Wednesday, July 14, 2010

雨!  ame! rain!

this was the flight of stairs that i had to climb this morning on my way to work.  no, it is not a pretty waterfall that is nearby, it is stairs. 

i woke up this morning (for the second time) at about 5am to the wonderful sounds of rain (HARD rain) intermixed with thundering booms and flashes of lightning.  it was fantastic as i have missed the good old midwest storms with these elements since i have been living in the NW.  naru has given me one of the best storms of my life today.  thunder has sounded for most of the day and it has rained more here in the last 12 hours than i have ever seen it rain in my life.  the streets this morning were like rivers, and as you can see from this keitai snap shot, water was flowing everywhere.  i rather liked it, but the islanders didnt so much and started elementary/jr high an hour late due to the excessive downpour. 

fingers crossed that it does not interfere with my travels back to the states that start tomorrow.  look out america, here i come!!

you see that?  that is 650 yen for a small bunch of purple grapes.  yes that is about six american dollars for what you are probably used to getting for about a dollar or two at the most.  prices of fruit here are incredibly high and totally insane.  it didnt stop me from buying a peach for four dollars a week ago though.  sometimes i just have to indulge myself a bit...


i keep barely missing these little guys while i am riding my bike around the island.  they can move pretty quickly, but still, it just isnt something that i am used to looking for on the road.
watch out for these guys!

Monday, July 12, 2010

there are just some things i will never understand about this place

have to have a two second rant about this today:

why is it that when the women i work with use the bathrooms here they dont lock the doors?  grant it, there are two doors in the bathrooms; one you close behind you and lock (at least I do) when you enter the stall and this is where the sink is for washing, and then another one you close behind you and lock (again assuming other people do, but not sure) while you actually USE the bathroom.  i have walked in on every woman i work with washing her hands in the first part of the bathroom and they always look mortified that i have walked in on them.  HELLOOOOOO!!!, just lock the door and i will know you are in there using the facilities!  problem solved and you will save us both a bit of embarassment!  me on the other hand, i lock that door so when they go to try it they know im in there and no one is embarassed.  what is the deal with that...?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

okaerinasi me...雨 お帰りなさい (rainy season)

though i have lived through my share of rain now that i call myself a portlander i have yet to live through a rainy season in japan, though i am now offically working on it. 

season offically kicked off about two weeks ago, but by the count here in nagasaki ken it was about two or three weeks late.  we have had our share of downpours and drizzles and even got a real thunderstorm with lightning and HUGE claps of thunder a few days ago.  (said thunder was some of the loudest i have ever heard, and i reacted with a small chirp and a leap from my desk, but so did many other people in the staff room so all good there.)  but really, the rain has been consistenly...wet. 

i have never expereinced the dampness that i am now in naru.  everything drips with saturation and condensation.  the staff fridge is sweating from the freezer unit on top and the leather straps of accessories are growing mold like petri dishes.  i even noticed that my trusty backpack (the one i use everyday to and from school and such) is growing mold now on the straps and bottom side.  my birkenstock sandals (my indoor shoes at school) stink to high heaven and now i am lost for how to get the smell out.  how is all of this even possible?  so with rainy season i am finding it is also deep cleaning season and running-a-fan-24-hours-a-day season. 

today is for some reason or another the magical day when they start running the air conditioner in the staffroom.  (it is the only room in the school air conditioned).  it has been hot and humid here since the rain started, (really, really humid) and the days at school have been the kind where you just kind of sit in your own stank and wait for work to end and daydream about the cold shower to come.  it is only sort of akward for me as i sweat about 1000 times more than anyone in this whole school and im pretty sure that i stink about the same.  (WHY dont japanese people sweat like this??????  i swear they are always cold and literally it took less than five minutes before the ladies in the staffroom put on sweaters when the AC was turned on.)  the nurse (who i guess is okay with bodily contact, or more so than most other people, which i guess is also a good thing considering she IS the nurse) touched me a few weeks ago in the midst of this heat and told me in japanese that i felt like a heater.  i had not been doing anything strenuous and was also not running a fever.  i just had to tell her like i tell everyone when they ask me if im cold, and they ALWAYS ask me if im cold, "im a hot blooded american" and pat my beefy arms.  they smile at this, but i dont think that they really understand that i am not cold.

so now here i sit in my nicely air conditioned office room writing to all of you lovlies.  i was reminded by a dear friend this morning that this weekend is the one where people blow things up for a reason back home.  happy independence day to all of you.  may you all enjoy the blessings of summertime in america with friends and family close by to encourage smiles and laughter. 

i will be home cleaning and enjoying the good bit of rain that is falling on this parade.  as an old friend once reminded me, "it cant rain all the time Sunshine!"

i will be seeing many of you soon.  buckets of love from me to you.