Saturday, January 23, 2010

Comedy and Health

Yes, that is correct, comedy and health, together at last...or in my case, life as usual.

My friend recently asked people to share their funny hospital stories. Since I don't actually have any other kind, I contributed one. I will now share it with you.

Boxes and Bubblewrap, I guess if I am to start this blog thing, I best be getting on with another entry, eh!

So, I am getting ready to sublet a really awesome apartment for about 6 mths or so! It is a win-win situation for all involved. The owners won't have to leave their apartment empty, their rent will be taken care of while they are away, I get to live somewhere very cool and have a great reason to purge all the crap I have pack-ratted over the years and start fresh!!! Wooohooo!!

Although it is proving to be a tough process; figuring out what to chuck and what to keep, it has also been a fun walk down memory lane.

  • I found countless incense burners still in their boxes, little knick-knacks that were gifts and I have never used them; all are reminders of past students, parties and great people.
  • Oh, and let's not forget the heaps of little tiny toys or characters meant to hang decoratively from a mobile phone, that I got free from bottles of water and tea. Those are symbols of the good intentions I had when I thought I would use them as prizes in my classes...oops, sorry kids!
  • There is the barbecue I bought expressly for hanami parties (the kind of party at which I met Shig) but then never used because I keep having hanamis next to a river where barbecueing is prohibited. It is still in its box too. Hey, at least I was prepared in case City Hall suddenly thought cooking with fire whilst completely hammered, directly under a tree in an area that was crowded with countless other drunks, was a good idea and decided to permit it.
  • And ah yes...the cute, fun pair of yellow badminton rackets with matching birdies I bought to use on the beach in Okinawa last summer. I never even zipped open the case. I opted instead to spend so much time in the water that I got heatstroke from the ensuing sunburn on that particular holiday. That was way more fun.
I do truly feel like I am making headway with my packing and purging. I still have a LOT to do though. A couch that needs to be taken out of here, a bed that needs to find a new home, shelves to sell or give away, papers to throw out or file, pots, pans, dishes, bedsheets, books, etc., etc....oh crap. I haven't gotten anywhere!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Synopsis in fast forward

Ok, so I decided to jump on the blog bandwagon. Giddyup!!
I have just celebrated my 7th anniversary of landing in Japan. Uncanny how it has been this long yet I still feel like I am on track for only staying here a year. So much has happened in that "year".
I arrived knowing not a soul, speaking not a word of the language, was greeted at the airport by someone from the head office of the eikawa company I was going to be working for, met my new coworkers, was shown once how to get to my apartment from the train station, then left on my own. Needless to say that first night here, I got lost looking for my new apartment on my own later at 11pm, wheeling a really heavy suitcase around.
Since then, I spent my first year here in Saitama, not too far from Tokyo. I lived on chocolate and snacks that were in our office, nibbled on popcorn, drank a Coke every day, and on weekends, had actual meals when staff and some (adult) students would go out to party. I lost *15 kilos in the first 3 mths. Who needs salad? Just move somewhere that you don't know what half the food is, are afraid of the other half, and have no way of asking anyone for help because you can't communicate! Worked for me! Chocolate, popcorn, Coke and of champions, I say!
*(Gained it all back after ending up in a committed and happy relationship with a man who likes full meals on a regular basis and thus gave up the popcorn and Coke diet. Hmm.)

After that I moved to an area called Nishinomiya. It is basically halfway between Kobe and Osaka. It is gorgeous, with all kinds of nice hiking in the mountains, a lot of amazing history, a university with a really great sports field for all the lovely, lovely, very fit athletic university men who ... oops...I digress...
I worked for the same eikawa in Sannomiya, then moved on to my next job at an international preschool for 2.5 years. Possibly the best job I had ever had. Loved working with kids. There is just something special and magical about being able to teach a child to read, write and how to put up his/her little hand when someone is bugging them and say, "Uh, BUH-bye!" (There should be a teacher of the year award for that).
Left that job and started working at a girls' private school. Junior and senior high. It is different, that is for sure. I like it just as much, but for different reasons. Although, I do have to admit, I do have a horrible urge to ring up all my former teachers from JHS and beg their forgiveness. Could I have been that hormonal and evil at that age???? Crrrripes! Bunch of little demon spawn!
And somewhere in there, I managed to find time to, ahem, make the acquaintance of a few sailors from many different countries...Kobe is a port town. (That's a nod to you, Ms. X, you know who you are!) And somewhere in between the fun and debauchery, I have made all kinds of incredible friends whom I consider to be my extended family and always will.
Most importantly, I met the love of my life here. Shigeki and I met at a cherry blossom party. Every spring, when the cherry trees start to bloom, people have picnics under the cherry trees all over Japan. I met Shigeki under a cherry tree one April afternoon. We talked all afternoon, sat together and got on really well. We were instantly attracted to each other and have been inseperable ever since. Sigh....isn't that romantic? Ok, let me give you the real details that I omitted. We met at the party and we were completely and utterly inebriated and thus totally hot for each other. And have been inseperable ever since.
Well, I am going to sign off. It is cold and late. We don't have heat in our apartment, but I have been keeping warm next to my little space heater. It is kind of like a toaster; same type of heating elements in it. You should see the great tan on my calves.

More mirth and mayhem coming soon.