Friday, November 23, 2012


Pics from today, our ex-pat Thanksgiving in Japan.

We were at the apartment of Jenn and Brendan, who are friends of Lizbet, who's my friend from church. So I guess I can call them friends of friends? Anyway, their apartment is amazing. It's huge. The kitchen is huge, and the dining and living room are not only adequate for a party of up to nine people but downright spacious. Supposedly this apartment building was built with ex-pats in mind. Whatever that means.

We didn't have turkey, but we did have chicken with homemade gavy, and mashed potatoes and vegetables and other sides. People laughed at my "Japanese portions," but it was quite good. I had a small glass of white wine with dinner, and it took a while to wear off. Luckily I didn't end up going drinking tonight too, or going to work tomorrow would be a real pain!

From left to right, Olivia, Lizbet's husband, me, Brendan, Lizbet, and Anne Laurel.

After dinner we pretty much just hung around, discussed music preferences, and played trivia games. A major plus is that the place had wifi, and I was finally able to register my new nook with glowlight! This is definitely something to be thankful for. Thanks, mom!

As if I hadn't had enough food that day, I ended up doing a late dinner with one of my Sharehouse friends. We ate Tenpura Soba, so I guess this counts as trying both at once. This dinner turned out a little awkward, since I don't speak much Japanese and he spoke minimal English, so there was a lot of pointing, guessing, and Google translate. Looking at photos also helped. Well, asking a foreigner to dinner when you can't speak their language takes more guts than I honestly have.

Japanese notes of the day--

Jen: Does anyone want some ice cream?
Me: (Nodding emphatically) Nnnn!
Jen: (laughs) You sound Japanese

Also, I've learned that the correct intonation for "Sumimasen" can be very similar to the American "Hey, you!"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Settling in...Maybe

Last night I had my first detailed nightmare about work. Not just being late or not having the books, but I was actually in the middle of a lesson and I had only taught two sentences, and neither related to the lesson goal. So I guess this means the mindset of the Berlitz lesson has sunk deep into my subconscious.

Now that I actually have a place, my feelings are half "Argh I never want to move again!" and half "Next October is a long, long time away..."

I still have dreams where I wake up at home without the trouble of airplane travel. I miss everybody back in Fremont! It would also be nice to see all the old places again, and go shopping in a store where people speak English.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some Halloween Pics

Looks like both I and my family back home got up to some fun on Halloween...

There's Dad, William, and Hobbes waiting for trick or treaters.

Luckily, my hostel had a Halloween party on the Saturday before Halloween! Even though I work on Saturday, I got off work in time to go to the party after. I even met a friend from church (Mitaki Green Chapel) who was staying at the hostel for one night. What a coincidence!

Everyone thought the police outfit was very cool. And about five people wanted pictures with themselves being handcuffed by me. It was a little awkward when someone's brother-in-law turned out to be a real member of the Japanese police force...but I don't think he was offended by the slightly irreverent outfit.

In Japan people like the Halloween stuff, but there aren't really any traditions for celebrating it. I said there wasn't enough candy at the party, and was told "But candy is for kids! We're adults so we have alcohol!" Maybe candy flavored alcohol would be a big Halloween seller in Japan...