home for the holidays

On Tuesday I head back home, which is a weird feeling! I’ve gotten so used to being looked at as a weirdo and walking around without really understanding what’s going on, I think that’ll probably be the biggest adjustment – though with my level of French I’ll only partly know what’s going on – and making the adjustment back will be a little bit difficult.

At least I know that I have a good foundation at the school to get me comfortable again quite quickly. This past week I’ve done over 20 classes with a strong Christmas theme, and many of the kids were happy to be able to wish someone a merry Christmas when it was my last day on Friday! I also sweettalked the teachers a little I think because I gave each person a little goodie bag for Christmas which they, pretty obviously, weren’t expecting.

I’m not too happy with some of the teachers at my school, as one “forgot” to tell me about the new year’s party (called boonenkai), which are a pretty huge deal, and consequently I can’t go because that’s the day I travel back home….
But apart from that I feel that I can take this vacation feeling reasonably comfortable – my level of participation has increased these past few weeks in classes and I have good relationships with some of the students.
Apart from that, I’ve decided to see japan at a slightly slower pace, for financial reasons as well as that I’ve definitely decided to stay for a 2nd year, and I would like to stay in Nagoya too – there are so many nice places around here I’d love to visit again and spend some more time in!

However, I’m still in the Japanese spirit – I’ve recently bought a rice cooker, and will be cooking a lot more Japanese food, including omochi, which is something they eat here around new years (called oshoogatsu) – there’s 4 different ways to eat them! It’s basically pounded rice, but actually quite good. I’m starting to get the Japanese taste. I’ve also worn a real kimono for the first time, and let me just say that they’re actually really comfortable! The sash (obi) is really tight but it’s actually kindda nice because your back’s really straight and you can’t slouch. And you can walk in them much more easily than I thought – it’s the shoes that are the killer I reckon, didn’t wear them though. The ladies that dressed my friend and I were so cute – I was practicing my Japanese – and they want to teach me how to cook all kinds of Japanese food! It’s not the easiest to make Japanese friends, but you really have to try, no matter where you are.
So I’ve finished adding some last photos to my Nagoya section on picasa – check them out! Other than that – I will see some of you soon!

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