Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I like [real] bananas

I keep hearing them talk about the upcoming to-ra-i-ya-ru week. I swear I thought it was “trial” only katakana-ized. Turns out, “try” is katakana, but “yaru” is just the other verb for “to do.”

Try-yaru week is when the second graders go out into the world and like.. work at jobs for a week. We ran into some at the Toyoko Inn where we stayed in like.. Hiroshima, or something. They were super cute.

Now our mice class is getting ready for theirs, toward the end of the month. I can only imagine the paperwork that goes into placing the students and prepping for all that.

I’m warming to the mice and they are warming to me. Most of them have finished writing their letters, although I’m well aware that the HS in America to which we’ll send them only has like four more days of school or something. I suppose they’ll have them when they get back from break..! I wish I had gotten my act together sooner, but alas.

I am eating Tokyo Banana omiyage from the cats’ class trip to Tokyo and Disney et al. I got a sweet Geiko-HelloKitty charm from the new school nurse. But from what I hear, Japanese people are crazy about the Tokyo banana little confections. I prefer real bananas. It’s kind of like grape-flavored things, and how they’re just not the same flavor as grapes. Only banana flavor might be worse.

I think the other souvenir tasty is full of redbean paste, though, which means it will be much more normally delicious. I’ll save it for tomorrow.

It is cool to be receiving omiyage I actually recognize, though.

In other news, it’s warm and zutto-rainy, and feels like springtime. The healthiness of my habits increases with the average temperature (to a point), so lately it’s been on the rise. More exercise and better food choices all ‘round.

Last week, I went to Akashi to conquer Stage One of Obtaining a Japanese Driving License. I don’t think my VP believed me when I told him how difficult it is (well, Stage Two is). Almost every foreigner fails at least once on the driving practical. A few famously failed like eight or ten times.

And not to be racist, but there are lots of people on the roads around here who totally cannot drive. That’s true in America, too, but I feel like if the test is going to be so freaking hard, it should mean your drivers are elite. But it’s like the SAT of driving tests. All it measures is how well you take a driving test full of nitpicky rules on a closed course. Everyone says, “oh, you’re a good driver, you’ll be fine.” I want to say, just because I am better than you doesn’t mean I’ll pass the test on the first try. But, that’s not a nice thing to say and would perhaps not further friendly relations betwixt my country and theirs. Even if it’s true.

I’m going to driving school this weekend, with a tentative reservation for the following weekend as well (CatJET took driving school three times but passed the test on her first go-round!)… so hopefully, that will help.

Akashi is supposed to be a fairly cool place, but I have a feeling way too many JETs remember it only as a place of waiting, and waiting, and inconvenience, and failure. I had thought to take a little tour of it the day I went, but the ‘easy’ part took way longer than I anticipated. So I didn’t.

In other news, my computer no longer has access to the network, which irritatingly means no printer and no internet access for me. I can use THAT COMPUTER at the desk no one sits at (where the teacher who quit used to sit).. basically I can use it anytime I want to, and I do when I need to print (I put my stuff on a flashdrive and ferry it over… this process is not foreign to me, from anytime I stay at my parents’). It’s still a pain in the ass.

Another part of me kind of likes it, as I am often overwhelmed by the immediacy of the internet. I have offline-gmail now, which means I can manipulate and respond to stuff and it gets uploaded the next time my computer connects to the interweb. And of course my blog client.

And of course I can study Japanese and write letters by hand, which I may do more of now that I will have a net of more free periods per week and a lot less internet.

Today is very comfortable.

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