One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things
I’ve been in Japan one month. One month (a little longer now). It seems like I’ve been here far less time than that…and far longer at the same time. Feeling Opposite emotions is a hard one for me-similar to HappySad. School started back at home. I’m so thankful to be here…but it is hard missing out on some of my favorite people and students. Missing out-there’s that FOMO sneaking up on me again. Sending my love to my friends, family and all the kiddos that I miss dearly. You are so loved.
My dad has been here a week and a half. Chichi=Dad. I just want to share a few of our adventures…
TO begin, my dad has hit is head everyday, multiple times-on lights, cement, ceilings, cupboards…you name it he has hit it. I have fallen down several times and we have both run into a few things. I thought I was bad with directions…but it seems that I’m actually quite capable of exploring compared to some (chichi). 🙂 Just kidding, he’s doing great. Only two big crash/burns of him getting lost. Also-of course it’s nice to have chichi here. I imagine people think I’m incapable of taking care of myself-but I assure you, I am taking care of chichi. 🙂 If you are in Japan and you hear someone in the store or on a train/bus laughing you can probably bet on it being me.
8/24 Adventure #1 OIJ ZOO! Yuko-a dear friend took us to the Zoo by train. It was an incredible Zoo. We walked around Kobe after that and we saw a STING RAY in the ocean! An animal in its natural habitat-boy does that make me happy. Throughout the past two weeks we have been able to spend some time with Yuko which is nice. I am glad that my dad gets to meet the people I surround myself with as well as my friends having a chance to meet my dad.
8/25 Adventure #2 COSTCO….Sachiko-my other favorite person took us to Costco! We parked in a parking garage and rode an escalator DOWN with OUR CART! . Wowowowowow. I had to get some groceries because it had been 3 weeks and all I had in my fridge was water 🙂 You will probably laugh out loud at what I have now…Waffles, bagels, lays potato chips and bread. We got 1 bottle of syrup..kirkland brand…for $18! I know it is expensive because it is imported but HOLY SMOKES! Then my dad is over here using it on his waffles like its free. We enjoyed a costco hotdog and soda as we would do at home and the hotdog burps were no different then the ones you get from the Costco in the USA. We have now been to costco twice. Adventure number 2 included Sachiko taking us to the most beautiful river spot and mountain view. It was breathtaking. We rang the biggest bell I have ever seen and it sent the biggest sound waves. I’m surprised you didn’t hear it.
Our first 2 days we WALKED everywhere That was unbearable so adventure #3 was navigating to Yuko’s to pick the bike up without any technology. It took us an hour or so…the next day we also stopped at Yuko’s…this time it took maybe 15 minutes. Learning my way around is a process.
8/28 Adventure #4 Back to Kobe just my dad and I. We wanted to see if we were capable of taking the train. Turns out we are. (Kind of) We went to Osaka tonight and getting back was a bit of an exploration. Glad to have my chichi here to do these things with me.
We got Seitei by an amazing lady. It was acupressure / acupuncture, chiropractic work and some use of a lit herb on the skin. Fit right in with my crystal loving self. The acupuncture was completely different than anything I have had done in the USA. I had a two hour session and my friend let my dad take her session.
8/30 I ate heart and liver 😮
We have laughed a lot. I have cried several times from laughing so hard.
(9/2)We have been lost by train and bus. Today was the first time I thought to myself, “I am not having fun, this is not fun.” That would be when I was trying to figure out how to catch the bus to get to work. (Practicing of course). Got on the wrong bus. Tried to communicate using my undeveloped Japanese skills…. My dad came along for the ride. We have a lot of fun riding around, laughing, taking pictures and being here together. Always laughing and smiling.
Last night, bike riding we saw more wild cats. an unbelievable amount…I’m talking 15+ just in one area! It makes me really sad. But then at the pet store the animals cost $1,000+!
(9/4)Yesterday, Typhoon Jebi occurred and our biggest adventure of all. While I was at work (School was cancelled for children but teachers still go) my dad went out on an exploration. I left early due to the weather and when I got home chichi was nowhere to be found and I was locked out. I waited, looked, and tried to contact him for about an hour. To say I was worried was an understatement. The most powerful typhoon within the past 25 years was about to touch ground near us and I had no idea where my dad was.
Couldn’t figure out the pay phone. Tried several times. Ended up just waiting. Eventually as the rain coming down I see my dad about 4 blocks away…he see’s me too so he’s ringing his bell. What a RELIEF.
Chichi parks his bike-and the keys are gone. He had been lost for about 2 hours previous to getting home. So happy to be home-the keys silently fell out of his pocket at some point or were left somewhere when he stopped to ask for help. We ended up retracing his steps during the beginning stages of the typhoon. SOAKED!
Cutting this one short-we got home and inside just before the wind got extreme. There was some damage done all around where we live but we were safe and all was good.
The KIX airport is now under water…(think about that for a minute). Chichi will be staying until further notice. Many places are without power. Today the power came back on at about 1:00pm at school. The children came to school for about an hour before going home.
The children here have the biggest smiles and are excited. I love seeing the children here in their classrooms…it is just like seeing students at home in their seats smiling and giggling when they see a stranger peak in the room.
Here-the teachers move rooms-not the students. So there is a teachers room where every teacher has a desk. Students stay in their same classroom all day except for specials (PE, art…). Much different than school at home! Also-the staff and students care for the school and school grounds. They keep the school clean and cared for.
Lastly-this morning (morning after the typhoon) I was excited (wakuwaku) to get to school and I got out to the bus a few minutes early. I feel like I’m at home waiting for the STA to come. Well-I waited 35 mintues for a bus that comes every 10 minutes…………….. ……………………………….Started asking drivers on a different line where the bus was at…YOU GUESSED IT-it was out of service from the Typhoon. At this point I have 5 minutes to get to school. Thank goodness for Sachiko-she picked me up and delivered me.
Got a message from Yuko today, “You’re dad is here, he got lost. I told him how to get home.” Thank goodness he was able to find her house! Now my friends are all having snacks together with CHICHI and I’m at work.
This became too long. I apologize. This is my way of keeping my memories as well as sharing them. As long as they get-I know I will look back on them in years and smile remembering the adventures.
Sightings/experiences: lizards, cats, beetles, digdigs, fishes, stingrays, roaches, amazing stationary, beaches, rivers, Japanese TV, police stations, MANUAL buses and people getting off work at all hours of the evening, monkey/owl/hedgehogs at the petstore, Osaka, Kobe, Sannomia, trains, subways, buses……I am still quite the sighting for children. My dad is too.
Remember to be kind, especially to yourself.