Monday, September 26, 2005

Back to Work

It's a shame, but long weekends don't last forever. Today was back to work at the high school, after a fun weekend in Asahikawa.

After a two and a half hour kendo practice on Saturday, I picked up my friend Jessie and we went into the city for some fun. She had spent a total of 36 hours in the last week practicing for her Junior High School's band concert, so we made our first stop The Den -- the local gaijin watering hole. They have Guiness on tap, and carry tonic water (unlike the bars in my town: gin, but no tonic). We ended up at a club that was supposed to play house music, but it turned out to be disco night, so we did the hustle.

After a good night blowing off steam, I decided that I should attempt to find some new clothes. It's now fall so when I wear short sleeves, even if it's warm out, everyone in the office comments that I must be cold. Isn't it cold? I guess I didn't get the memo about the change in dress code. It is really starting to cool down though. And it was darkl by the time I got home today! I may have to turn on my heater soon!

Clothes shopping was pretty fun -- there are some neat things here to wear, along with some very strange things that wouldn't go over well at the office (or in my small town for that matter). Clothing is more expensive, even for the basic things I was buying, but the quality is really good. Maybe I'm rationalizing; I was just excited that I was able to find tops and PANTS that fit me. Mostly. My arms are too long, but the same goes at home. I still haven't brought myself to buy a new track suit. Everyone wears them here, especially at the Elementary schools. I can handle running shoes, but the track suit is just too much for me.

I talked to mom and dad who sound fresh and relaxed after their trip. It was really nice to hear from them. They've been keeping in touch via email, but it's always nice to hear voices from home. Even if my phone line is terrible.

Today I worked at the High School, which was actually a lot of fun! I had thought I would have to do my introduction lesson yet again (My name is Maryna. I come from Canada. Here is a picture of my family.) but thankfully, I got to do real classes today! I'm glad, because I'm sick of introducing myself. I did some Madlibs with the Grade 10s and some Canadian culture with the Grade 12s. I ended off the work day with the last conversation class for the three students who will be touring Canada next week. I'm so jealous! They're going to be staying in Vancouver for a night (strangely, at the same hotel where I did my JET interview). I want a night in Vancouver! They are a good group of girls, and with a lot of prodding, will even attempt to speak some English. I can't wait to hear how their trip goes!

This evening I spent at a concert. I have no idea who the performers were, but it was a mix of traditional shamisen playing (my favorite part), Japanese folk songs, and comedy routines. The latter was mostly lost on me, but the shamisen made up for that. I feel kind of bad -- I managed to double book myself for the concert and had to bow out of my monthly appearance at the Rotary club meeting. But how often to concerts come to town? Not very often. I just hope I haven't made anyone lose face by choosing one over the other.

Okay, this is far too long, and I need to go to bed if I'm going to be functional, if not genki at school tomorrow.

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