Well I am still puttering around my little town and the city: going back and forth on the train every day almost. Yesterday was fun though; it was a new friend’s birthday. She came out to my little town and we went to the beach with a co-worker from the Board of Education and her husband. There we met up with a few other ALT’s and hung out and had ice cream (charcoal and milk flavour anyone? No? Me either, I had blueberry and it was delicious. Although I will admit the charcoal and milk was oddly delicious…). Then we went back into the city for supper and drinks. It was quite fun. And, we have started Japanese lessons today, which means almost everyone from our prefecture attends them and those who live far away usually stay in the city or nearby for convenience. Today’s lesson was pretty interesting. The teacher has just submerged us in it completely by only speaking Japanese. I was fortunate enough to be late to class (urgghh why can I never be on time?!) and had to sit in the front and was thus subject to her pointing and expecting a response and all I could ever muster up was “watashi wa Rachel desu!”. That was only the right answer once. We have started going through the katakana, learning the different sounds and combinations. It’s quite difficult and I better get the hang of it, quick! On Wednesday we go to our base schools for the first time. I’m so excited to meet my Japanese teacher of English and get into a routine. The last few weeks have just been so unpredictable. Every day brings about something different and you can never predict just what’s going to happen. Today we all decided, upon finishing our Japanese lesson, we would stop at a local “cat café” that we had scoped out earlier. That was quite an experience. You pay by the hour (we did not think we would spend a whole hour in a room with a bunch of cats but they wouldn’t let us book only a half hour. Surprisingly, we stayed the whole time). Included in your visit is one drink. Then they literally just put you in a room with a bunch of cats. And you pet them. And drink your coffee. It’s so so so so so strange. And at first I was like, “this is so awkward, I’m so over this”. Then I got really into it, especially once they brought out the kittens. It still is a strange experience but anyone who ever comes to visit me, be warned: we are going to the cat café. It is a unique experience that you will not have in Canada. Check out the photos on flickr!
Tomorrow is my last day at the BOE! I go there in the morning then to my Japanese class in the afternoon, and then back to the BOE Wednesday to meet up with my JTE (Japanese teacher of English) and they take me to my base school – which will become my new workplace! No more commuting! I look forward to what the next couple days has in store!