The company that Shana and I signed up with picked us up in Shin-Shirakawa and bussed us up in to some beautiful mountains to a compound up in the mountains that sort of resembles a prison camp filled with children’s artwork.
The nature around the facility is beautiful. For the last two days it’s snowed lightly the wind has blowing really hard at night and rattling the windows. From a western perspective I miss the Hilton that Shana and I stayed at when we first arrived in Tokyo. I can say for sure that sleeping on a tatami with a thin futon is not quite the same as my bed at home.
Despite the relatively spartan surroundings of the Japanese nature facility the food here has been really good. I have also tried somethings that are well… they may take some getting used to. For example if you’ve never seen natto (skip forward to about the 2:30 mark to see what I’m getting at). It doesn’t taste bad but it is impossible to eat and begins to cover everything else on your plate. It sort of resembles the stuff in Alien that the aliens would use to stick humans to the wall infront of the face huggers. Also everything here is very formal. Shirt and Tie. Formal introductions with everyone you meet. Even passing someone in the hallway warrants a formal “konbanwa gozaimasu.” Everyone in Japan is apparently on Lombardi time. Seriously. If you are like 5 minutes early you are late. So sorry but you are late. Anyways, lucky for me my iPhone which is now an overpriced and elaborate watch here in Japan is set to Lombardi time.
The showers here are “Onsen” style. Look it up.
In the morning everyone gets together in the gymnasium to participate in an activity called, “radio taiso.” Which is a bit odd but it does get the blood flowing. Its kind of funny to see the old man who has been doing it for ages off to the side with the portable radio that plays the “music” and the instructions.
We now know for sure we will be working in a town called Iwanuma. We will be teaching junior high school kids and will be at separate junior highs. There are 4 in the town and I will be at two of them and Shana will be at the other two. More details to come on our address and stuff like that but for now that is the latest update from Andrew’s Culture Shock Weekly.