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Sunday In The School With Mitch June 22, 2008

Posted by Mitch in General.
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Well, it’s Sunday (a week before my birthday, too!) and I once again find myself sitting in a stifling staffroom, lamenting the lack of work I’m given to do. I knew today was going to be annoying, it being the weekend and all, but I was told that I would be in two lessons. I get to school bright and early (well, not so bright, actually – it’s grey and miserable) and am told that, actually, I’ll only be in one lesson. It’s a good thing I updated my iPod with some movies to kill the time!

The rest of this week should be fairly run of the mill. I have Monday off in view of the fact that I was dragged against my will into school today. I also have Friday off – I took a day of holiday because all that’s happening is the kids are getting tested so there would have been no lessons for me and I would prefer to spend more time in Tokyo! Yes, I’m off to Tokyo on Friday morning for a long weekend of literary pursuit! On Saturday I will be visiting the Yukio Mishima Museum at the foot of Mount Fuji (alas, it’s rainy season, so if it’s cloudy and rainy, I don’t think I’ll get a very good view) and on the Sunday I’ll be taking a trip to Tama Reien to visit his grave. Then, it’s into Akihabara, where that massacre was a few weeks back, to buy a new external hard drive. I’m not sure if I mentioned in a previous post, but I bought a 250GB one when I first got here and now it’s pretty much full, so I want another! Whilst electricals on the whole are about the same price as in England, it seems to me that hard drives are a little cheaper here than what I would expect to pay back home.

On Friday, I was supposed to be going into Tokuyama to buy my shinkansen tickets for Tokyo – if you buy them a week in advance, you save about £50. However, rainy season hit with full force and the torrential rain never stopped that day. So, because my train line is old and doddery, the trains were either cancelled or severely delayed. Luckily, a friend was on call to go and pick them up for me. Yesterday, the rain had eased off a little, so Brooke and I decided to make the journey. Usually, it takes about 45minutes to get from Kuga to Tokuyama on the Gantoku line. Yesterday, it was more like 2 hours. We met up with Daniel, paid him for the tickets, ate dinner and got on the train back, convinced that it would take forever to make the journey. Coming back it wasn’t so bad, but as Daniel had lovingly mentioned previous to us getting the train, that it seemed like I’d gained quite a bit of weight, the ride back home was a little subdued. I know that I’ve put on weight and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing that he had brought it up, even though it was a little unorthodox. The thing that got me was that I know that I’ve ballooned, but that I have absolutely no desire to do anything about it whilst I remain in Japan. That’s another reason why it’s a good thing that I’m leaving. Were I to stay here another year, I would probably get even worse. So, I’m just going to continue what I’m doing and worry about sorting it out later. The thing is, I know that I can dedicate myself to the gym once I get back (and have enough money to join one), because I did it in my final year at Uni. So it’s no an impossibility. But here, it is. The closest gym is about a 40 minute bike ride away and involves ditching the bike and hiking up a mountain, thus rendering any further workout superfluous. Also, the weather doesn’t help. It rains almost constantly and it’s hot as well, meaning that it’s ridiculously humid. If I don’t sit under an air conditioner, I soon dwindle into a sweaty mess. The other day in class I actually felt like I was giving a lesson in the Tropical House at Kew Gardens. It’s just uncomfortable all the time, and the only prospect of escape is leaving Japan.

In other news, all of my trip to Okinawa has now been paid for, as has my inhabitant tax. Even though this totaled almost £1000, my employers actually paid me the extra money. The irony is that the Board of Education in Iwakuni is a division of the local government, meaning that the government gave me the money, only for me to hand it back to them on the same day. But it’s paid for and out of the way. I’ve also managed to put aside over the months, the £300 I have to pay upon leaving my apartment in order to replace all the tatami mats and screen doors.

I was also contacted by a friend I met at Tokyo Orientation and have not seen since (but remained in contact via the Internet with) the other day, telling me that he is also flying out of Tokyo on the same day as me, just a little later. Luckily, we are both arriving in the city the night before the flights and so are going to meet up for a last supper in Tokyo. The only difficulty that may arise is the fact that by that time we will both have paid our final mobile phone bills and they will therefore be useless. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll find a way.

Right, I suppose I better get on and do absolutely nothing for the majority of the rest of the day.

Till next time!

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