Saturday, July 30, 2005

i'm coming to an understanding that Okinawa is not at all Japan. Especially in the South it is very apparent.
Ate at an indian restaurant tonight surrounded by three american families.
It's a strange place but very fun.

Still doing lots of shopping for my apartment. Learning how to ask for prices, now just need to learn how to count above "10," and to tell the coins apart quickly, although that part is already getting a bit easier.

Things are expensive here and it's worth to shop around. Sorry that my posts seem to revolve around going to stores, but that's pretty much all I've been doing the last three days, 'cause my apartment is bare and I need to get it ready for living conditions before the busy life of school begins.

I'll meet my "new" car tomorrow and am really excited, although I won't get to drive it for a while, 'cause i can't get insurance until all the transfer paperwork clears and that could take 10 days or so.

And, no, I haven't been in the ocean yet.. but it's gorgeous.
but I did go to a yoga class on base this morning and that was gruelling fun.

Wow.. the gym on base is huge! And i spent some time in their library and we had Subway for lunch. :))) weird. i know.

Tomorrow we're driving back up north to check out a beer festival in Nago (a "big" city near our village) and then i'll start figuring out my apartment. Hopefully the roaches haven't gotten too comfortable in it.

If you've got questions for me, just e-mail me. I've been pretty tired every time I've posted, so my mind is all over the place; it'd be easier to know what to write if i had a question to answer.

-erina (my new name)

Friday, July 29, 2005

what do you americans like?

americans like burgers and fries
and they like houses on boardwalks and
fancy cars with wheels on the right side
and bars with mexican food
and clubs with hip hop music
and hawaiian outings

i'm in an area of Okinawa called Chatan and it's near Kadana air force base..
it's near Camp foster and camp Lester.. marine and navy respectively.
tomorrow we're going onto Foster to take a yoga class and spend some time in the gym..
the area is filled with bars and american type restaurants.. it's a bit surreal go from a supermarket where i couldn't understand why an item marked 5200Yen rang up as 9800Yen...i was trying to buy a gas stove.. no.. not a large gas stove.. just a small two range deal.. with a small little baker for fish..
regardless.. i didn't buy it, 'cause i'm going for the cheapest.. and shopping around

third day on Okinawa.. the village of Ogimi is my home..and it's beautiful and remote.. right on the ocean.. which has its benefits and drawbacks..
benefits are easy to imagine
drawacks of course include typhoons and humidity.. but also mold and lots and lots of insects..
yesterday i came home to about 20 cockroaches.. gian ones..
not fun.. but funny..
bought some killer stuff today and tape to get all the holes filled in..

there are so many other things happenning.. but mostly it's about me setting up my life here: bank accounts, painting apartment, shopping for food and cleaners.. and also meeting the local governing bodies and board of education officials..
i wish i could show you the pictures of these officials.. they wear the coolest shirts.. they look a bit Hawaiian but the textile is made locally and is definately not cotton...

"house" is on TV.. didn't think i'd come to Japan to watch television shows in English..
although, props for CNN for showing Blair's reaction to IRA's statement of disbanding yesterday...oh ..wait.. they didn't.. i watched that on BBC..CNN where showing fishing in Mexico exlusive..

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

typhoons and other phenomenon

so apparently there was an earthquake in and around Tokyo on saturday before we arrived. i think it measured 5 on the richter scale (7points max right?). and right now there's a typhoon going over Japan..but it's moving north and we should be allright for flying south to Okinawa tomorrow.. it's been raining non-stop since late last night (25th) and i'm about to venture out of the hotel for the first time today.
last night experienced karaoke and all you can eat and drink restaurant
the all you can eat deal lasts for a specific period of time..our Okinawa group had 2 hours..quite a lot of fun...i think i had two coctails and a beer in front of me at one point...good food too..some interesting and unknown foods were tried and enjoyed (i think).
the okinawa crew are good enjoying their company quite a bit, actually..
tonight the plan is to have dinner and drinks with a couple of russian-speaking americans. there are "real" russians on the JET program..but apparently most of them are involved with the sports activities and are not coming until august..

tomorrow i fly out to Okinawa and get to finally meet my supervisors, Gabrielle and some students

ok..being kicked off the puter

Monday, July 25, 2005

finally in Tokyo

Konichiwa....or whatever the romanized version is....just so you know ..i only have 15 min. online right now and am having a slightly difficult time typing ..the space bar is way too small and every once in a while i hit the wrong button and kana (japanese) comes on the screen.

oh..but i shall i perceviere for all of you people anxious to hear about my first days in Japan.
the flight was long but good. food was decent and i did not watch the inflight movies..i read my new Harry Potter as about half of the flight did. the airport experience went smoothly. So far i am extremely impressed by the organization of the JET programme. It is run by very helpful and cheery people who are prepared to handle large number of zombie like people.
I am staying at the Keio Plaza hotel in japan. it has a webpage but because of my time limit, i won't go looking for it. it's an extremely nice hotel and i'm staying with two other women who are going to Okinawa with me.

We just finished our first orintation ceremony and today and tomorrow there will be lots of workshops to visit. Tonight we have a reception for the whole crew (nearly 3000 people from 44 countries) and there will also be an excursion by the Okinawa people to an all you can eat/all you can drink restaurant in town. That should be fun.
What else can i tell you. I'm tired by very excited right now. Just seeing all these people here is inspiring. They're bright, warm, genuinly happy to be here; all look and talk differently and just are generous with everyone they meet.
I am gonna run right now, 'cause I think I'm missing lunch right now. and no one wants me to starve, I'm sure...especially me.