Sunday, January 27, 2008

An eventful December in Japan

Bollywood night

December was filled with many different activities. Seeing autumn leaves for the first time, playing soccer for the first time ever, a fire drill and an xmas party with my English club at school. Outside of school, i went to an xmas party at an orphanage, Bollywood fundraiser, saw my first blimp, tried the mega tamago (egg) and mega tomato burgers at maccas, visited a kindie as santa's elf with two other ALTs and attended xmas lunch with my friend Kim and her English class.

WHOA!!!!!!!! So busy. The highlight was of course the autumn leaves. Coming from Alice Springs and never having seen the leaves change like that, this was a very special experience for me. I went to the Green Centre, which is a big park near my house and i just wandered around taking photos of the leaves. I know I know, sounds so strange taking photos of leaves. BUT once you see the photos u will understand. The colours were so awesome, pink, orange, red and golden. It was amazing.

Soccer for the first time was interesting. So much fun but not as fun as touch rugby. I felt abit out of place cause didnt really know the rules or positions but i guess that will come with time. It was a fun afternoon of mucking around with mates and was topped off with a starbucks with my aussie mate Shane. Who couldnt play the whole game cause he got taken out by one of the other players and I (desert girl) was freezing so we went to warm up.

Xmas party with my English club students was really great. They came along to the language lab and made an xmas poster. Then they got to pick either Mrs Claus or Santa and dress up and i took photos of them to put on their poster. Sounds really juvenile for year 12s but they loved it. It was all in English and we listened to xmas carols and it was fun.

The orphanage was outstanding. It was so hard to leave them by the end of the day. They were abit shy to start off with. But each of us brought something for them to do. I brought balloons and bubbles. I spent about an hour blowing them all up and the kids ran around with them. Such simple things amuse little kids. The bubbles were messy but the kids loved them. It was great fun watching them chase the bubbles around the room. We coloured in pictures and had piggy back races. It was a fun afternoon. And by the end of the afternoon one young boy came up to me and sat on my lap with a book. He just wanted a cuddle while he looked at the photos. And eventually after the piggy back races, he fell asleep. It reminded me of when my friend's little boy used to do that when i was in Oz. They go all floppy after awhile but my friend Tiff and I both had kids fall asleep on us. So while everyone was going crazy, we just sat back and watched. I think my boy just liked being cuddled. And it was nice because i miss my friends' kids very much.

My first blimp was just floating around one arvo when i was coming home from the shops. I thought maybe it was some new type of airplane the Japanese had invented. Cause there were windows like a plane on it. U know for passengers. Anyway, i went up to the 10th floor of my building and waited till it got closer. It was huge and so cool. Still unaware of what it was I posted the photos on facebook and then a mate told me what it was. May not sound exciting to you but it was the strangest shape and so odd to just see it floating along. Not something i would see in Alice Springs or in Adelaide where i went to uni.

Next came my trip to Maccas with one of my year 12 students. Naomi spends many afternoons with me when classes end. She practices her English (which is awesome btw) and i practice my Japanese. She also helps me with my Japanese course that i am doing. Sometimes i have questions and she is always helpful. Anyway, here in Japan, you get your vouchers for things on your mobile phone. No paper ones here. Quite a good idea i think. So she set it all up on my phone and off we went to try these new burgers they had. They are based on the mega mac but one has egg in it and the other tomato. Kinda an extra thing to it. So we got one of each and cut them in half so we could both try them. I liked the tomato one the best. But i felt so sick afterwards. Mega mac are just too big for me. And i also ate large fries. No thanks to maccas again. Although the sauce on the burgers was so good and different to Oz.

The three ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) from my city went to an kindie to give out xmas pressies. Mario and i were the elves and George played santa. After presents, the kids could ask santa san (polite way of addressing someone is san) some questions. They asked things like how do u fly and things like that. The best was when they asked George what santa's fav food is. Last year George said bacon. But this year Santa liked apples. It was so funny.

And my final activity in December was attending an xmas party at my friend Kim's house. Her English students came as well. There was turkey and veges and there was a Japanese twist to it as well. We had sushi and some special treats from Hokkaido - smoked cockles.

A good end to a very tough six months in Japan.

Here are the links to my photos

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