I am, on a regular basis, surrounded by awesome people. And it’s times like these that I miss those awesome people an awful lot.
I’m doing nothing on a Friday night again, and I’m feeling rather restless. Maybe the most frustrating part of being here is that none of my friends are online and/or available to chat when I am. I want to talk to someone or go do something, but there’s no one and nothing. (I’m not too keen about wandering around in the dark here yet… I might get lost… Or attacked by wildebeests.)
See, this is why I knew I needed a game so badly. XD OH SKYRIM WHY YOU NO WORK ON MY COMPUTER?
Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about some of the awesome people I’ve hung out with this week.
On Wednesday, I went over to Kim’s house to watch Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). I drove her to her house on Tuesday, so one would think that I would be able to find it again. Unfortunately, it was night this time around, and I’d forgotten what the landmarks were.
I ended up getting turned around… 3 times, maybe? I drove too far past her house, and I pulled into a gas station to text her and ask for directions. The manager of the gas station walked over to check on me, because I’d just pulled into his gas station and was sitting there.
I don’t know the Japanese word for “I’m lost,” and I should probably learn it, because I’ll probably say it a lot. I told him that it was okay, that I was going to call my friend (because I don’t know the word for text in Japanese…), but he seemed confused. Luckily, Kim texted me back quickly, so I told the manager that I would be okay, and that I was going to go.
When I drove back the way I came, I saw the café that served as a landmark, but I saw it too late and ended up driving past it. When I finally found a place to turn around again, I drove back toward the café, but apparently, you can only see the sign going the other way.
I had to turn around again, and that’s when I made a very embarrassing mistake.
I drove on the wrong side of the road. |D
And got honked at.
Anyway, I finally found the place, but totally by accident. I pulled into this big gravel parking lot and texted Kim again: “I’m totally lost.”
Right after I sent the text, she walked up to my car. “This is where you’re supposed to park,” she said.
“Oh, thank God,” I said.
We went back to her house and we ended up talking for about an hour before we finally put the movie in. It was absolutely beautiful. I had been meaning to watch it for a very long time, and I’m glad I finally sat down and watched it. It broke my heart. It was one of those films that, after it’s over, you just sit there and go, “Whoa.”
The next movie we’re going to watch is Inception (2010), because Kim hasn’t seen it yet, and I told her that if she likes Pan’s Labyrinth, then she’ll love Inception. Apparently other people have said the same thing. XD
Today, after work, I went to dinner with one my of JTEs, Kamada-sensei.
And I totally forgot to take pictures. Sorry!
We went to a café in Tateyama that overlooked the ocean. It was a very small café, and felt more like someone’s living room than a public place. We sat on some sofa chairs, drank iced coffee (tea, in my case), and ate some delicious chicken curry. The menu had some “tacos and rice” on it, but I was wary about trying any attempt at Mexican food at this place, so I went with the curry. XD
While I’m on the subject on being picky at food—I Skyped with Michelle the other day, and we talked about how spoiled Californians are when it comes to multicultural food. She’s suffering from lack of variety in Pittsburgh the same way I’m suffering here. Haha! It was nice to hear from someone who was having the same sort of culture shock, even if hers was at least happening in the same country she lived in.
But anyway, the dinner was excellent. We talked a lot—about celebrities, about body image, about politics, even a little about 9/11 and the war on Iraq (Kamada-sensei was wondering how I felt about it).
(As far as politics go, when people ask me about it, I usually preface it with, “I am not very knowledgeable in politics or the economy, so this is really just my semi-uninformed opinion, but…” I also told her about “liberals” and “conservatives,” and I think I made it clear that I fall on the former side, so hopefully she’ll take my views with a grain of salt… I don’t really want to influence her views of America in that way. People have a lot of different opinions, and I want to be fair to theirs if she ever talks to someone with views different from my own.
(I was honest as far as my thoughts on the Tea Party went, though, when she asked me, and said, “Honestly, I think they’re crazy. I don’t really understand them.”)
It was really fun—she’s a joy to talk to and hang out with. I am so lucky to be working with such nice people.
She briefly expressed some concern, because she worked with an ALT a few years ago that was pretty terrible, apparently. My predecessor told me that Kamada-sensei was worried about meeting me because of this former ALT. I don’t know the exact details, but I think the ALT was kind of mean… But Kamada-sensei said I am doing very well. I told her that if I was ever doing anything wrong to please tell me. :)
Also, today I got a lot of presents from other teachers! Ito-sensei gave me some blueberry jam that she made, and Kawana-sensei gave me some Star Wars stickers. XD I am very happy at my school—I seriously think I have the best school ever. (I also might be in Stage 1 of culture shock.)
One other thing I’ve been wanting to mention is that some people here remind me of people from home. A specific example is Enoguchi. Enoguchi reminds me of my friend Sarma. XD I don’t know how to explain it… It’s just striking. Maybe I’ll figure out the reason eventually.
So those are some of the awesome people I have encountered this week. To all the other awesome people I’ve known—I miss you a lot! I’m grateful for the time that I am able to spend talking with you, whether it’s over Skype or through comments. Thank you so much for everything. :)