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The past weekend

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ok, time for an update!

It’s Sunday, it’s rainy, it’s cold, and I’m cooped up inside, which means you all get the pleasure of a big old blog post! The last time I updated I pasted the report I handed in to my BOE concerning the mid year conference we had two weeks ago. I haven’t heard any bad things coming from me handing it in, so I think I’m in the clear. It needed to be said, though I doubt much will change considering it was the same last year and similar complaints were made. That’s one of the few bad things about business in Japan I suppose…change happens were slowly, and it takes a long, long time. It’s alright though, because the next conference isn’t until next year (I think) so I don’t have to think about it for a while.

A few things of interest have happened of late. As I spend more time in Nakatsu I am beginning to find different places to eat and do my shopping. This may sound mundane but it’s quite nice to be able to have a selection of more than just three or four restaurants to choose from when you want to go out to eat. Same goes for doing shopping. There are a fair amount of supermarkets around me, and they all seem to sell different things at different prices. It has taken me a while to figure out where to go to buy some things, but not others. I’ve also finally (after four months) figured out how to dispose of my milk cartons and Styrofoam meat trays. Indeed, there are special places to dump these, and they just so happen to be at my local grocery store. With the milk cartons, they have to be cut open, flattened out, dried and cleaned. The trays also have to be cleaned, but can be disposed of broken in half. I had been hording quite a collection of milk cartons. At first I just sneakily added them to my trash one at a time so that the trash people wouldn’t notice and scold me for it. After a while I began to feel bad, though, and started to look around for the proper place to get rid of them. Last week I finally found it, which means my kitchen now has one less item of trash just sitting around. I still have yet to definitively figure out when to get rid of my plastics and papers. Those are now piled up in my kitchen, which is slowly turning into a recycle station. I don’t use it for anything but cooking and trash so it’s not such a problem. My plan is to ask my supervisor about it the next time I see him.

Speaking of my supervisor, I received an e-mail from him on Friday asking whether I had plans for dinner, because he wanted to take me out. My first reaction was to of course worry about getting fired. (Perhaps something to do with that report I wrote…?) But then my rational mind set in and figured that if he were going to fire me (and he doesn’t have a good reason to anyway) he would not do it over dinner, and it would probably happen during business hours. We went out to a restaurant called ”二十八満足” which as far as I can tell means: 28 satisfactions. It has a second name, which is: Do-don!” (pronounced “doe don”, the sound of a drum being hit.) It is called this because every time someone comes into the restaurant, instead of the typical: “Irrassyaimase!” they whack the big drum twice. Hence: do-don! I had a great time with my supervisor. It was nice being out to dinner with one Japanese person as opposed to a whole group, because the conversation is much easier that way. We spoke about half English, half Japanese and it was quite a free flowing conversation. I think he may have also offered me a job in the future if my Japanese gets better. At least, he said that after JET if my Japanese were good enough the city could hire me as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations.) This sounds pretty sweet! 🙂

On Saturday was Natalie’s slightly belated birthday bash! (Her actual birthday was last Monday.) As she is quite the little socialized, there were 20+ people expected. She booked tables at a club called “Hit Parade” in Beppu. Hit Parade is a 50s themed club, where all of the waiters have their hair done up like Elvis, or at least in the 50s style (filled with lbs of grease.) It’s an all you can eat, all you can drink (tabe/nomihodai) for 3600 yen. When they say all you can drink, that means, for example, when you order some whiskey, you receive an entire bottle. Now perhaps it’s not a super quality bottle of whiskey, but never the less, it’s quite enjoyable. Another one of their draws is that they have a live band which plays 50s tunes on and off all night. It’s interesting that an American 50s style bar can be termed a “uniquely Japanese experience,” but indeed this is exactly what it is. Some diners even come dressed up! There were lots of little kids in little suits with their hair slicked up, and girls in very wide dresses. One of these kids was, surprisingly, one of my students! At one point during the party as I was getting more food, he came up to me and said (in Japanese): “Are you Mr. Dashiell?” to which I replied, slightly stunned: “yes.” “Do you know Okidai Elementary School?” he then inquired, to which I replied, slightly more forcefully: “yes. I teach English there.” Of course he knew that, because afterwards he said: “I am a 3rd grade student from Okidai!” Imagine my surprise, in a town about 45 minutes away by train, to find one of my hometown students in the same place! Apparently he had been coming to this club since he was one, and quite enjoyed it. I did not think much about it at the time, but I wonder now if he too had to pay 3600 to get in, and whether if he orders some apple juice, he in fact gets an entire orchard? I did not notice any leaves on the ground. This club was a really good time, and the next time I go (indeed, there will be a next time, rest assured) I am going to do my hair up like elvis, and wear a suit. I promise I will take someone along to take pictures.

Stay tuned for my next installment, which will include: Thanksgiving dinner, and

学校閉鎖

make sure to read carefully next time to actually find out what this means. (Or you can look it up now, but that wouldn’t be as much fun for me.)

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Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. dotbearman
    December 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Dashiell.. well, I don’t think we have to worry about your not getting interesting and sufficient food…. lots of love…the grandparents in laJolla…

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