I left behind a vast collection of various cuddly, warm sweaters and sweatshirts from various camps and schools, and I deeply regret that. See, I don't mind leaving the heater off all the time to conserve energy, but I desperately need something to burrow into when I come home, and I can't stay under the futon while I cook and clean and do laundry. So I've been on a mission to buy the warmest coziest article of clothing I could find. To my horror, there is nothing like that in Japan. I've walked down dozens of aisles fingering every shirt I pass, and nothing is as thick or luxurious as I've come to expect from the decadent American clothing stores. To boot, there are nothing where the front is either blank or with an innocuous picture. It's all Engrish (speaking of which, I couldn't resist a picture of this shirt) or blatant advertising, and I refuse to wear anything with "Family Dog" or "comfortable vintage" on the breast pocket. Finally I picked out the warmest sweatshirt I could find (still thin enough to make me weep for the UW shirt I left behind) with the least offensive caption. I still don't know what "Mere Head / Monolithic Monument / Eugenic Sneeze" is supposed to mean, but it's all in Gothic English lettering so no one else will either, and I don't intend to wear it except in the (freezing) comfort of my home.
Is this becoming a whining post? Ah well, keep in mind that if I complain about the inconsequentials it is only because there is nothing drastic bothering me to relate. So take this with a grain of salt - if I am in a sarcastic mood, I am well.
So, I fully intend to buy another futon. This one is about as thick as a piece of cardboard, and I go to school everyday as sore as though I'd been riding a bull. Plus the pillow leaves me with a neck only capable of a Gary-Larson angle - the caption something like "That was when Emily knew she shouldn't have bought the clown car." And the sheets literally make my skin crawl - I'm a bit of a princess, but I'm very picky about the fabrics that touch me, and these are akin to a higher grade of sandpaper. If I'm going to be teaching more than a hundred kids per day, I desperately need good sleep. I'll consider it a birthday present to myself to go on a little shopping trip to the bedding section - though I'm not looking forward to walking home half-an-hour carrying a bag of bedding that is as large as myself.
Good things, though! There is a bulletin board with some sundry English assignments and verb graphs that is a bit pitiful, but A and I have received permission to redesign it as we please, and we had a great amount of fun brainstorming various things to display. For instance, the kids adore weird phrases - some of the third year boys yell "We can't take you anywhere!" when ever they see me. Of course, they say it to my feet with a polite "let me offer this" hand gesture.
I'll admit to being a bit disgruntled that after the effort to learn an introduction in Japanese, I haven't been able to use it once. Though I have introduced myself dozens of times by now, we have to represent ourselves as Fluent English Speakers in front of the children. So yesterday for a PTA meeting I finally got to say my spiel, and was very pleased to get a thumbs up from some of the only-Japanese teachers who previously have avoided me like plaque.