Thursday, January 10, 2008

1/12/08 Working on Christmas

I know I am super behind on my chronicles, I really need to catch up on everything. It is nice having so much to write about, but having it all at once is really hard to deal with. Here goes!

Christmas day in Japan. As I mentioned in earlier posts, Christmas in Japan is not especially important. Christianity has not been very successful around these parts. As a result, the last day of the school year was on Christmas day.

Although everything in my soul tells me that working on Christmas is just unthinkably wrong, I wanted Angelica to be able to see my daily routine and meet all the students and my coworkers. Also, I took some comfort in the fact that the real Santa lives at the White Oaks Mall in Springfield, IL, so due to the time difference it wasn't even really Christmas yet.

So I leave DisneySea early, lug all the heavy luggage to catch the train so that I can get back up for school early the next day, all so that Angelica can see one of my classes. And what happens? Of my three classes, one is cancelled because of an upcoming highschool entrance exam, and the teacher for the other two decided that she would take the day off. I had a bit of a panicky, angry moment upon learning the situation, but everything ended up ok. Angelica and I taught two classes by ourselves. We talked about life in Colombia and other related things, then had a little quiz game at the end. I think that the students enjoyed it. Plus English is Angelica's second language, so I tried to make that clear in order to motivate everyone. "You too can learn English! Hurray!" Sort of a cheesy "study hard and eat a balanced breakfast" sort of message, but whatever.

We left school early and I gave a guided tour of all of the interesting things on my daily bike commute. Angelica had to quickly remember how to ride a bike, lest she get hit by a car, child, or some other sort of inconvenience.

We rode past this senbei store, not far from school.

We did a bit of touring on the north side of the river. It was fun taking her places even that I had already been to a million times, because she often had a different perspective or found something I hadn't seen before. While wandering we stumbled across a really excellent little spot. It must not be very well known, as many of the Ashikaga natives I've asked have had no clue what I was talking about.

Here are a few highlight shots of the place. Seems to be a temple compound of some sort.

A pretty good sized bell housed under a very large and ornate roof.

Angelica also insisted that we go down some other little path that I hadn't found so interesting before. There was a smallish templely kind of structure with residential buildings towering over it on all sides. Aside from all the usual temple stuff, there was a statue of a big, red daemon looking character inside. There was an older Japanese couple there at one point as well, and the gentlemen took the liberty of trying to explain the creature to me. My Japanese is awful, but he said something like this daemon will rip out your tongue if you do bad things. The message was clear even if the details were not.

Inside the little hut was too dark to get a good picture, put there was a little card featuring my new friend on the outside wall. Scary.

Here's Angelica ringing the little daemon temple's bell. She thought I was stepping back to get a good shot, but really I was putting distance between myself and the red monster.

A must-see part of the tour was the local video arcade where everyone occasionally likes to play. She was super impressed with my claw game skills. She was so impressed that she STOLE my mario doll!! Deep breath, deep breath.

Here's the view opposite my apartment. The statue with the red shower cap is still keeping it real, while all the leaves have fallen from the lane of Ginko trees.

No comments:

Post a Comment