I’m in Ikeda

I should make this short, since I’ve probably spent more time than is appropriate online to respond to e-mails and check in at my usual websites…but I’m here. I just have very little internet access, and I sort of forgot that “very little access to e-mail” also means “very little access to this journal” as well.

Japan has been wonderful so far…but you know, I’m still sort of in denial that I’m away from home. There’s a bit of a language barrier, the architecture is so different, vegetarian food isn’t nearly as prevalent as in the US, I walk everywhere and maybe get rides from people or take a train for the really long rides, I have to bag my own groceries and only buy what I can carry…but it hasn’t been a rough transition at all.

My apartment is much smaller than I thought it was going to be, but I’m managing…there are quite a few things I have to get from my Board of Education that they promised me in my contract but didn’t provide me. But I’ve been managing, and mooching off Lindsay, my at-one-time predecessor, and Hannah, the other ALT 2 floors down. And Dave, my actual predecessor, is trying to shed as much of his stuff as he can before he moves back to Canada in 2 weeks, so he’s been selling a lot of it…I got a bookcase yesterday and 2 plastic shelves I can use as chests of drawers today, and he donated a bunch of hangers and an ancient rice cooker, and I may be getting his washing machine as well.

The community here has been so warm–people have really helped me settle in and have made sure I had food to eat. I’ve so far met the 2 eikaiwa (adult conversation) classes I’ll be taking over, and yesterday I met my Japanese Teacher of English, who I’ll be team-teaching with at the junior high school. I’m going over today to help out with the annual speech competition–I’m looking forward to that.

I apologize that this is so short, but I’ve been online for 2 hours and probably should go back downstairs to get other things done. Plus, I’ve been responding to e-mails and such all morning and feel like I’m getting really, really redundant. I’ve been keeping up a daily Word file journal on my laptop–I’ll try to post as much of that here as I can, though parts of it are sort of personal, and though this laptop is old enough that it doesn’t even read my USB jump drive, which I was hoping to use to upload my photos. But yes, more later. Take care, everyone!

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