~insert cheesy scifi time travel effect here~

On the 17th I meant to post. This is what I would have said, if I’d gotten around to actually putting it onto the ‘net:

We just got done with finding out about housing, and cars, and the schools at which we’ll teach. I’m teaching at five schools – two junior highs, and three elementary schools. The people have assured me that I smile a lot, and the kids will really like me.

I was the only person wearing a dress today. (Nobody was wearing one yesterday either.) In general, most of the girls are wearing suits, or pants will collared tucked in shirts. I would feel underdressed for not having a collar, except that nobody has said anything like “oh, hey, you might step it up a notch.”

I am mildly irritated that they didn’t tell us in advance that sleeveless things at work are going to be flat out unacceptable. I mean, the guy at my interview was like “well, exposing your shoulders can be a bit iffy…” but he didn’t say “oh, hey, NEVER.” Apparently even some cap sleeve shirts are too short – but my cute little dresses should be just fine. (I think it’s if they can see your pits when you raise your arms, but I’m not totally sure.)

I’m done for the day, and I’m going to the shopping center, I think. Or back to the temple, if it’s light out for the next bus.

And on the 18th:

I bought a dictionary last night. Huzzah! I got what was basically the cheapest that had both Japanese-to-English and also English-to-Japanese. V. Important.

~insert cheesy scifi time travel effect here~

And now, back to Sunday.

I’m finally in my apartment, and wow, it’s small. I can’t shift my bed around like I’d sort of hoped, but that turns out to be a good thing: It’s lofted, on top of a storage space. Storage space is awesome.

The bathroom is tiny. The toilet is one itty bitty room of it’s own – there’s a sort-of-sink, which is really just the water that’s going into the tank being sent through a faucet for washing hands first. Good attempt at multipurposing, except that the water is, of course, freezing cold omg.

The shower/bath/sink is all one room. A tiny tub about three feet long, a faucet for hot and cold water that swivels so it belongs to BOTH the sink and the bath, and a nob on that faucet that switches it from sink/tub to shower handset. The shower is, actually, the floor of the bathroom area. The door is watertight. I hope. I wish there was, y’know, a medicine cabinet, but maybe I’ll just keep that stuff above the washing machine. (Still a place to put my shampoo would be nice. I’ll look at the wall material and see if something can be suctioncupped to it.)

I actually don’t have my luggage right now. I took an airplane to Toyama Prefecture, and the weight limit was 30 pounds per bag. But the hotel offered a luggage posting service – apparently, it’s very common in Japan to post your things to your new place, and it wasn’t that expensive. About $15 per bag, for next day service. (Well, for me it’s sort of two day service, but I think that’s because I got my bags down to the desk too late – they posted them Saturday, instead of Friday when I deposited them, so they’re coming today.)

Anyway, they should arrive today, but I don’t actually have a timeframe somehow. Or a phone, yet.

On Monday, I’m doing a lot of errands with the help of my Helpful Japanese Housewife Assistant. Yesterday, she drove me to a department store to get a futon (mattress, but really more like a big pillow) and toilet paper, and sheets, etc. The futon was really bulky (and sort of expensive, I’m very disappointed that my appt didn’t come with it’s own futon, but bringing your own, even to a furnished appt. is considered standard. I know you have to be diligent about airing it and beating it in summer to prevent mold growth – maybe people don’t want to trust the previous tenant to have been caring for the futon.) So on Monday she’s coming back and we’re going to get Alien Registration Cards, set up a Post Office bank account, and get a cell phone. I also purchased one pan and one pot yesterday for my intimidatingly tiny kitchen.

I should explain this. I have a fridge and a microwave, and a stovetop. There’s no oven. There’s NO counterspace. Non. Zilch. The stovetop (electric) is three inches from the sink. There are cupboards on either side. I .. am thrown. I’ll have to prepare on my dinner table, I guess.

Grocery shopping, by the way, is very hard. Imagine that the only store you have to go to is the Asian Import store. Okay? Now imagine that all the signs there are in Japanese. Now imagine that you don’t even know how to say “milk” – let alone “skim” “whole” and “2 percent.” Some of it is simple – and delicious – but I’m going to have to remember kanji for stuff I never learned in class, like “discount” (an excellent piece of information to know).

Everything’s still awesome, but unlike Tokyo, where I could hardly tell I was in a different country? In Imizu, I can definitely tell.

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