Weekend update

Chalice and Joe got back from Tibet yesterday. She came by tonight and we talked for a couple of hours–it feels like she’s been gone for ages, and not just two weeks! So much has happened in these last two weeks, I guess, with all the new ALTs arriving, the orientations, and everything else. I’m glad she’s back–I’ve missed having her around. She had some really amazing insight to give into what it’s really like in Tibet–it sounds incredible there, and I really would love to go. It’s strange that I’d like to go to off-the-beaten-path places like Tibet or Mongolia, as well as Australia and New Zealand and Indonesia (Merapi, Bromo, and Anak Krakatau!), but I’m not that interested in visiting southeast Asia or Korea, where a bunch of other people have gone since coming here.

I have a ton of photos from Awa Odori, and a ton of video clips–now that I finally know how to use VirtualDub (thanks, Ethan!), I can resize my videos and put more of them up without eating too much of my space up…I just need to decide which ones to put up. Same with the photos–unfortunately, a lot of mine were blurry, since it was at night and they were, well, dancing.

Saturday was the day for the senpais to give the first-years a tour of Tokushima City. I got there early so I could drop my bow off to be re-haired–since I don’t have a separate bow case, I brought my violin along, but I couldn’t find a big enough coin locker to fit it, so I just held onto it for the day. I also bought tickets for Brian, Jane, and myself to see The Marriage of Figaro in just over a month. Not all the senpais showed up, but not all the first-years did, either, though many of them did–we split up into three big groups with 2 senpais each, and ours (Kelly’s and mine) was a group of 8+1 (8 first-years plus one non-JET boyfriend), and while we didn’t get to go everywhere we’d intended, we did have fun at least showing them stuff close to the station. We split up in half for dinner, and our group ended up returning to Masala in the station–where the other two big groups were. As usual, the Indian staffers were happy to see me, and the food was good as always.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few vegetarians or mostly-veggies in this batch! It’s amazing–I was so sure I was the only one (until I found out that Yusri was essentially veggie himself, and Claire had been veggie for a long time, but gave it up). Hopefully there’ll be others who’ll stick it out–there are folks who eat fish or started to eat fish before coming here (that’s a shame, because I’ve survived fairly well, though I’m sure I’ve eaten fish products by accident more times than I want to think about…but if it’s what they feel best about, then more power to them). It’s cool to know there’s a veggie support group of sorts this year.

We’d rented out P’s Paradise, one of our regular bar/club-type places, for the night for the first-years…by the time we finished dinner, though, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to find the place and then get back to the station in time to catch the last train home. (I didn’t want to deal with staying in the city when there would be tons of people looking for places to crash.) I also was worried that I’d get us lost. Luckily, though, we ran into the other half of our group emerging from a restaurant not even 10 minutes from the station, and I sort of dumped my girls onto Kelly and headed back to the station with Victor, the new Itano ALT, who was catching a train that left 20 minutes before mine did. After his train pulled out, I ran into Brian, Daniel (a new city-ish ALT), and…Daniel’s girlfriend (a new ALT just north of the city), whose name I can’t remember for the life of me. They were all training out as well, Daniel and his girlfriend just a few stops west and Brian all the way out west, so it was nice to have company for most of the ride home.

So that was the weekend…I had an embarrassing moment this morning when I got to school and nobody had told me my speech contest girl was waiting for me, so I sat around and killed time for 30 minutes, wondering what was up, and finally went wandering, only to find her sitting in the nurse’s room (where we usually meet) waiting for me! That was awful, but she didn’t seem to mind too much. My dad also let me know this weekend that they finally shipped my box, and it should arrive in a week–YES, more food and my favorite shirt and my other pair of capris and all those books I’ve really been dying to read! I’m totally looking forward to that.

Okay, I’m going to change the subject abruptly and talk about poisonous bugs and how much I LOATHE them. Brian has a mukade (poisonous centipede) infestation at his house. Chalice found one in her apartment a couple of months ago, and Ashley woke up with one on her pillow this morning (with yellow legs–definitely poisonous). Chalice may have found another one today. WHAT’S GOING ON? I’d much rather be back in my tiny, cramped apartment from before than deal with these things–they really scare me, the idea that something poisonous enough to kill me in my sleep may be skulking around my apartment. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep easily tonight, knowing that we’ve had more mukade sightings today.

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