About Me

Ikawa-cho Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan
I was recently accepted by the JET program as an assistant English teacher in Japan for one year.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

been a while

i have some things to tell you. two days ago i went to my first karate lesson in japan. i have not done karate since i was probably 8 years old, so i was working muscles that have not been used since then. the type of karate is called seikuukai, which is not a type of karate that there is any reference for on the internet. it is full contact, which means i am going to need to spend $200 on leg pads and foot and hand guards and other clothing all so i can get my butt kicked twice a week. it is good to sweat and say OSSU to the teacher and the other students in the dojo as an affirmative statement. there were only five other people in the adult level class, so when i had to sit out the sparring at the end because i have no equipment and didn't want to die, they had to alternate their duels. the teacher was very nice and very happy to have my entrance fee and first month expense money.
yesterday i watched the yankees play the red sox on tv. the game went to i think 15 scoreless innings before arod earned all of his giant bags of money by hitting a walk off home run. now, this scenario could never happen in japanese baseball, because unlike american baseball, which technically never ever has to end and could possibly last forever, japanese baseball will automaticall end in a tie if no team has more runs by hte end of the 12th inning, because the trains stop running early and people need to get home. now you may be asking yourself, how did i watch an american baseball game on japanese tv? easy, the japanese will broadcast any game where a team is playing that has a japanese player. hideki matsui is on the yankees, and right now i am watching the tampa bay rays play the seatlle mariners, who have ichiro suzuki. even though the games do have to end in japan, in america you will never go to a baseball game where the fans bring their own full brass band with which to perform intricate cheers. plus, when japanese baseball is on tv, they never pause for commercials except for the occasional news update, so you get to see everything between the innings, which is nice and strange.
yesterday i went to tokushima city for a walking tour led by multi-year and former JETs. the main event was a birthday party for a 4-th year jet at a japanese style restaurant. this means you put your shoes in a little locker by the door, order a bunch of small, cheap dishes, engage in nomihodai which means all-you-can-drink, and split the bill at the end. naturally some people got very drunk but the food was very good. after that everyone went to a karaoke bar, and i sang a few songs that i made sure only i would know. a second year jet who lives in tokushima city let me and a few other people crash at her place on futons, which was great. i was the only person who thought to bring an umbrella with me, which proved to be the smartest thing i have done since i have been here, since it was pouring rain after the party and still is as i type. i'm sorry that i didn't bring my camera, blog, so there are no pictures, but it was my nintendo DS or the camera, since i didn't bring my bag (re: walking tour), and the train ride from my station to the city is about an hour and 45 minutes. trustme, nothing was interesting enough to deserve a picture, even though everyone was snapping away.
i had a good time, but the only problem is that going to city, nomihodai, breakfast, and coming back is very expensive. i would not be surprised if i spent almost then $100 (100,000 yen) in the last two days. this only became a problem after getting my new emissions inspection certificate for my car cost a surprise $200. i have like 250 in my wallet, 400 in the japanese bank account here, and something like 500 in my american bank account. supposedly i get paid on thursday, a solid 3,000. the big dance festival, back in tokushima city, is next week though. before that is 2 days of english camp, but i think most is going to be paid for at that. i am going to try to make the 250 last until thursday.
so dinner tonight is probably going to be instant noodles and fruit, because i ate a big brunch obento (prepared box meal). i shouldnt be very busy at work tomorrow, as i only have to train my student for the english speech contest. on tuesday i visit the last of my 3 elementary schools, this one is the furthest away, up a mountain road. have a good one.

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