it's been a long week.
and yes, the Hokkaido blog is not up and no, it probably won't be.
Will say that
a) Hokkaido is amazing and if you're even slightly considering a trip there, let me push you to book the tickets, 'cause the nature is grand, the sea food is the best i have ever had and the people are kind and speak with a great, sharp, rude-sounding-but-not dialect.
b) Japanese fashion is hilarious and it's been proven to us yet again while wandering aimlessly through the upscale supermarkets of Sapporo. On a floor filled with unaffordable boutiques, Ralph Loren, Gucci, Chanel, etc we came across a bag shop and on one of its shelves several canvas bags were displayed. The bags had bright, shiny english lettering all over them and one said plainly in big, sparkly print, "I heart (as in the symbol) crap" Sofya picked up the bag and we looked at it for a little while making sure that we didn't miss the sentiment it so obviously was putting worth. We both assumed that there's a designer out there still laughing his/her pants off that their design is being sold for hundreds of dollars while at the same time poking fun at the consumers themselves. I had a feeling the Japanese love for English lettering just for the sake of it will eventually get them into some kind of trouble and irony is not very prevalent in Japanese culture (or so i've learned) they're in much greater danger of being toyed with by clever designers. :)
And the next day, we spotted a young kid waiting for the subway with his gf in Sapporo. He had on very trendy looking jeans that sagged just enough to expose his Calvin Kleins. Out of his back pocket, a Louis Vuitton pocketbook stuck out just ever so nonchalantly; he was wearing a very cool looking black jacket and had on brand new Adidas shoes. The black cap on his head was seemingly too big for his head and swung off just enough to designate the owner a hip-hop fan. It proclaimed in big, silver letters, "Fashion is Dead" and well.. i don't have to tell you that even though the irony was entirely lost on the kid, Sofya and I enjoyed it for our entire ride in the same car with this fashion king.
I have been practicing for the English story contest for a month now with two very bright Ogimi kids. We have another month to go and they're doing pretty well and am happy with the progress. Yesterday, made a hilarious mistake and we both got a kick out of it, but it made me giggle so much every time we came across the sentence that we couldn't practice that paragraph and had to concentrate our energies elsewhere. The sentence read, "..and the entire family was scared." He was reciting the story from memory and without stopping or hesitating said, "...and the entire family was pregnant." I lost it; he got the mistake right away. We laughed. I'm still laughing.
I have new glasses. They're tres kawaii. Well, i think so anyways
Picked them up this week at a shop in Nago. Vaughn and I went together to support each other in decision making process--I don't think I would have picked out a pair on my own, but somehow it's easier making a decision like that with someone else's opinion readily available. So on Saturday we picked out our pairs and had free eye exams right then and there and yesterday went to the shop to get our glasses. The world now has a sharpness to it I hadn't noticed in years! ha ha
I wore them to school today and surprised all the kids and though most of them gave me positive feedback on the change, one student was entirely against my new accessory. He even came up later to once again lodge his complaint with the newly learned "no good fit" vocabulary. I'm assuming he's just not happy about change in general and it's really not because they're a bad fit. At least I hope not. It could be that everyone else is politely lying to my face and he's the only brave soul who decided to speak up and tell it to me like it is.
This week was very long but nonetheless pretty good. It started off on Monday with interviews for the home stay program in Minnesota that Ogimi kids will participate in for the first time and finished off with a successful English Elective letter writing class. Today is Friday, humid, and all the teachers are in a meeting--most of them visibly ready to get it over with and go play basketball with the boys' basketball team. We played with the girls a couple of days ago to encourage them in their practice for the big JHS tournament next month. Today, it's boys basketball who'll get to laugh at the teachers as they easily beat them; and next week it'll be the baseball and soft tennis teams' turns to be encouraged by a fun game against the staff.
I'm off through Monday, so hope it doesn't rain too much this weekend, although it's about time the rainy season started; i've been ready for weeks.
and here's me on a friday afternoon with hair entirely too long and new glasses.