Saturday, December 4, 2010

All’s well that ends well

Sometimes the days that don’t start off well end quite nicely.

101_6406The first half of today was a bit rough. I took care of some things that I needed to do, but it was a bit exhausting. There were a lot of minor annoyances, like my computer not working properly, that turned slightly difficult tasks into big frustrations.

I needed to leave the house at 2:30 in order to get my full workout in before dinner this evening. I didn’t make it out of the house until a little after 3. I made it to the bus stop, and stood there for quite some time in the cold wind, feeling sorry for myself. Too sorry for myself to check to see when the next bus was coming (the schedule was also hanging upside down, I think it broke in the wind). Finally, I read the sign and realized that I still had six minutes to wait. Plus, the bus usually arrives at my stop a few minutes after the scheduled time.

Since the bus stop is right in front of the post office, I decided to run in to make a deposit into my savings account and get out some grocery money. They were tasks I needed to do anyway, and they hardly take any time. Imagine my surprise when I came back out and saw that the bus was already disappearing into the distance. I looked at the clock on my iPod and saw that it was only one minute past the scheduled arrival time. Of all days for the bus to actually be on time!

Well, as you can imagine, by this time I was really feeling sorry for myself.  So, I hailed a cab to go across town to the gym (yes, I know that riding to the gym in a cab sounds bizarre). I actually took the cab to the station and walked to the gym from there.

At the gym, I had a nice workout that was only slightly abbreviated (the cab really made up some time, I think). It was good to get those endorphins going. After my workout, the teacher who had invited me to dinner (hereafter, Mr. Science)was waiting with his adorable six year old daughter. She was so cute and wanted to practice English. Then, we met up with the other teacher (hereafter, Ms. English) who was also going to dinner, and went back to the apartment where Mrs. Science had prepared a delicious spread of food.

Everyone was so friendly, and we all had a good time eating and chatting. Thankfully, Ms. English was able to help with some interpretation (although we all got pretty stuck at tribal languages). My Japanese is getting to the point where I can recognize a lot of words. Unfortunately, I usually miss the key words or can’t figure out how the sentence goes together. Argh.

The youngest Science daughter (the one who is six), was just hilarious. She has picked up many English words. She also showed us her pets, her origami, and she even did a short magic show for us. It was absolutely adorable. She is also very interested in insects. So, I pretended to be interested when she showed me her bug books. She also showed me a map, and she knew the Japanese flag, the American flag, the Chinese flag, and the Korean flag. Se had a hard time finding Japan on the map, though. Her sister asked her where it was, and she thought for a while, and then pointed to Kazakhstan. She was delighted when her sister pointed at Japan and she read the kanji.

All is all, it was a lovely evening, and I’m so glad that Mr. Science and his family had us over!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A December song

This is the song about December that I either mentioned or thought about mentioning previously. It's by one of my favorite artists. My brother gave me a CD with this song last Christmas. Because I listened to it quite a bit while I was home, it got some good home memories tagged onto it. When I returned to Japan, I often listened to the album while traveling. This song brought back good memories and also totally synched with my longing for December.

And now, it is December again! Yay!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why taking aerobics in a foreign country is a good idea

Number 1: It’s better for your health than hanging out in a cafe eating cakes and drinking cafe au lait. Not that I am diametrically opposed to eating cakes and drinking cafe au lait! Let it never be said! However, too much of this indulgence can lead to some unpleasant consequences. Let’s move on, shall we?

Number 2: It’s sort of helpful for language skills. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear anything at all, but other times I can catch words I know. When that happens, I feel so smart. But sometimes the word is basically the same as it is in English. But I still feel smart.

Number 3: The engagement of the brain is helpful. I spend a lot of time lost in my own thoughts, lost in my NaNoWriMo project, lost in a book, lost in a TV show… well, you get the idea. In aerobics, you get lost for a minute, and all of the sudden you are hipping when everyone else is hopping or shuffling when everyone else is stomping. Or you are blindly following the instructor into her instructional moves, like putting up one hand for a count while everyone stretches. Not that I would know anyone that has happened to, of course.

Number 4: It’s a really great way to meet random groups of people! Somehow, I think all the people who speak a little English in town have been hiding out at the gym. I have been very surprised!

So, should you happen to move to a faraway land where you don’t speak the language, I highly recommend joining the gym!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A December celebration

Here it is! Post 200! Toot too too toooooo!

In honor of the fact that it is December 1, here are some things I love about December:

1. Three weeks from right now, I will be headed to my hotel the night before I GO HOME!!! Yay! I am a little excited.

2. Snow is here! Whether or not it is here to stay, I don’t know. But it is pretty (and a little slippery – don’t ask me how I know)

3. Christmas is coming! Guess what? I’m GOING HOME for Christmas!

4. There is a song that I like that is all about wishing for December. I might try to post it sometime this month if I remember.

5. Mom’s birthday is this month! Happy Birthday!

6. I’m taking a little trip HOME!

7. NaNoWriMo is over. It is a fun thing to do, but I am ever so glad it is finished.

Now, I’ve stayed up too late again and need to go to sleep. However, I will leave you with this not December picture I found while going through my cell phone pics today. I have a December pic, but I haven’t uploaded it yet.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Yay! I am finished with another year of NaNoWriMo! But I actually liked this story, so I might try to finish it. Or, at the very least, get all the scenes in the right order!

But I am very tired, so I need to go to bed now. I have to take the 7:14 train every day this week - eek!

By the way, I noticed that this post is my 199th post! So, it is kind of like a special post in more ways than one.

And I apologize that everything is centered. I am too tired to try to fix it!

Good night, dear friends!