How I Missed Halloween

Hello everyone,
I write to you today from my desk at work, during the first period of the day, preparing for my next 3 periods, in which I teach the first graders. I have planned a lovely Halloween game for them, which hopefully they enjoy.
I myself, however, did not get to enjoy the wonders of Halloween this year. Although I had a costume prepared, a party to attend, and a floor to crash on, my will to party was defeated by a deathly diseases. It all began on Friday morning, when I awoke to a slight “scratchy” feeling in my throat. I thought to myself, “I hope I am not coming down with something” – I was sure to drink a lot of water that morning, and was feeling okay. Once afternoon hit, however, it was a different story. After lunch Friday afternoon I cycled to an elementary school where I was scheduled to teach two periods. I arrived at the school feeling fine, but during those two hours I went from genki/happy/excited teacher to nauseated/sickly/possibly about to be unconscious teacher. Then, on top of the already sick feeling beginning to grow in my body, I had to cycle home, despite my entire lack of energy and will to live. Fortunately I fought off the urge to pass out on the sidewalk, and managed to make it home, where I immediately texted all my friends about my despair, and the possibility I wouldn’t make it to the party Saturday night. My friends assured me that it was more than 24 hours away, and if I slept now, what appears to be just a head cold could clear up enough for me to still come in and enjoy some of the Halloween festivities of the night. Unfortunately, this would not turn out to be the case. I didn’t sleep much Friday night, which in part had its benefit, since at 7 am I was wide awake, and able to skype with dad. However, as Saturday morning progressed, things went from bad to worse. Suddenly, all my muscles started aching so much that I couldn’t move, my throat was in so much pain that trying to take a sip of water was too much to bear. I will spare you of the other tragically disgusting details that my disease forced me to endure, suffice to say that I did NOT make it to the Halloween party. I had to talk my two friends out of almost missing the party themselves, as they had their minds set on coming out to my apartment that night to bring me food and medicine and company. I insisted that they not, and instead come Sunday if they must. So, I suffered though, tissue-less (eventually blowing your noise with paper towel makes your nose practically bleed), and medicine-less. My friends arrived Sunday morning to feed me food and medicine and tell me stories of their night before, and I was very glad for their company. Unfortunately, here I am at work, despite the fact that I don’t feel much better, and the reason for this is as follows: In order to take a sick day here in Japan, we have to have a doctor’s note. Factor in this: I don’t speak Japanese. I would have to find an English speaking doctor in order to explain what was wrong with me as well as the fact that I needed a note to take a couple days off to get better. We are given websites to help us find English speaking doctors in the area, but most of them are at least a train ride away plus a tram, walk or bus ride because I live outside the city. I also live alone, with no one around to help me, the closest friend being a 25 minute train ride away. If I even COULD get myself to the train station, on a train, off the train, on a tram/bus or manage to walk to the hospital that emplys an English speaking doctor – well I really wouldn’t be that sick at all, would I? There was no way I could have managed that this weekend. Turns out it was easier just to come to work. So here I am. Thanks to my Board of Education’s stupid rules.
On another note, the other day I saw a dog in a wheelchair. It had no back legs just little wheels so it could pull itself along with its front legs. IT WAS SO KAWAII (cute).
On a final note, a teacher in the staffroom just gave me a snack to eat, and then went on google translate to tell me what this snack is. The translation: EEL PIE…
Until next time…

xo R


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