Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Thursday afternoon post

Well here it is, March already! My, how that Winter seemed to whip right on by. I guess part of it is due to the fact that I've been kept relatively busy with Yoshiko, my trip to China, skiing and running around every weekend. Time certainly does tend to pass faster when you're having fun.

I guess there is still a little bit of that foreigner curiosity left here, though I've had my eyes closed to it for the last few months. As I was walking home for lunch this afternoon, I heard someone say something, and kept walking. The same sound was then repeated much louder which instinctively made my head turn, and there was a car load of 20 somethings who'd rolled down their window to say hello. While I didn't understand their utterance as a "hello" due to horrible pronunciation (maybe I should have given them my card?), they seemed quite pleased when I said hello back and proceeded to roll up their windows and drive off. This hasn't happened in some time, probably because I'm no longer all that aware of my surroundings when I'm walking around any more. I know the streets, I know the sights, there's no need to tilt my head around aimlessly so I don't catch people's eyes as much.

Soon though, soon there will be things to see again! Plum blossom season is upon us and I will be joining Scotto and possibly Matto for a tripo to Mito to see one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, Kairakuen. We'll hit it on a Monday so it's not so busy. Also right around the corner are the Cherry Blossoms, which I am eagerly anticipating. I am lucky to be situated right next to some prime Cherry Blossom viewing locations with Hachiman-yama park to the North of my apartment and Futura-san shrine to the south, I expect to be able to see the lovely flowers from my apartment proper, we shall see. Spring is certainly the best time in Japan with the green coming back after a dreary winter. The winter hasn't been cold or anything, but all the leaves fell in November, and with no snow on the ground to cover up the dead foliage, it's been kind of dull. Am looking forward to the revival.

On the work front, things are going well. My teaching was validated yesterday by the (almost) surprise visit of one of our trainers to observe out lessons. She said I was doing a great job, had amazing patience with students... but needed to use names more, which I know. It was nice to see Saeko-sensei again, she's the one who taught us some Japanese during training in Omiya in May. Speaking of training, it seems that a large segment of my training group will not be staying on, which while expected due to the nature of our work, is disappointing. I'll be catching up with a few of them on the 12th for a whirlwind tour of Tokyo from our private tour guide Tsukuba Steve, should be a lovely day.

On the cooking front, I finally bought myself a portable gas burner for my kitchen, thus doubling my cooking surfaces which should makes things easier for the next complex meal I make. Now I just need to find a large cutting board or something I could use to put over my sink and turn it into counter space...

Anywho, better get ready to head back in to the office, 3 lessons down, 3 to go... busier than my typical Thursday due to the addition of 2 private lessons... Later.

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