Friday, July 07, 2006

A Year In Summary

It's coming home.
It's coming home.
It's coming
Richard's coming home!

That's right. I'll be back for a holiday from the 6th August to the 17th.

Since I haven't seen you in over a year, here's a summary of my life in Japan on JET. Should help put things in perspective.

August: Arrive in Toyama, Japan. Where's that? That's what we all thought. It doesn't matter anyway. Why? Because the only Japanese City you've ever heard of is Tokyo, and you don't know where that is either. So on with life on the outskirts of a medium sized coastal and yet mountainous area of this beautiful land. Time to throw myself into work. Except it's the school holidays. So no work. It's Incredibly hot and humid all day every day. On with drinking and parties every weekend. Let's start learning Japanese! Decide to climb Mount Fuji. At 4am it's the coldest damn place on earth but oh so beautiful. Do it again? Never.

September: School term starts - This is a Technical/Mechanical/Engineering high school. 400 students. 90% are boys. 90% will not go to university. Teach classes of 40 pupils who don't care about English and will never visit an English speaking country. Still, at least they think I'm cool. At school see a bear through a window while taking a pee. Raise the school bear alarm. Bear turns into large, fat Japanese deer on closer inspection. Bear alarm stopped. I am Shamed. Discover Windy, a gym, nay, a "wellness resort" where I learn the joy of public naked bathing. Will spend most of the winter here. View from my house is sweet. Still too hot though.

October: Visit several tourist attractions and historically important places in Kyoto and Tokyo, while drunk or hungover. Settle in to teaching kids who don't care. Make a fantastic Britney Spears at the Halloween Fancy Dress Ball. Weather cools to perfection.

November: Students don't understand English. I don't understand Japanese. Big sister visits Tokyo and is impressed when I simply repeat the Japanese any locals say to me, without understanding it. Awesome night of Karaoke, hostess bars, clubs and strip joints with Liz (for a bit) and James. Visit Tokyo Motor Show, amazing. Getting chilly.

December: Visit a robot show and see the real ED-209, complete with guns and rocket launcher (currently firing only tennis balls). Visit Thailand for 14 days over Christmas and New Year with a person called Spencer I met on a plane. Learn scuba diving. Great holiday, nice waterfalls. Starts snowing in Japan. 16 feet of snow will fall in an afternoon. And then melt. Commuting 5 minutes to work becomes tiresome. It's cold outside.

January: Discover my house is has three different ski slopes within 1hr drive. Learn Snowboarding. Go as much and as often as possible. After school and every weekend, followed religiously by naked group bathing. Spend my birthday at the location of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano with 20 JETs. Great conditions. Injure myself slightly snowboarding hungover. Stop drinking every weekend. It's really cold now.

February: Over-enthusiastically represent the Isle of Man and an International Jet Festival, making a fool of my self. Win 3rd prize in a JET photo competition for my waterfall (above). Really really friggin cold. Coldest month of the year. Snowing constantly. Most snow in Toyama for 60years. Sleeping fully clothed but still snowboarding every weekend. This is the month you have to decide to recontract for one more year in Japan. I shall stay.

March: Still cold. Perfect the 180 degree jump while snowboarding. Get cocky. Injure my shoulder. Stop snowboarding for the year. Perfect 180 degree spin in my car while crashing on invisible ice. Stop driving so fast. Visit the Japanese tropical islands of Okinawa. More scuba diving plus snake zoo fun.

April: Warms up enough to sit out side. Good, because now it's all about "Hanami", watching the cherry blossom. All Japanese people all go crazy and get drunk in parks under cherry blossom trees. To be fair, it is quite pretty. Some students graduate, the school year cycle is different here. Some teachers leave too.

May: Visit UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in Nara (4th UNESCO site visited since being here) and see one of the Japanese Emperor's son by chance. New students and teachers arrive at my school, who are better than the last ones. All is fresh and new and warm in the world. Life is good. Bring on another year in Osawano, Toyama City, JAPAN!

June: School sports day and beach party. See entries below.

July: That's now. I still can't speak Japanese and it's too hot and muggy. Term has nearly finished. After next week I will have no lessons to teach. However I must continue to sit at this desk at school for 7 hours a day with no work to do for 8 weeks. It's a good thing I'm coming back though, 8 weeks at this temperature does strange, Japanese, things to a man.


Anonymous Jake said...

Don't get that many comments do you? Have you actually told anyone about this blog?

8:14 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Na I don't. But to be fair, it's been a pretty boring blog so far, if your not my mum.

I'll try harder, but like I say, I'm no brad.

12:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


lets get it on

get brownsdon

damn straight

8:51 pm  
Blogger Winesoaked Buddha said...

I can't even think past whatever day it was 2 days ago. Not drinking has a good effect on the old thinker doesn't it?

3:29 am  

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