I just got back from part 1 of the Miyoshi City International Society’s New Years get-together, where they invite all the Miyoshi City ALTs to get together for some good ol’ fashioned internationalization. Two of my eikaiwa ladies helped to organize it, along with others around town that I got to know through Lindsay (the karate teacher, the professional cyclist who helps his mother run the family children’s clothing store, the flower shop owner), and it was good seeing them and getting to chat with them again.
The only thing was that this was for all the Miyoshi City ALTs (eight out of the 10 westies–two are in Higashi-Miyoshi-cho, or East Miyoshi Town, separate from our city)…but not a single other ALT was able to make it, so it was just me. I also didn’t realize that TV and newspaper reporters (and camerapeople) would be there. It was a bit daunting.
I’m going to be on NHK tomorrow morning at 7:30, playing new years games with the Miyoshi City International Society and giving a slightly nervous speech about how the new year is a bigger deal in Japan than it is in the US or India, and all we do is go to parties and maybe shoot off some firecrackers. I’m also going to be in a newspaper this week, so I guess watch for me if you want.
It was fun, though, once I got over the initial nerves and just went with it, but it was a bit stressful as well, being constantly on display, being asked to stand here and there and pose for the camera and stuff, but it was all right. There was also a (cute, my-height-ish) guy there whose name I’ve already forgotten, but he’s young-ish, maybe around my age, and he speaks great English because he spent a year and a half living and working in the US, in New York and Memphis, and he’s been to Atlanta a few times as well.
Part 2 is dinner at the restaurant across the street, the one that Batty Gasping Lady owns. She’s kind of been stalking us lately, and has taken a real liking to Ashley–she came to our apartments several times yesterday to see if we would be coming today; I managed to not see her at all, but she’s actually kind of been keeping tabs on us, so last night when we were heading to Burns Supper, Chalice was lurking in the shadows outside the door, because the woman totally watches our building and keeps tabs on us from her restaurant.
Anyway…I really hoped I could rest today, and work on the musical poster all day, because the last few days have been pretty eventful. Thursday and Friday were our Mid-Year Seminar, which every prefecture/designated city has. It’s a really useful seminar with good panels that the ALTs/JTEs put on, and we had a great keynote lecturer. It was also just really cool getting to hang out with a lot of my ALT friends that I only rarely see. Yesterday was a musical rehearsal that I skipped to work on the poster, and last night was Burns Supper, which was a lot of fun, and where a lot of good poetry and prose was read–some serious and moving, some just hilarious.
And now, it’s 15 minutes till dinner…time to head out. I had a lot I wanted to do today, but oh well, maybe tomorrow night.