse for our training. Two of the new teachers had training start today (poor guys, they arrived last night too), and me and the other new teacher start our training on Monday.
I crashed really, really early last night (about 8:00) and woke at around 4:30 to a freezing house! It’s chilly! We have managed to learn how best to transform the living room into a nest-like setting, and have sweaters on hand when we have to depart for a bedroom or the bathroom.
We’re armed with tea and snacks, too, which increases quality of life significantly.
My new roomie and I went for an adventure around the city this morning – we headed off in search of coffee and groceries, since we’ll be here for about a week. Thankfully, there’s a giant everything-store a few minutes’ walk from our place, but we arrived about 20 minutes before it opened. An older man came up to us and started staring and circling (literally). My comrade got a wary look in his eye, and when the man asked me (in Japanese): “What country are you from?” he walked quickly away, thinking the guy was going to harass us and ask for money, or something. I started laughing, but told the guy we were from America, and his next question was (pointing to my friend): “Does he not speak any Japanese?” I shook my head no. The guy asked about what we were doing in town, and then launched into this ramble about how he has a 5 year old grandchild that he hopes will go to America or England for a more international education and then get a good job with a pharmaceutical company. I had to relay all of this to my roomie after the conversation was over, but it was hilarious to think that the sight of us triggered this enormous thought process regarding life and learning from the guy.
Since our trip for coffee and food, we’ve holed up in the living room of the house on our laptops. We have extensive entertainment options available:
One of the other guys brought his Xbox and 30-something games down before he left the house this morning, too…but we have yet to break that out.
It’s also my understanding that everything in the second photo is up for grabs, so, people in Japan, if you see anything you want, I’ll grab it for you!
I don’t start training until Monday, so it looks like I’m heading in to Tokyo tomorrow to get my cell phone and possibly to harass some friends, depending on peoples’ schedules. I’m also looking to hit up my favorite ramen shop in Akihabara for a bowl of something I’ve been craving for three months.
Really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here. It may be cold outside, but I’m feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about things already.