Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tidbit Blitz

Here are some random tidbits from the last week or so:

  • When pronounced "Joshi" my name means girl(s) in Japanese. Awesome. Turns out a lot of my kids have been calling me Ms. Girl or Girl Sensei. That explains why the Filipina woman I met with my same name (Jocelyn spelled the same way and was called Josie in the Phillipines) goes by Joi here in Japan.
  • I played in a teacher's volleyball tournament a couple weeks ago. We won second place which meant that our team's picture was printed in the paper. It was very competitive and fun to feel in my element for once. No, I wasn't the tallest person. There were a few guys who were my height or a centimeter or two taller. But yes, I had a definite height advantage for blocking and hitting. The principal and vice principal came to watch and I downed tons of sports drink called Pocari Sweat.
  • My co-workers continue to be masochists. In the last week I have turned down opportunities to attend the English speech contest Saturday 1:30-5:30pm (one of our students is participating), a teacher's drinking party after the school festival (and after 6 consecutive days of work) and an all day teacher's trip to Nagoya (this one would've cost me $155). Go home and see your families fellow teachers!
  • We were offered and turned down a FREE CAR. This happens in Japan. It even had 1.5 years of shakken left on it. Every 2 years you have to get your car inspected to make sure it's safe for the road, been properly maintained and hasn't been illegally modified. It can be very expensive. For instance, we have a friend who bought a car for $200 but when the shakken came up less than a year later she had to pay almost $1000. Also, the car needed a little work. See how it wasn't actually free but a pile of problems? We're determined to live in car free bliss and just be generous with gas/toll money when people give us rides. Between our feet, bikes, buses and trains, we should be all right.
  • The cicadas are in constant cacophony and there are tons of beautiful big dragonflies and moths flying around. I used to have this cell phone that only had nature sounds for ring tones. Well, it turns out that my ring tone began with the sound of this insect that I now often hear over here in Japan. It's really bizarre. I'll just be correcting papers with the windows open and then find myself half looking for my phone. I do kind of miss that phone.
  • We watched this interesting documentary this week called No Impact Man about a couple and their toddler who try to live no impact in NYC for a year. It made me realize how our lifestyle in Japan is kind of low impact by default. We always try to live simply, but here we don't have a car, air conditioning or a dryer, can't really buy clothes, cook our food from scratch, etc. Then again, other things are worse here. Japan packages their packaging. Apples may be in a plastic tray and then covered with plastic, for example. We do get a few yen off for bringing our own reusable bags at the grocery store but if you aren't quick at 7-11 they'll have your items in a plastic bag before you can get your wallet out. There aren't really farmers' markets although there are orchards in our town where you can just go to a stand and take some apples/peaches/etc and leave money in a box. Anyways, for as much as we're painstakingly recycling, not using paper towels, etc., our flights to Japan and to and from Bali just kind of blow our carbon footprint out of the water. Sigh.
  • Earlier this week we had one of those clear days when I can see Mt. Fuji from the 2nd floor classrooms of my school. But by the next day, dense fog rolled in and it rained on and off for a few days. People kept talking about the impending typhoon, but it fizzled out before it got to us. Not sure what a typhoon is either? It's a hurricane but in the Northwestern Pacific. We had the funny little realization that we knew what to do for a tornado but not in a typhoon. We're inland and surrounded by mountains so I don't expect we'll get many strong ones. Then again, when you look at a map of the Pacific, Japan's islands aren't exactly huge landmasses. Fingers crossed for an exciting but not too serious typhoon while we're here?!


  1. So does my name mean "girl" in Japan? This is no good.

  2. Yes, if you add the "ie" at the end.

    But, if they pronounce the J as a Y, your name would be "Yosh"(i-unprounced usually) (long o) which means, "All right!" or "Yay!"