Friday, February 27, 2004

Ok, this is my last entry...

Hey there. It's me again. I have a new blog now, so if you want to know what's been going on with me, hop on over to the new blog, called Reverse Culture Shock...or, you can stay here and read about my experiences in Japan. I know I'll be stopping by here once in a while to look back.

One more thing....I just want to say that I had a lot of fun writing this blog and I want to thank those people who took time to read it. You gave me a motive to continue writing it.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

This will probably be my last entry...

My day of departure is fast approaching and there is so much I have to do that I probably won`t be online until I return. Today I ran into a huge problem when I made bank transfer to my bank at home...little did I know that the bank was bought out by another one, hence I have a new bank account number...and my parents didn`t tell me that I had received notice of it in the mail. God I hope the transfer went ok...it was a lot of money I transferred. Now I really have to watch what I spend because I only have 40,000 yen left in the bank.

To think that one week from now I will be on a boat...

I hung out with KM and his friends one last time on Friday and on Saturday, yes, I saw The Return of the King. It was great! And can I say it again?....Faramir is hot. I was so worried about making the last train after the movie but I was ok because the movie ended at 11:30 exactly. I had set my alarm to vibrate at 11:30 so I could leave...right at the climax of the movie, the phone vibrated....I thought it was already 11:30 but it was only an email from K. Anywayz, on my way home....who should I see but KM! It was such a happy coincidence. He was on his way back home after seeing The Last Samurai. He said he liked it very much. I was so glad to see him one last time...Yesterday was K`s graduation exhibition...I got to see his paintings at the work of other Meisei students. I was interesting. Later that night we hung out in Gusto with his friend.

Anyway, I guess this is it....how can I sum up a year and a half that has changed my life forever? There is just no way. I guess I`ll have to time to reflect on it once I get back. I will be starting a new blog...so till then....Catch ya on the flip side.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


I was going to save writing a post about the trains here in Japan for some other time, but after what happened tonight, I have to write about it. Let me just begin by saying that riding crowded trains sucks. It`s like a freakin` bump n` grind. I usually take the Keio Line to travel to and from Shinjuku because it`s cheap and actually faster than the JR Line. However, it gets really crowded in the evenings. It`s no use waiting for the next train because it will be just as crowded. And I have found that the JR Line isn`t that much better. So you learn to suck it up and endure the trip because it`s fast and it`s cheap. And besides, Keio has, until this point, been very reliable. Less likely than JR to run into technical problems and delays. Anywayz, tonight was my last time tutoring AT...it was sad but I think things went well overall with her. So on my way back to Hachioji (via the Keio Line), the train ran into some technical problems. Actually, I have no idea what the problem was, but I know there must`ve been one because we were stuck in the train for what seemed like an eternity. Once, it started up again but then it stopped again and didn`t move again for what seemed like a long time. Once in a while, the conductor announced something or other that I couldn`t understand, so there was nothing I could do but just stand there. It started getting stuffy (well, it`s always stuffy in the train when it`s crowded) and I thought, "Well, at least it isn`t summer". Then, I heard someone say "Sumimasen" twice in a loud voice several feet away from me, but of course, since it was freakin` crowded, I couldn`t see who it was. I thought this pretty unusual because most people are pretty quiet on the train...and why would he say "sumimasen" when we couldn`t move? Then I heard what seemed like someone talking on the phone, and I heard the word "byouin", or "hospital", but of course, I couldn`t see anything and couldn`t understand anything so I figured it was someone talking loudly on the phone. Anywayz, we finally got to the nearest train station on the express route and when we got there, it was obvious that the people on the platform were irritated at the delay, but when the doors opened, two or three men in official station uniforms rushed into the train car with a stretcher, pushing people out of the way, and shouting "Sumimasen!". They ran straight to where I had heard someone talking....apparently, a girl had fainted! They took her limp body out on a stretcher and soon we were on our way to Hachioji. I think she was ok, but it was still scary to see her totally unconscious like that. I mean, as crowded as the train was and as long as we were stuck there, it`s no wonder she fainted...but what got to me is that when she fainted...there was nothing that anyone could do but call an ambulance and wait because the train was stuck.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Time is running out...

Sorry if you haven`t heard from me...It`s just that I have been very busy trying to tie up loose ends before I leave...and spend time with K. Just to let you know, you may not even hear very much from me until I am home, so please bear with me. But I will try to be online and post on the blog as much as possible before I leave. Unfortunately, there won`t be a December Chronicles, but maybe a synopsis of December.

I also just want to say (because I haven`t really said it on the blog) how much I have enjoyed the past two months with K. We`ve had so many good times together and I`m really gonna miss him when I go back. I really, really hope that he will be able to visit me in March or April. Sunday will be his graduation exhibition, which I will defenitely go to. I won`t be here for his graduation so going to his exhibition is the very least I can do....
I`m gonna get to see "The Return of the King" in Japan!

I spent the day with K, doing the laundry and going shopping. I ended up getting the Ping Pong DVD and he got three huge art books. I have learned that you cannot go into a used book store with him without him buying at least one art book. He is quickly amassing a huge art library.

Later, I went with him to Nishi-Hachioji, where we had dinner before he had to leave for his night shift. I realized that at last, I had the time to go to Minami Ozawa. The Return of the King is officially coming out on February 14th, the very day after I leave Japan...talk about bum timing, but a coworker mentioned that there was going to be a preview showing of it on February 7th in Minami Ozawa`s Virgin Cinemas, so I had wanted to go there and try to buy a ticket for it. And sure enough, I was able to buy one, so I`m really excited about it...woo hoo!...I`m just gonna have to coordinate so I can catch the last train to Kabe....

Friday, January 30, 2004


My coworkers have discovered my blog! Yesterday, a farewell get-together given to me by my coworkers, my boss MH said, "You know, I had a dream that you and me were in Cuba and we were covered in cement" I began to think "Wait a minute, I had the exact same dream..." When he smirked at me and said, "We found your webpage". Apparently, BB ran a search on the web for info on our school and references to the school in my blog came up. It was quite a pleasant surprise...Good thing they didn`t read the July 14th entry where I trash all my coworkers...Oops, did I write that out? ;-)
My Computer

Back in early November, I got a seven-year-old, Win 95 computer for free from an ad in the Metropolis magazine, figuring that I could use it for the Internet so I wouldn`t have to spend money on Internet cafes. So I went through the whole trouble of paying 8,000 yen to have it hauled over to my apartment. Well, I ended up using about 4 or five times because I never got around to getting an Internet connection and besides, I had started going to this nice, new Internet cafe. However, I must say that the computer desk that I also got for free proved to be pretty useful.

Well, now that it`s time for me to go, I had to find a way to get rid of it, so I put an ad in three different places (Metropolis, Tokyo Notice Board, and a classifieds website run by one of my coworkers called Edesho.) and I got an overwhelming response. I got in contact with one of the first people that replied, but then he never responded. So in the end, after all the trouble I went through with the ads, I ended up giving it to BB, one of my coworkers. She was going to pick it up after work but yesterday, she said that perhaps it would be better if I had one of the staff members at our school call a cab to take me and the computer, desk, etc. to the LC, where she could store everything until she finds a place to live. I agreed to it but was a bit apprehensive. First, I felt bad asking the staff to go out of their way to call a cab and then, I was deathly afraid that everything would take so much time that I would be late. But things went rather smoothly. I was just going to ask the staff members for the phone number of a local taxi company but without me even asking, they called a taxi for me. I was able to disassemble everything and haul it down with hardly any problem, and the taxi driver was punctual (gotta love Japanese punctuality), and everything proceeded in a timely and smooth manner. I was even able to store mostly everything into a storage closet in the hallway. After all the excercise from lifting stuff, I felt energized and genki at the start of my classes. So now, much to my relief, I have gotten rid of my computer. That`s one down....

Thursday, January 29, 2004

So much to write, so little time...!

I want to write about what I did in December, but it will be a long entry so it will have to wait. What`s been going on with me? A lot and not much at the same time. I`ve been teaching in Kanagawa Prefecture a lot...I was even sent out to K`s hometown in Fujisawa! I`m going to Atsugi for the second time this week to teach kids (ugh). Also, tonight I`m getting together with my coworkers for a kind of farewell get-together and tomorrow night, my Soka friends will be having a get-together for me at TK`s place, which is next-door to Y-san`s apartment...ah, I had some good times at Y-san`s get-togethers this past summer...they seem so long ago now.

I want to make an apology for one of my remarks implying that only non-Japanese people keep their word. I guess at the time, I was feeling bitter about some people not showing up to celebrate my birthday when they said they would...but in the long run, it doesn`t really matter. Also, it was wrong of me to generalize Japanese people`s behavior. I think in both Western and Japanese cultures, there is a degree of being polite in order to not offend the other person. In both Japanese and Western cultures, we say "We have to get together sometime" just for the sake of politeness. And during my time in Japan, I have had the experience of a Japanese person inviting me to get together and following through with it....and also the experience of a Westerner telling me "we defenitely need to get together sometime" and never hearing from them again. Also, I think it`s also my fault for not having the initiative to invite people (though that hasn`t been the case lately ;-)).

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I had heard about this movie called The Passion of the Christ that was directed by Mel Gibson (at first I thought Mel Gibson was playing the part of Christ in it...hehe) and is coming out sometime around late February. I didn`t really think much of it, but today, I saw the trailer on Yahoo! and it actually looked pretty good. Then I noticed that there were....subtitles? Not a bit of English to be heard anywhere, so I read up on the movie and apparently, it`s going to be entirely in Latin and Aramaic, the language spoken in Judea at that time. I think that`s really awesome. Pope John Paul II is said to have previewed it and said "It is as it was". Whether it`s exactly how it happened will never be known, but the linguist in me is pretty excited that they are using the authentic languages. I also think it`s a pretty daring move since many Americans are adverse to subtitles (whatever). However, I read that they were thinking about not putting in any subtitles at all...they probably figured that since "everyone" knows the story that they`ll figure out what`s happening. Now, as much as I am all for authenticity, I personally would like at least a little bit of subtitlage. Come on...bring on those subtitles...I can take `em on.... ;-)

So needless to say, I now would like to see this movie when I get back to the US...it`s even a movie that I can take my mother to and know that she will absolutely love it.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?