Thursday, January 29, 2009


Tonight I have been thinking about how much Japan feels like home to me lately. How I have been so busy these past few weeks, that there were times that I forgot I was in a "foreign" country and that it was just regular old life: meeting friends for dinner, grocery shopping with my neighborhood buddy, staying up late talking to friends on the phone and going at it hard at work. It feels good. And other not so familiar things are feeling more common now as falling asleep on the train along with the Japanese people sitting around me and wearing 2-3 layers of clothing at one time...all the time. Of course that doesn't mean I miss home, but it does feel like I'm not quite so far away. Along with that "normalcy" of life here comes the lack of sleep...much like my life in the US. So, I should get to bed. But since I have been doing such random posts lately and catching people up on Thailand, let me give you a few updates:

It felt great wearing my new clothes to school this week. It was crazy to not wear the same things I had been wearing for so long! Those poor 4 sweaters my parents sent from home are ready to hit the trash can :)

I started a pen pal program at my school. Maybe I wouldn't call it a program, but some of my English students are writing letters to an ESL class at Willmar High School. Many of the students are refugees from Africa, so my girls met me with a resounding eeeeeeeeeeeeee (pronounced like the letter a and held for a long time) in true Japanese fashion when they read the name Mohamed on their paper :) Too funny.

My students are doing final projects this semester instead of a listening test, so they made commercial skits, advertising an "original" product. I had to correct their scripts this week and if I have to read one more paper about a watch that can stop time or candy that can make you fly, I might have to fly away myself...or stop the time on my watch!

I was really blessed for my birthday this year, despite being away from friends and family. So many people gave me small gifts, people that I never would have expected gifts from. Some of the highlights included a Lilo and Stitch bag of which the top is a stuffed cartoon character Stitch and washclothes rolled up to look like a swiss cake role with a cherry on top. Gotta love Japan...they sure have some crazy stuff. But it was still really cool. Oh yeah. And I got flowers, tulips, that are now just opening and make me smile when I wake up in the morning and when I look up from my kotatsu! And my adult conversation class threw me a mini party (which means they all brought food) and we had sandwiches from a Mickey Mouse sandwich maker haha. Too Japanese.

hmmm that is all I can think of at the moment, and I'm just procrastinating the sleep thing :P Upcoming events include a Mexican dinner party in my apartment with Japanese friends, strawberry picking on Sunday with ALT friends, Snow Festival in Sapporo next weekend, and then end of teaching for the semester (Japanese school year ends in March)! Happy (almost) February everyone - I can't wait for March to come when I can stop using my kerosene heater and electric blanket! It will be glorious!

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