Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Did the earth move for you, baby?

Last night I experienced my first earthquake. I was sitting on the floor of my apartment, preparing for today`s lessons and suddenly the whole building started shaking and vibrating. I considered whether or not to panic and decided it was too much effort. The whole thing lasted a matter of minutes, and after the big rumble the building continued vibrating. Nothing fell from anything but it was pretty awesome to experience. Especially the building vibrating and cupboards shaking around.

Apparantly it was quite a big one, or so I was told. Now, obviously if it had been on a mass scale it wouldn`t have been so exciting, but I HAD been looking forward to experiencing my first one. (Remember, I`m a freak who quite likes (gentle) air turbulance, being on a boat/hovercroft/ferry, etc on choppy waters, and thunder storms).

Oh and the rain stopped some time yesterday afternoon. Finally. The sun has been shining away happily since. See, the cuteness is definitely getting to me. Even some of the `do not` signs have cute little characters. The kids are very cute here too. So are the men (ahem. drool.)

Other cutesy things include the loving for keyrings hanging from bags. Think 15 year olds. Then consider it`s actually all men, including businessmen in suits with cute keyrings hanging from bags, etc.

Lace and frilly popsocks sticking out from court shoes, etc, is another cutesy thing all around me here.

Macdonalds (yeah, yeah, I KNOW!) toilet played me flushing music from a special machine yesterday when I peed.

I finally gave in and bought some cheap wine here. I can`t really describe it`s taste or flavour, but it IS better than grapejuice. Just. Cheap wine = about five quid (still don`t know where to find the pound key on Japanese keyboards).

I am getting a little frustrated at the knowledge that all I`ve seen since being here has been stations, schools and my apartment/the hotel when I was there.

As soon as I get time I`ll do something about it though. I have enough holes in my timetable to now plan and photocopy during the teaching days and to not have to give up my days off to do this. I finish work at around 9pm every night, so no time for anything after that apart from getting home, eating something and preparing for the next days lessons.

My packing is a mystery. I am SURE there were many things I packed but when I`ve looked for them they`re not with me. Gremlins, perhaps? It`s all MOST odd.

On the trains there is currently an ad that scares me shitless. It`s got some blonde westerner who looks seriously possessed with her tongue sticking out in some pseudo sexy/yum kind of way that makes her look demented and as I said, possessed. She really bothers me.

School uniforms here are interesting. The skirts are the shortest things ever. Luckily, everyone is stick thin as otherwise, they`d like horrendous. And they`re all tartan. Or tartanish. And worn with long socks that go to about calf level and jumpers that have sleeves that reach over the hands. As for school boys: I don`t think I`ve seen any! Where are they hiding them?

Many females here speak in squeeky, girlie voices which is, apparantly, meant to be sexy. Yeah, right.

The building where this internet cafe is, has cameras in the lifts. How do I know this? When waiting for the lift, I was watching on a screen what other people were doing in the lift. Big Brother is alive and well in Tokyo. EEK!

Yesterday`s teaching went quite well apart from a group of nine year old boys. I had it all planned and the first half went brilliantly. Then we got to the second half, and I found I`d been given the wrong information in the handover notes and had prepared the wrong lesson. It completely threw me, and I`m not experienced enough to be able to just throw out more games to kids of that age. Plus I couldn`t get the hang of the forward and rewind buttons on the tape recorder. The wrong information for adults classes (a few) is fine though, as it`s easy to wing.

I also learned that three year olds colour at different speeds. Not ideal when you`re waiting on their pictures to use for the next activity.

Today`s lessons, by some miracle, all went really well though.

And I had 17 emails in my yahoo account so I`m thrilled about that. Only three were junk too.

And for Gemma: you`re word of the day is sumimasen, which means excuse me, and is probably the most useful word I know!


Blogger Chameleon said...

The only earthquake I experienced was tame by comparison. Its epicentre was in Maastricht...not exactly renowned for seismic activity. I remember waking up with the uneasy feeling that the foundation-shaking vibrations could only have one explanation. It only lasted about a minute, but was strong enough to set off car alarms for miles around. On my (sadly) sole trip to Tokyo as part of a delegation visiting the Japanese Parliament my impression was that without a business card you do not exist. I have been quietly reading your blog since stumbling upon the first entry and have spread the word to several friends…I am looking forward to your picture posts.

11:39 pm

Blogger lua said...

Hi Glitz:)

I just wanted to drop you a hug and wish you well in Japan!

and i like your blog :)


12:52 am

Blogger elspeth said...

I heard about that earthquake on our news, seemed like it was a big one. Glad your ok tho.

11:15 am


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