D's Daze

Like seconds ticking away on my egg-timer.... these are the daze of my life

Monday, July 26, 2004

Dust, Sweat & Tears

Ok so I"v been really KAK about updating this blog. I have no excuse for it.  The fact of the matter is I"v been busy as HELL...and I figured anyone who wants to know what Im up to would email me.
But anyway....I have a few minutes now....so Im gonna do my best to update this thing.
Where to begin??

Well...lets begin with the Dust.
I"v always considered my apartment to be clean & very livable. And if u know my neighbour you would agree with me! Anyway I"v been cleaning & packing. And after one heavy suitcase I then succeeded in filling EIGHT garbage bags. EIGHT! Ok- admittedly four of them were filled with clothes since no-one in Japan seems to know of any charities/organisations that would need it (note to self- show propper appreciation for charities back home. At least we know their names & finding a phone number isnt a mission impossible. I wonder if this is just another example of the tendency to hide what is considered shameful here?)

Anyway...onto the HEAT. Its official. Living in a sauna isnt my cuppa tea. Its the only reason I want this week over with....actually getting outa here & landing in winter! 

Tears- my farewell speech to my students. How do you keep 1000teenagers so silent for 10 minutes that you can hear a pin drop? Try surprising them with words from the heart spoken in Japanese and throw in a tear or two for good measure. They will loved it!
By the third speech that day (at my farewell dinner) I learned the secret to dry eyes- ALCOHOL!
My supervisor was really wasted & said the sweetest thing in his speech. He said (in the style of an english lesson in Japan -ie in Japanese with some English translations & a few repeat after me bits) "Danola deserves to be loved, by everyone. And she is."
But the final tear jerker moment has yet to come. Saying "ja ne" to an amazing man. I know its not "sayonara" but its still going to hurt like hell.  A lesson in Shinbou desu ne.

Dust, sweat & tears...thats what I"v been doing recently.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Belated- Hiroshima

Ok- so Iv been too busy to say something about my now not-so-recent trip to Hiroshima.
A couple of weeks ago Oliver, Linz, Kristel & I went on a mini pilgrimage.I wanted to SEE what the war did...And BOY did I SEE!
The A-Bomb Dome stands proud yet destroyed. It is the only thing that survived.
The Peace Park is thought prevoking.
The Museums simply HORRIYING. I was totally unprepared for what I learned. Our guidebook said the message was hit home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer- and it was right.
I was particularly horrified by the fact that all that pain was caused in 3 seconds!


Then we went to Miyajima- one of the 3 most beautiful places in Japan. It was quite pretty until the tide went out. Then it was just muddy! But I got to touch the tori that otherwise floats-which is supposedly a rare accomplishment- so I guess it wasnt all bad!
And Kristel went for an impromptu swim & dropped her keitai into the sea...so it was quite interesting all round.
Then we stayed in Miyajima town- where there was NOTHING to do & only 1 restaurant. We called it "the one tori town" as it was in more ways than one!

The next day we WOULD have returned to Sendai if a typhoon didnt close Sendai airport!
After several hours of uncertainty, we ended up shacking up in a 5 star hotel, next to Hiroshima airport. 4 of us in one room and we payed a little more than youth hostel rates!

However the experience was an interesting lesson in different cultures views of customer service. The Japanese passengers simply smiled, accepted their flight changes & left.
We played poor travellers & got the nice lady at the airport to negotiate the deal with the 5star hotel for us.
A pair of Americans(sounded like it- but Im not 100%sure of the nationality?) argued, insulted,& DEMANDED the flight which they paid for. At one point I heard the man on the phone with the airline customer services HEADOFFICE saying:"well where do we sleep tonight? Can we come to YOUR house?"

I for one am all for Customer satisfaction. But REALLY there has to be a limit...!!
Or have I been in Japan too long???

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sayonara Daze

This is crazy! I have a few weeks left in Japan &
a) I have an zillion things yet to pack. How on earth could I have accumulated so much junk in such a short space of time?
b) I have no TIME to pack because I have not one or two- but 19 farewell dinners/parties in the next 21 days
c) Its too bloody HOT to do MOVE! The humidity today is 85%. EIGHTY FIVE!! And today is actually cooler than yesterday!

Im actually looking forward to being back in winter again in a few weeks!
Oh Bliss!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The First

So after a long & winding road- my internet connection at home is FINALLY up & running.
True...its just in time for me to leave (just 6 weeks to go) but Im actually GLAD I didnt get this organised earlier.
Because the thing is quite addictive. If I got this thing earlier my social life (here)would have been over. In fact- I doubt I would have left my apartment. Actually...now that I think about it-I may already know someone here who has this problem.

Anyway...whats the big deal?
Well- until yesterday I was a messenger virgin. In other words- Id never done it.
Then last nite my clever pc told me when people logged on, and I even had my first on-line chat with someone I miss like crazy.
And I listened to my favourite radio station back home....

And if you are technology addicts- u are probably amused by my excitement.
In my defence I am a technologically DISADVANTAGED gal. This is a BIG DEAL for me!!

After all...we never forget the first time. Do we??

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Dream within a Dream

Last night I had an amazing dream...in it I was talking to an amazing friend. It was almost like she was in the room with me sliding under the killer kotatsu!
Or perhaps she was in Sendai- and calling to lecture me-like she frequently did.

And in my dreams she quickly set some of my childish fears, anxieties and dead end ideas to rest. In fact she very calmly in a very Bridget Jones no nonsense tone of voice made me relise that I was actually being unreasonable &/or overly emotional.

But shes a zillion miles away, and after 45 mniutes which passed like 5, I was left wide awake with the telephone receiver in my hand & a thousand memories which kept me awake for hours afterwards.

And most of all I was left with the DEFINATE, CERTAIN UNWAVERING knowledge of what real friendship is about.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Hop Along

Last week one of my students came to the Staff Room, stood infront of me & read off a little page.
"Danola-sensei" she said "hold out your left hand"
So I did.
She put on a simple silver ID Bracelet with my initials engraved onto it.
Then she proceeded to read a very badly translated message(the meaning of which I was only able to grasp because I had my dictionary on hand)
The gist of it was:
She has a matching bracelet and wants to swop with me before I leave, and she will never forget me and she hopes that I will never forget her.

Forget her? Hikari-chan? Never! Her not-so-straight teeth,but a lovely smile. One afternoon many months ago she walked with me & told me her tales of woe about her club activities. I tried to cheer her up- but tears was all I got.
So I the next day I asked her to have lunch with me-which we did in a quiet shady spot on the school roof. She gave me an onigiri(rice ball)
Her English is not GREAT but she tries pretty hard...she even interviewed my Brother when he was here as part of her homework assignment.
She hurt her leg twice and had it in a cast- so I called her "Hop-Along"...and when she finally understood what I meant she smiled shyly each time I teased her!

Kids like Hikari, experiences like these make me love where I am and what Im doing.

And I DEFINATELY wont forget my sweet shy "Hop Along"

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Skip Function

A lifetime ago (it was actually just a couple of months-but it feel like an aeon has passed) I was lamenting on about my desire for a skip function.
In my fantasy I had a Skip Function (like the one on the DVD Remote Control)and I could just skip through scenes that I didnt want to watch.
Basically a fast forward function-which would take me to the good parts quickly.
However that fantasy got beaten up by Bridget & Twiddledum. And they warned against switching off Japan and missing out on the various experiences here that were yet to come.

Anyway, now Bridget has gone(I have yet to get through a day without wanting to tell her something)...and my fantasy is back.

And NO: I dont think Iv switched off Japan.
Nor do I think Im missing out on any of the awesome things or people that are a part of my time here.
I KNOW I have six weeks left and Im NOT going to be able to repeat this experience in a lifetime of wanting to.

BUT there are days when I wish I DID have a skip function.
I wish I could skip the scene in which I spend 8hours a day sitting at my desk watching the clock or worse:watching my nails grow.
I wish I could skip the week before mid term tests and the actual week of the test when I have no lessons. Like right NOW!!

Its during these LONG hours-that I think about the next scene.
Life AFTER Jet.
Everything I hope to be doing and everything I have to do before I get to be doing it. I have a million ideas and plans and...instead of atually being able to DO anything....
Im sitting in a staff room watching the clock tick & reading about the Dolphin Freeking Hotel!!! (Dance Dance Dance-quite good actually)

B, Twiddledum...sorry...but I WANT A SKIP FUNCTION!!!