Thursday, July 12, 2007

Man-Yi mania!

It’s Thursday afternoon. I have taught two classes this week. I’ve graded some tests. I had Indian food and shopping time with Izumi yesterday and right now, my vice-principal and I keep exchanging worried glances as the building shakes with giant gusts of wind. And I am choking on the dust that is taking flight. Why is the wind so powerful today? Well, since I didn’t get to properly enjoy an Okinawan typhoon, Mother Nature has decided to throw one at us as a parting gift. It’s supposed to arrive sometime today and get progressively worse in the next couple of days. And it’s supposed to be a biggie… the worst in a few years. While I need to run around this afternoon and get food (as I have none at my apartment), some water, maybe a flashlight, and plenty of movies, I am fairly excited at the prospect. This could be fun! I asked Takako if I needed to put my storm shutters on and she said I’d probably be okay without them. Since I don’t know how to work them, they’re staying off. Also, school might be cancelled tomorrow! It’s like anticipating a snow day. I hope I’m not disappointed like when they call for 8-10 inches of snow and you end up with a dusting.

What else is new in jolly old Oki? Well, the other day I got my plane ticket at a Plane Ticket Ceremony and spoke a bit of Japanese to get it. It was a bit like making a dog do a trick for a treat. Speak Japanese and you get your tiiiiicket. Good, puppy. In the process of inkaning forms like crazy, I had a mystery that has been perplexing me solved. There is a teacher here (and I seriously need to get a picture of this lady) who came from another ALT’s school. She only wears brightly colored (purple and turquoise usually) crepe material outfits. They are something else and usually there is a matching scarf around her neck… even on sports day! I think her head is being held to her body by the scarf. Anyways, so these crepe outfits… I’ve never seen anything like them and said earlier that I would find out where she gets them. Well, according to the ALT at her other school, these outfits are really expensive (talking $400 for a pair of pants) and this lady flies to Tokyo when they go on sale to stock up. She flies to Tokyo! For crazy purple crepe pants! The lady is a loony. Certifiable. And yet I think I might miss her and the other crazies a bit.

Last weekend I went to a Peace Love Rock Festival in Okinawa City and unfortunately don’t have any pictures because they confiscated my camera upon arrival. I went with Izumi and there were many other ALTs listening to plenty of J-Pop music. It was nice to watch the other concert-goers and to enjoy some live music. Izumi was nice enough to lend me some CDs of the acts that we saw and although I’m not sure I’ll be listening to the music much, it’s nice to know I can have a dose of syrupy Okinawan music whenever I want it.

I am saying my goodbyes to classes, people, and places. Yesterday, Izumi and I had some delicious zenzai for dessert and I had a moment with my shaved ice and azuki beans. “It’s been fun, zenzai. Thanks for making me happy in Okinawa.” It’s a strange realization to walk into a store, drive down a road, eat a certain food and realize that in all likelihood I will never be back again and this is it. This is the end.

With that--- I’m taking off from school and am going to get my elbows out to beat poor little old folks to the bottled water and yummy ume candy!


Kenneth Griggs said...

It's never over. Okinawa will be a part of you forever. Just buy some purple crepe pants. Whatever the hell that means.

Carly said...

Do Japanese pay their teachers more? Can you afford $400 pants on a public school salary here???!!

Enjoy the Typhoon. I survived Tropical Storm Alison when I was in Galveston, TX. I've never heard thunder so loud. The palm trees were bending to the ground and I couldn't see the building across the street. :)

Juhi said...

i really hope there is no school tomoro... keep safe, rach..

Laura said...

Be safe!