Thanks all, for your posts of “Hi”. I appreciate it a lot. I’m sorry I don’t talk to you guys as often as I did before. It’s something I just never do enough of. Out of all the things I miss about America, it’s being with you, all of my friends, of course.
This week was highly stressful for me. I had the guy from Honbu ( 本部 ) (the head office of our region) come over and train me for a few hours, and then he observed three of my lessons in the evening. He was kind of rough on me, although I understand that that’s his job. I’m kind of not used to being evaluated as sub-par for anything, so it does bother me some. I have definitely been showing some improvement, though, so I think I can work up to the level that they are looking for. Also, we’re in the middle of the Self-Study Campaign, which means we need to talk to a lot of students and figure out who is appropriate for these extra materials and sell it to them. I’ve never been much of a salesman, so I’m not doing too well with that, either.
So it’s finally getting a little better now. Here are some random observations:
Among the things that are really cheap here is white meat. I bought a whole boneless chicken breast for 79 yen the other night at the 99 yen store at 11pm. (As of right now, 1 dollar = 114.390 yen).
Also, barbers. I got a haircut today for 1700 yen. It lasted an hour, and he was meticulous in trimming every single follicle on the surface of my skin above my neck - that is no exaggeration.
Last night, Germany won an exciting match against Argentina in the World Cup thing. I expressed my displeasure at the whole shootout thing, but I must say I did enjoy the game. And I am German, so that’s my team now.
Yesterday, in one of my speech lessons, I did an example speech about how much I hate Walmart and other box stores, going into the labor issues, the blight upon the landscape, etc. I think most Japanese don’t understand the American disdain for this company. I think I explained it a little, although probably not completely. Here’s the thing, though: I love Daei, and really, it’s probably the same thing as Walmart. There’s one just a ten minute bike ride from my house, and it’s so damn convenient! I can get anything I want from groceries to CoolBiz Shirts until 10:00pm every night. I realize I am prejudiced towards anything if it’s Japanese, but the fact that I like this place really bothers me.
The long hot summer has started. During the daytime, going outside is basically just going into a sauna. So, the only time I spend outside during the day is the three-minute walk to the subway station. From the subway stop in Sakae ( 栄 ), where my school is, I can walk underground through the mall all the way to my building without having to go outside. My classroom is still pretty sultry, though, and the fan I have doesn’t really keep it cool. Basically I just go outside at night. And amazingly enough, I actually go out into this heat every darn night and go for a jog. Nighttime, not so bad.