Friday, April 06, 2007

Prince Ali, fabulous he, Ali Abaaabwwwa

These two weeks separating the school years have been the best of my actual time in Japan. Obviously, last week was my memorable trip to the mainland, which will probably take the cake for the best week of the year. And the last five days at school were just what the doctor ordered to recover from said week. In fact, after going to the gym around noon each day, I was back into my pajamas, watching my newly-downloaded America's Next Top Model, sipping mugs of tea, and watching Oprah. It has been absolute heaven.

Today at the gym a young lady who works at the desk during the day said, "Rachel-san, can you check this for me?" (in perfect English and even said my name more properly than the real teachers) I looked over here sheet of paper that had new pool rules and although there was one tiny mistake, it was absolutely okay to be posted. (Why can't these people always find English-speaking proofreaders?! How hard is it?!) Anyways, I began my workout and as I was getting ready to leave, this girl comes up and says, "Rachel-san, I am looking for a friend to speak English with..." Now, you might be thinking, DING DING DING! Remember Crazy Gym Lady?! However, there are some important differences with this situation. Number 1) This girl complimented me by saying that I look very young...not at all like a 27-year-old. And she's only 28 herself. 2) When asked how she learned such amazing English she said that she studied English in Hawaii for a year. 3) She told me I looked young. 4) There was absolutely no gesturing involved in our conversation. None. Crazy Gym Lady spoke three words of English and our meetings were spent flipping through dictionaries in a pointless attempt to have a conversation, which ultimately always ended with, "My English go higher. You teach to make price lower in Europe." 5) When we tried to sort of set up a meeting time to become "friends" she mentioned that she works Sunday mornings and we can just chat then. 6) She teaches English to some students on the side (I've seen her make flashcards) and I will actually have one of her students next week. 7) I look young. So, on Sunday, I am going to attempt to become friends with Izumi. And I really am this time.

The atmosphere at school has completely changed as we switched to the barracks and got 29 new faces added to the building. I will describe this in more detail later, but the most promising bit is that there is a teacher, Seiko, who has returned from a year of computer training and she seems like a great teacher/desk friend.

Here are some random things that have happened lately:

1) I walked into the grocery store yesterday and was confronted by a huge bin of pig limbs on my right and really bloody meat on my left. Gross. But I just walked on through, grabbed my onigiri, and was on my way.

2) There was another foreigner at the gym today (she was reading the Glamour from 2005 like I did when I first joined). I can feel the panic of the Okinawans. "Not another one!"

3) Today as I was walking a car dealership was blaring "A Whole New World." I guess the cars are like a "magic carpet ride...." You have it in your head now, right?!

1 comment:

Carly said...

I've been meaning to mention this and your blog just reminded me of it...

Doug got an Anime series for Christmas and has forced it upon me (he did want both versions of Pride and Prejudice). It follows these school girls. I keep wondering if your day is like theirs. haha.