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!


Blogger Kathy Bender said...

Oh my gosh! I loved it all! Japanese reggae, a special rigged up bed, a bucket bath, and Hello Kitty! You guys really have to write a book - complete with these pictures - just love it! Hugs and more love - Mom B:-)

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Papa Bender said...

I just love the blog concept! It is great to see what you are seeing and experiencing. But I do find the Japanese reggae party a little over the edge. The apartment looks teriffic. I think you found a great deal and a great landlord--not easy to do!! Keep the pic's and narratives coming, we are living vicariously and enjoying it all. Watch out in Korea--the serve DOG on a regular basis.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Erin Lawrence said...

thanks for the encouragement, mr. and mrs. b! we`ve definately been feeling the effects of all your good thoughts. i hope all is well on that side of the world! love, erin

7:04 PM  
Anonymous sion said...

looks like you guys are living the good life now. japan seems to be way more culturally intriguing than taiwan, but i too have stumbled on some strange hybrid reggae culture spilled over from jamaica via japan and its definately interesting.

the teacher's life is a good one for sure, i too dont get home till 10 daily and i eat late, stay up late and definately sleep late. but i love it, the job and the lifestyle. like today, i dont have class till 5pm so i went rock climbing and swimming this morning and now i'm chillin till i go to work...

when are we gonna meet up?
please give jen and jeff big hugs from me and tell them to give you big hugs from me. hugs all around!!!

love and peace,
your little friend sion in taiwan

2:43 PM  
Blogger Erin Lawrence said...


It`s so great to hear from you. I`m glad you`re loving the life. We should definately find time for a reunion. I think we`re doing Christmas in Thailand, but if you have any other breaks coming up, you should come up to Osaka! You would love it here. Plenty of hybridized American culture and also some sweet traditional stuff. Let me know what you think!

Lots of love,

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Happy Belated Birthday. I hope Had a good one.
Sorry none of use here have blogged you in a while. It's been really crazy here.
Carolyn's husband passed away suddenly in late August. She is still really upset. Hopefully she will be back in October.
Claudia, Sandy, Carlyn, Tracey & I are trying to hold down the fort.
But, I swear it's like a Greek Tradegy over here. Every friggin day something else goes wrong.
Needless to say, Carlyn is ready to jump ship, and I am not so far behind her.
Anyway, your apartment looks nice. Love the patio and the park.
Can wait to hear more of your adventures.
take care,

6:00 AM  
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12:03 AM  
Anonymous Shirley said...

Auntie Shirley
I honey. It's always a treat to see whats going on with you and Jeff. The apartment looks great as well as the view. I'm envious of your travels and experiences. As
a travel agent it's all I want to do, travel all of the time. It's like a jones! Gotta have it. Be well.
Love ya.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Mama said...

What a great apartment. It may be small, but it looks clean and light. Your view is fabulous. Love how busy and involved you are in Japanese life and always happy to see you guys smiling.Your landladies are dear. Keep up the blog. What a wonderful way to share your experiences. Hugs and Kisses

8:12 AM  

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