Hello! Been out of touch a little while, so here’s my attempt to give you an update.
If anyone’s still reading this, please give me a shout!
The teaching is ok. It’s not really what i expected, i do nothing mostly, which is bothering me and is doubting me staying in Japan for another year. I’m a much more active person. That and i miss biology. So it’s been really tough getting through the days, i’m trying though.
Last week was very hard too, because the girls that are in my apartment were starting to get a bit much too, so i hung out by myself a lot last week. And then i am glad to be here with some other foreigners, because always having to be by yourself would be hard! I mean, i want to make some Japanese friends, but you’re always dealing with the cultural boundaries not to mention the language barrier! Which is why Nagoya is a nice place to start out in, it has a nice mix of japanese-ness but also bits of home you can run to when the japanese side of things gets a bit much. Like people rambling on to you in Japanese when it’s pretty clear you have no idea what they’re talking about.
The upside of my school compared to the others, their upside being that they do more teaching, is that my teachers, well some of them at least, are sociable. I’ve heard many times that they want to talk to me, practice their English, but they’re afraid i think, and they always seem so busy so i don’t want to interrupt, and the hardest thing – one minute they’re like your best friend and the next all they give you is a nod and maybe a smile.
The ones that do speak English love getting me to do things that are Japanese! I went to dinner with 5 of them, and they were choosing things that were typically japanese that i hadn’t had yet, and they’re very impressed when i tell them that i did an ikebana class last night (very interesting btw!) and that i’m going to see a noh play (japanses performing art, slightly less well-known than kabuki). The thing is, that these things are considered essential japanese to foreigners but many japanese themselves haven’t done ikebana or seen a kabuki play. So as much as it may be essential to their cultural background, it doesn’t make a japanese person who he/she is. And that’s what a lot of foreigners get wrong.
As i’ve been so low on the money front i’ve been doing a lot of exploring around Nagoya this past month. There’s not a whole lot to explore, btu it has some nice areas, not always of historical interest though. there’s a port, a temple and a shrine, and uhm, that may be it. a lot of shopping, which is a lot of japanese people’s favorite hobby i think.
But that said, most of my life revolves around school. It’s actually really ghetto, but the kids are gradually trying to speak to me more, teaching me words like unko (meaning poo). one of the things i’m still finding hard to get used to is that people when pointing to themselves point at their noses. Seeing a lot of people do that just makes it look really freaky!
But those are my ramblings for now. Like i said if anyone’s still reading this. I promise to give a better update more frequently.
My brother’s coming over in about 3 weeks, just after school finishes, and i’m going to stay in Japan this summer, so hopefully i have a lot of recommendations to give out then!