The week in one place

One long-awaited and fantastic thing has happened since last week – it’s finally got cooler. It feels fresh in the mornings now, and the evenings are cool and breezy. No more air-conditioning, and I think I will move back to my thick winter duvet this weekend too. Anyhow, on with the week…

I felt crappy on Monday, so took the day off. I’ve suffered insomnia most nights since starting back at work – getting my body used to the early starts has proved hard, and also the guy upstairs is an inconsiderate arse and makes noise all the time. I spent the day trying to sleep, but couldn’t, so ended up making miso aubergine and rice and eating some of the chocolate that I’ve got kicking around (and have had so since Easter – time it goes methinks!). I did, however, rouse myself to go to karate in the evening.

It was back to work on Tuesday to discover that the Head of English wants me to teach from the government issued text book. Fine, but he doesn’t have any of the supporting literature, which means I have a text book with empty excercise pages, a bit of Japanese writing, and no clue whatsoever what to do with it. Frustratingly, he seems to lack common sense with regards to this matter, so I have had to explain to him patiently that either he must tell me what he want to do, or find the teachers notes to go with it!

Wednesday and Thursday were straightforward, but on Thursday I attended kurabu for the first time. Kurabu (club) is basically the sixth and final period of the day which is given over to various activities – the kids can choose what they want to do. It includes things like basketball and baseball, as well as weirder things like baton twirling. I wanted to do something creative and ended up in the technology/science club in which we made a kasa bukuro roketo.

Kasa is “umbrella”, bukuro is “bag” (specifically a plastic bag, and in this case it refers to the ones given out in the entrance halls of shops when it’s raining to house your wet umbrella whilst you shop) and roketo (I hope you’re getting the hang of these Japanglish words now?!) is, of course, “rocket”. Making it involved blowing up the bag, tying off the top, and sticking cardboard fins on the side and a weighted ring around the top for balance. I finished mine about three times faster than anyone else, so gave advice to the kids who were sticking their fins on upside down, and played swords with the ones who just couldn’t be arsed to do anything. All in all it was good fun – the kids thought it was funny to see me there, towering above them when I stood and having to sit on a ten-inch high kids chair. I gave my rocket to one of the boys who had trouble with his and seemed like a bit of an unhappy soul all round, and he was happy about that.

Friday I went to the fabled Other Dojo for the first time, to watch a competition. I’ll do an update on training in another post. I got this photo of a rather pretty fountain in Tsurumai Park which is near the station local to the dojo:

For reaons I’m not going to go into on my public blog (even if sometimes you do get too much information!) I had to go to the doctors yesterday (Saturday). My appointment was at 11am but by 1.30pm I still hadn’t been seen, and was getting rather pissed off and hungry. Imagine my surprise when a nurse came over and gave me these – a pack of biscuits and a carton of green tea. Wouldn’t get that on the NHS!

After leaving there I did some shopping and chilled in the flat. I also read this wonderful short story.

Today, Sunday, I have come to the internet cafe and drunk (drank?! Japan has stolen my grammar) four cups of coffee. WOO! I am about to leave to run/fly/jump in my caffeine-fueled state to the International Centre to register for this terms Japanese classes, then I am meeting Tyler, a friend who I have known since we were at Narita, for lunch. This evening it’s kata practise and running, before an early night for next week I am at my other school with requires even earlier starts to get there on time. Bugger.

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