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!!