Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reggae, apartments and the fabulous life of an English teacher

Hello again! Well, I`m settling into life in Osaka. My job is pretty much in full swing now. I`ve been teaching most of the classes during my shift (and being observed by the head teacher, how nerve racking!). The kindergarten begins on Thursday. It`s so nice to have a schedule again, though it`s definately not one that I`m used to. I usually don`t get home until around 8 and Jeff doesn`t come in `til 10 or 11. So, I`m eating late, staying up late and waking up late. But, I guess that`s the life of an English teacher!
Speaking of English teachers, here`s a few awesome ones that we met who were visiting from Korea. Lena and Rodd (on the right) were fresh off the plane and looking lost, so I helped them find a hotel. We ended up meeting up the following night, along with their friends Aaron and Jennifer. Much beer was drank and karaoke sung and a fabulous time was had by all. We hope to relive the sequel in Seoul when Jeff and I make our visa run!
This is a pretty funny event we stumbled onto. A reggae party at the Osaka-jo Park, where you can find the famous Osaka Castle. Now, I know what you`re thinking. Japanese reggae?? Yeah, you read right. It was actually a pretty hip scene, complete with turban-clad rasta guys and chicken cooked in a big oil drum grill. Note the Buddha on top of the speakers. He`s got a beer beside him :) The DJ`s were surprisingly good too, playing classic Jamaican dancehall along with some new stuff, and shouting out things like "Chop! Chop!" and "Leggae Vi-bra-tions!" I never thought I would see so many Japanese butts shaking. What a trip!
Here`s a few shots of the new apartment. It`s nothing special, but it is comfortable. This is the front room, kitchen and front door. Hey, can we get a close-up of that clock?

Nice! This place is endlessly amusing. Most of the decorations and amenities were there when we arrived. Our landlady Mama-san is very generous. That`s her in the red. Can you believe she`s 89?? Incredible. The other woman is Sawa, her daughter, who speaks English. She`s just about the nicest person on earth. I`m peeking into the shower. We have a bathtub! Though, it is small but deep, like bathing in a big bucket. The other room is a living room/bedroom.

Like I said, nothing special. Jeff took one of the bureaus and rigged up a double bed.

Sawa painted the door. Lovely! So I know you`re thinking, why did you take this dump?! It`s tiny! Well, here`s the reason:

The veranda! Overlooking:

The most beauty place in Osaka! (as the ad proclaimed) And it`s true. This pond is huge and filled with wildlife like turtles and cranes. We can go fishing and watch people do tai-chi in the morning and it`s all right outside our door! You`re right, the close quarters will probably end up making us move at some point, but it`s not bad digs for the time being, eh?
Alright, thanks for reading this enormous post. Lots of love and take care of yourselves (and each other :) Love, Erin!