On the 14th, it was back to Osaka to see the musical again. Though this time I had to head first to the office for my second job for orientation. They told me they were paying me for it, which was a nice surprise and they also paid for part of my train fare.
I met up with a friend and said hello to another friend, then headed to the musical. This time our seats were in row 12 and not on the aisle, but they were still great seats and I still got to get my revenge against Atobe. He tried to make faces at me again during the last song so I did his pose back at him and he laughed. It was awesome :3
I also wrote to the guys in the Tenimyu Notebooks. I have no idea if they’ll actually read it, but I hope they do.
The next day, Madi, Jenn, and I went out shopping for yukatas(summer kimono) for the festival that was to be held that evening. Our town only really has the one thing going for us that other people want to participate in and that is the Hanabi Taikai (fireworks festival). It’s a very big deal in our town and people come from all over this part of Japan to go. We, of course, weren’t going to miss that.
We got all dressed up in our new yukata then headed out to the festival. It took forever to find parking then we had to walk a very long way, but it was fun. When we got there, we wandered around and waited for the fireworks to start. I had some fried squid and a cola flavored cup of shaved ice then we heard that the fireworks were cancelled. We figured, since there was some smoke in the air, that they had set off a couple fireworks then realized it was too windy, since there was a nice breeze going higher up.
I fulfilled a Japanese festival dream of mine and played the game where you try to catch fish with a piece of rice paper and won one fish. The lady proceeded to give me 4 more fish.
I took them home, none the wiser of what had actually happened at the festival.
On the 16th, we learned about the real reason the fireworks were cancelled. There had been an explosion. A gas tank exploded and injured over 60 people. About a week later, 2 of those people died from their injuries. As of the 9th of September, that’s all I know about. Though I did learn that my principal at my favorite school witnessed the whole thing.
Later that night, when Jenn, Madi, and I were driving around, we noticed something burning up on the hill. That day was a large festival in Kyoto that I had skipped out on going to because it was just going to be too expensive and tiring to go. It’s called the Daimonji Festival and on the hills of Kyoto they set fire to kanji (chinese characters) on the hill sides. Apparently, since we’re in Kyoto prefecture, we had our own tiny little daimonji. It was really neat, even though the fog made it look like a giant fiery UFO….
The fishies also got their tank that day, though it was pretty simple and boring for a bit…..
The next day the tank got a good makeover and I even found a new little buddy that lived in my apartment for a couple weeks…
On the 19th, I went out to karaoke with some of the teachers from my favorite school. First we stopped by an Italian restaurant, that I didn’t know our town had buried away, then we headed to my favorite karaoke place. Everyone walked in before me and were talking to the guy, but when I walked in he stopped and immediately was like “Ah! Good evening! You want your normal room? 2 hours like usual?” and I mentally face palmed. The rest of the teachers just stared at me like I’d grown another head….
It was a lot of fun though and after I got over the initial ‘I’m singing ridiculous songs in Japanese in front of people who can understand them,’ I had a blast.
On the 20th of August, my new job started. The first day didn’t go all that great, but I got advice from my bosses there on how to make it better and now it goes great. I really enjoy teaching that class now.
On the 21st, Jenn, Nami, Madi, and I, all piled into Madi’s car and drove to a town about 2 hours away, called Iwami. We, of course, went for ridiculously geeky reasons that I won’t write about on here right now. Perhaps another time. It’s a gorgeous place though and the water is very very warm. It was my first time seeing the Sea of Japan and my first time swimming in an ocean since about….2007, I believe…
Oh wait, that’s not the right picture….
Hm…the proper picture wont upload…oh well!
Somewhere along the way, my fish got sick. They got white spot disease and within a week, 4 were dead….
I now just have the one little fishy. His name is Makoto. He’s a different type of fish than the others were so he ended up being immune to the disease. Once I find one that is in good health and about his size, he’ll be getting a friend of the same type as him.
On the 26th, regular work started up again and I started having to try and figure out visa paperwork that my company had given me the wrong information on. It was a bit of a mess, but at least I was just sitting in the Board of Education doing nothing. There was no problem with me sneaking out to go get my passport back from immigration…even though it took 3 hours….
For those that kept asking, basically what was wrong with my visa was that it ONLY covers teaching in public schools. Teaching anywhere else requires a different visa, so I had to get permission from the government to do something outside of my visa.
Our immigration building is really creepy right now…
The next week, the first typhoon of the season rolled in. Typhoon Toraji (#17). It wasn’t too bad for us, but it did have bad timing. It came in on the same day Rachel was supposed to get here. It stopped almost all the trains, but she managed to make it somehow.
This is your normal view (above)…this is your view on typhoon(below)….
We also lost a tree at one of my schools….
The day before that, I got sent home from work at 9am after getting to work at 8am….Still got paid though, so it was a pretty good day of work in my book!
After Rachel arrived, we went to rent Iron Man 3 then hid in my apartment to wait out the storm.
It was my first day actually teaching elementary school classes again and somehow I also ended up making Taiko drum tops and stands for the kids with two of the other teachers. It took a couple hours since they decided that power tools were a bit too useful and we had to do it all with old old hand tools that kept falling apart. I was really lucky to have my first day back be at my favorite school.
On the 14th, Madi, Rachel, and I piled into the car and headed out to Iwami again so Rachel could see it. The next day, tyhpoon number two started to roll in. This typhoon, Man-yi (#18) hit the night of the 15th and was far worse than Toraji. It raised the rivers up over 16 ft (5 meters) and flooded thousands of houses. There were evacuations and a lot of Kyoto prefecture got hit pretty hard. The last count I saw was 8,700 houses flood and/or destroyed.
Fukuchiyama has been having a pretty hard time of it lately, but like I said, we’re a strong town. Everyone helps out and picks eachother up then keeps on trucking. I really do like it here.
On the 16th, after the storm had pretty much passed, Rachel and I piled into the car, since the trains weren’t running and started toward Osaka. We saw a lot of the damage along the way and the aftermath of the storm in the rivers. They flowed fast, high, and muddy. It was pretty intimidating.
I also learned that day that I never want to drive in Osaka again. Just thinking about it makes me stressed out, so I think I’m just going to leave it at that.
We went to go see one of my favorite bands, a small indie rock band called KING. They’re ridiculous and come from Osaka originally. They’re really great guys and this was their 10th anniversary one man (meaning they were the only ones performing) concert. Their furitsuke (specific motions that the audience does during a show) for them is always very complicated and now, 3 days later, I’m still very very sore. It’s better than a gym.
The next day, I dropped Rachel off at a station so she could head to the airport and headed home. After a very frustrating, 4 hour drive, I got back.
I had one day to myself and work and then yesterday, Dad arrived!
Though, unfortunately, yesterday was not all good. On my way home, my car decided to die….It won’t idle anymore and we believe it probably isn’t something minor….
The car people are coming to pick it up today and then hopefully, I’ll know soon what the damage is. I’ll be in a world of hurt if it’s something major or if the car is dead….
For now, I am trying to stay positive. Madi was an angel and gave me a ride to work today and is letting me borrow the car after work since I’m taking Dad out to introduce him to my favorite school. I hope I don’t have to impose long….crossing my fingers and hoping it’s something tiny and cheap…
I promise I won’t take a mont to write the next entry this time! Thank you for your patience 🙂