I Am King of the Winter Carnival!
Or at least I would be if I decided to hold a Winter Carnival in my apartment. Of all of the wonderful things the Japanese as a society have accomplished, they lack in one big but simple area, insulation and heating.
My tiny apartment is something of a heating anomaly. Basically, it doesn’t warm up very well. My little Beaver (not kidding) heating and air conditioning system isn’t cutting it and it is expensive to run. At night I turn my Beaver off and go to sleep amidst the blankets that I have managed to accumulate, speaking of which, I just bought another one a few minutes ago. In the morning, though I am pretty warm in my bed, I can see my breath in the room. It gets a tad chilly to say the least.
After I get out of my bed, I stand up on a hard wood floor, a cold hard wood floor. After standing up, I usually step over and into the bathroom….with cold plastic floors. Basically, I would kill for carpet and a fireplace. But I think I have found a solution to my problem. As I said, I just finished buying a blanket and along with it, I picked up a mat for in front of my sink in the kitchen area and a mat for the bathroom. I am especially fond of the bathroom mat, it’s got a cartoon whale on it and its blue. Childish, yes, but it was one of a couple that they had that would fit into my modestly sized lavatory.
After I get my first paycheck, I am planning on getting another rug to cover the area that will make my living room. I would like to also eventually get a bigger rug for the kitchen area and move the mat that I just bought to the entry way. I think the floor coverings will help to warm the place up a tad. I keep the curtains to the patio closed in an effort to keep the place a little warmer too, though I am not sure if this helps a lot.
Why is it so cold, you ask, well other than the fact it is winter, I have a ton of snow where I am living. The first day I was in Fukuchiyama it snowed pretty good. The following day was nice and sunny. The day after that though, it was a friggin’ blizzard and overnight I got about seven inches of snow. This made the following day very slushy, which kind of sucks when you have to walk everywhere. The next day was cold and it turned all of the slush to ice which, while not wet is not fun to walk on either. Yesterday afternoon, it warmed up a tad and the slush and ice went away and today looked okay as well as I walked to the train station. Unfortunately, I think this will all be short lived because we are supposed to get snow either tonight or tomorrow again.
In other news, I was able to successfully apply for my Alien Registration Card (ARC) and I got my temporary one. This is cool because it is the first step in getting my bank account set up. That is also cool because once the bank account is in place, I can get the internet and a cell phone. Things are coming along now, albeit slowly.
As for everything else, things are going well. Teaching is fun and extremely easy. The little kids are the most fun to teach and I like the people I work with. I think it is part of the hiring process that requires almost all of the Japanese teachers to be pretty hot in order to get a job. I do not mind this. I also don’t mind the train rides that I take because they give me time to listen to the iPod and read. I have a pretty laid back life at the moment.
I am sorry I haven’t posted a lot lately, please have patience. Posts will become more frequent soon. I may not have another post for a day or two however. The class I am in now, I am almost done here for the month and with the classroom goes my internet. I will try to get to an internet café though. I have been to another castle and have seen many other spiffy things I have to talk about. Oh, and to answer your question Jake, yes, the kids here are way different than schoolkids in the United States, I will talk more about that later. Anywho, I need to take off, my classes start soon and I need to prepare a tad. I will post more as soon as I am able.