The neat thing about small towns, is that each one comes with their own set of festivals and traditions. We were lucky enough that one of these festivals overlapped with one of precious our days off, so we got the chance to experience it!
And of course, since we seem to be a walking spectacle, we became the unintentional center of attention during this festival.
Or, “How two of us managed to leave on time, on the same day, to get dinner at a place that was closed on Wednesday’s”.
How many times can you say that you and some friends jumped in the car and took a road trip to the tallest and most famous mountain in Japan?
Now I can say that I’ve done it.
And we did it right. We rented a car, left early, brought plenty of snacks, and stopped at (almost) all of the rest stops on the highway. Between the company, spontaneity, and absurdity of it all, it was the recipe for a perfect Sunday.
How old were you when you first learned how to use chopsticks?
But the real kind, not the cheater kind that have the ends tied together. The kind where you can hold one in each hand and stab the food — which I’ve since learned is a big no no. I think I was somewhere in the mid-teens range. (Did I guess right Dad?) And then even after learning, I hardly used them on a daily basis. Maybe they got used when we had Chinese take out at home or when we went out to Asian restaurants. But even then, forks were always on the table as a viable second option.
Its different here.
Before starting this whole adventure, if you asked me what a 3 year old was capable of, I’d probably have responded with “very little…they’re 3…”. Before this I’d had very limited interaction with this age group before and therefore my understanding of their understanding of the universe was nonexistent at best.
Now if you ask me that question, boy do I have a much different response!
Thanksgiving abroad is unsurprisingly just like every other day of the week here; wake up, work, have kids wipe mysterious things on your pants, make dinner, shower, bed. The routine looked the same yesterday, and it’ll look the same as tomorrow.
It’s very underwhelming.
I don’t know if its the heat, or being away for over four months, or seeing all the posts on social media about everyone’s beach trips, but I’m feeling the homesickness this month.
The initial shock has worn off by now about being here, and now that I’m more or less settled, it’s really starting to hit me: I’m still here, but everyone I know and love is there, back home.
What to do, what to do…
No it’s not a place.
During one of my private English lessons, I was talking with my student, playing a get to know you game since he is new and I asked a question about tea. Specifically, what’s your favorite tea?
He looked at me, clearly thinking hard about it, but said “I don’t know.” I tried asking again, rephrasing it and asking a silly question, thinking he was just nervous. Finally he responded saying that he had a favorite, but didn’t know what it was called in English. I told him that was okay, tell me in Japanese.
Tonight is the final night of my first extended break with the preschool, and my oh my, has it been wonderful!
This past week was Golden Week in Japan. Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays spread out over the span of seven days, including conveniently placed weekends. It makes for one of the busy travel times in Japan during the year, the others being New Year’s and Obon, (so if you’re planning on coming to visit during those times, travellers be warned). I elected to stay put and have a mini staycation instead of venturing too far.
I’ve made it through the first month!
I can sugar coat everything and say it was all a cake walk and that each day I was living the expat dream, but we both know that’s a bold face lie.