Sunday, 25 August 2013

school notes and instagram round-up

This post will be just a quick round-up of instagram and other pictures I’ve snapped here and there. This week is our Miyazaki Prefecture orientation and I’ll be hosting a house guest till Friday, when we’ll crash at another JET’s place in Miyazaki shi after our welcome dinner and karaoke party. Then for the weekend, we’ll all head down with a bunch of people to Kushima for a fire festival. I can’t wait to see some more of the country! 

The kids are back at school now, though I won’t be teaching until next week.  But, I do have ‘conversation time’ with Saito-sensei every day. We talk about various topics, him saying Hai – hai – hai or So, so, so as I talk – the Japanese seem to be big into vocal listening – and then he’ll stop abruptly and say ‘Ok now I do job’ before returning to work. This happens several times as day and I love it! 

The students are now preparing for their sports day and cultural festival, which takes up Friday – Sunday of next week. Walking round school, I’m astounded by how professional their music and routines are. In most amateur dance groups you’ll have a few great dancers who stick out and a lot going through the motions – not so in my school! Even the gangly fourteen year old boys with fuzz on their upper lip are in perfect synchronisation, putting their whole body into it! 

In other news, I also said my first automatic ‘Hai!’ instead of ‘Yes’! It’s all about the baby steps. 

On to the pictures!

Checking out the menu at the mall... yes, that is fake food. Pretty helpful when you can't read! 

Miyakonojo by dusk.  

My kawaii hello kitty purchase... 

And an interestingly named second-hand shop by my block

My first smart-casual (or "cool-biz" as they say here) work outfit. Almost everything I wear in summer in Scotland is too heavy here! 

The moon is insane in Miyakonojo. Its light casts a strong shadow most nights and I catch myself looking at it from my balcony just like Aomame!

My super-keen self introduction noticeboard. I could get used to this teacher thing. 

Not all mornings are sunny here - although it was still about 34 degrees. 

I've been exploring the fields around Miyakonojo and the mountains are so beautiful. This is 5 minutes' cycle from my flat! 

Exploring the school some more. As you can see below, umbrellas are seen as common property in Japan. They're all full-size, well made and interchangeable with everyone else, so if you're stuck in a cafe, hotel, library or shop when it rains, you'll never get wet!

 This helpful reminder features prominently in my staff room.

The front of the school. 

 I indulged in some retail therapy at 'Please let me estimate.'

Jo and I explored a park 10 minutes' cycle away on Saturday. It was beautifully peaceful but, as the whole town seems to be on weekends, completely empty.

I knew Anne of Green Gables was big here but this is sugoi! (Amazing).

Cool-biz no. 2.

Some more views of the apartment (through the bug net)...

Friday night sushi

 Views from my cycle home from school - it almost looks like Wyoming

Living alone is okay but I miss my flat-mate and so does Pepe!!* 

And finally... don't do drugs kids. 

*Clear evidence I should never live alone after this. 

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