Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat."

I had my sliding door open, with just the diaphanous white curtain closed, when a man walked started to walk through it. Now this is something I constantly have a little dread of, if I'm in the bath, "what if I didn't lock the door?" if I'm deflated on my bunk from the heat, "what if someone sees me like this?" Fortunately I was upright, and clothed, and my only thought was, "Ah, he'll be embarrassed when he realizes he's gone into the wrong room." Sure enough when he stopped fighting his way past gauze and looked up he started, muttered "excuse me" (for some reason so did I) and went around to the next room over. Speaking of which, I now have a new neighbor on that side. I'm not sure if he's the one living there or if he is just visiting, but now when I run into him outside on the front sidewalk we grin at each other and say "excuse me" again.

My second try with the toaster oven had better results. I marinated a mystery bird-meat (duck, maybe?), carrots and potatoes in garlic and soy sauce and roasted it for about half and hour. It wasn't especially pretty so I didn't bother taking a picture but it was sure tasty. I've found where I can get pretty large bags of granola and muesli for a reasonable price. The awesome thing about Japanese cucumbers is that they're small enough to consume an entire one in a sitting, which I'm not quite able to do with Western cucumbers and then the remnant gets wrinkly. I also eat huge amounts of the small "mikan" citruses.


The kanji for yen, 円, also means circle, which resulted in a student writing a paper about buying something that cost "105 circles."

In third year they're learning about volunteer programs like "visiting elderly people" (which is probably the most sadistic phrase you can make a Japanese person say with its Vs, Ss, Ls, and Rs) and picking up trash. "Collecting cans for recycling" reads one student, with an expression of confusion. "Recycling?" with the universal gesture of holding bike handles. After we clear that up, "collecting cans? Neko? (Cat)." Neko recycling, in which you bring in your old cat and get a new kitten.


I used the post office for the first time to send someone a book. I want to buy stamps and send some letters. You know, I thought when I came here that I would get so many letters sent. Not just to people I haven't seen in forever, but to those I saw everyday. Because isn't there things you can't say to people you speak to all the time but that you want to say when there's a bit of safe distance between you. If they react badly. Even email seems to immediate, reply before thinking, or it sits in your inbox until you do, but a written letter if there are things they don't want to answer they can trash it and not. Which is all to say - please let me write to you.

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