Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Crazy Gaijin! (Foreigner)

On Monday, I finally got my fridge, gas range, and microwave (which doubles as an oven...fantastic). I had my usual "posse" to help me and they did all of the carrying. So, to show my thanks, which is required a lot in Japan, I bought some chocolate for Takako and made CDs with some of my favorite songs for the guys. Only one of the teachers, Kei, was here on Monday and Tuesday so I didn`t have a chance to present Sashitaka with his gift. He finally showed up to work today and when I gave him the CD, he started laughing with Kei. Apparently, Kei told him that I gave him a CD and must like him better. He was very disappointed to find out that I also had one for Sashitaka.

I was grabbed by an eager student today who yelled, "HI! YOU ARE FROM ILLINOIS!" I was a bit shocked at the outburst, but in between her excited gasps of breath, I figured out that she was recently a foreign exchange student near Springfield for a year. She was thrilled to have a link to her host country. Plus, I can understand her and she displays American mannerisms that can really only be picked up by living in a country. Very cute. There is another student that began speaking to me in fluent English and even said, "Oh, MAN!" about something. I found out he grew up in the United States, which is bizarre to think about.

The office is hopping today with tons of girl basketball players roaming about, loads of omiyage to eat (snacks that people bring in for the office...to celebrate something or as a souvenir of a trip), popsicles being distributed, and general house cleaning. It`s the most lively it has been and makes me feel better about the school year because, to be honest, I have been bored to tears the last few days.

Yesterday I realized why everyone looks at me like I`m crazy when I go on my long walks. I got out of school at noon and decided to hike it to this shopping center that has an English book store. At noon. In the tropics. With the sun. I started out okay, but for the first time, started to feel like I was causing myself serious harm in the sun. I was absolutely drenched with sweat, my feet were swelling, and I almost lost the will to live as I walked along the expressway. It wouldn`t have been so bad if there was something great waiting for me. But, unlike Mihama Village and all of the cool cafes and shops, there was nothing at the Plaza House. The English `"book store" was a closet with $18 magazines. I was angry with myself for making such a dangerous walk and to have no reward in the end. So I did what any girl would do... I hailed a taxi and made him drive me to my favorite cafe where I sipped an iced coffee and did some crossword puzzles and just watched people. I recovered sufficiently and ended up having a pleasant evening in the company of another ALT, Jamie, who took me to a really relaxed and lovely cafe where we could hang out and discuss the ins-and-outs of living in Okinawa.

And that`s about it from Oki. I found out that my gas is going to be hooked up Friday morning and my internet will be hooked up Friday afternoon, so I have to stick around my apartment. It`s going to be a tough day at work. Speaking of, I wonder where our lunch is going to be from today...

1 comment:

Kimi said...

hey Rachel! Swollen feet and drenched in sweat, now that sounds like fun! :-P I got your postcard via CA yesterday - beautiful sunset!