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Thread: First Impressions

  1. #21
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    Japan is great so far. I went shopping today with 2 very nice teachers from my school. One of them was haggling away at an appliance store which saved me about 100 USD. I bought an air conditioner, fridge, washing machine, and a futon and sheets/pillow. I spent a whole lotta money, but I was expecting it (no pred), so it wasn't too terrible. The stuff will be delivered tomorrow, so I'm going to school until the store calls my go-between, after which I'll head home to let them install everything. I don't think I have to go back to school after that for the day, so I'll just be hanging out.

    My apartment is cool. It looks old and kinda dingy on the outside, but inside is very clean, and everything looks new which rocks. Nice teachers at my school donated some plates, cutlery, a stove thing, and lights for my place. I <3 them already. I live like a 2 minute walk from a train station, and at the station there's a supermarket, and a bunch of other stores which is nice.

    I'm ready to explore this weekend. I need to buy a bike.

    Japan is treating me nice so far. Let's hope the honeymoon lasts.

  2. #22
    Member shusuime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    My BOE is apparently new and "really strict" so I have to sit in the office from 8:30 to 4:30 every day with nothing to do.
    that's really not "really strict" that's totally normal. maybe by your second summer you can get away with coming in late/taking long lunches/sneaking out later...but pretty much everyone i know (no, make that everyone i know) that came in my year had to go to school in august for regular hours. that's just how they do it.

  3. #23
    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    The new ALTs here in Kiryu are pretty lucky. They get toured around the area and taken to do all of their what-nots by two veteran ALTs for two days. Monday is the official first day of "working-at-school" for them, and my successor is lucky that I'll be there to show him the ropes for half the day on Monday. It woulda been nice to have my pred show me stuff at work when I first started, but things worked out well anyways. Also, our BoE is awesome, and I can't wait for our annual enkai tonight! w00p!

  4. #24
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    I got picked up by my go between, a nice guy in his late twenties. It was a bit awkward 2-3 hour drive where you could tell we were both reaching for conversation and then he took me to an onsen where we got ass naked together just a couple hours after meeting...

    then we went and got plowed at an izakaya over beer and sake amidst raw tuna, raw squid, liver yakitori, skin yakitori, some other raw fish called hinme, fried chicken, and pork.

    Then I stayed at his place which was a bit weird as well but not too bad aside from the fact he wasn't using the AC...I didn't get to shower in the morning at his place so my first day yesterday I had to wear the clothes I spent the previous day sweating balls in and by that time they were all wrinkled to shit so my first impression may not have been stellar, I also was not able to shave since my razor was packed away (my mistake).

    The town itself is tiny but everyone is super kind, and I get my hanko monday and then will be renting a car and getting my keitei. My pred left all of his shit which really sucks, because I specifically asked him not to leave anything but the TV and heaters.

    I did buy an air conditioner, but it won't be installed until Wednesday so until then I'm quite depressed lol. My place is too big for a 6 tatami AC unit to do anything but cool a 6 tatami room, so I will basically be living in the bedroom of my apartment year-round unless I have to cook.

    My washer is apparently broken so I need to find a coin laundry place.

    So far I'm undecided; right now it's really just the apartment that I don't like--school seems cool, town is meh--I mean it is bumfuck inaka so I dunno, but everyone is really nice...kinda want to hop it to osaka tonight lol

  5. #25
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    yeah so i just found out i have a couple little shits

    i was at the coke vending machine, and there was a group of boys at a nearby table. a little background--when i was younger i was riding in my friends car when we were T-boned by a drunk who ran a red light, and i had a fractured skull. resultant, i have a pretty gnarly 11 inch scar across the back of my head. i recently had laser treatment a couple weeks before japan to shrink it, and part of that treatment included cutting the scar open to fold it in on itself to reduce visible scar tissue, as well as sew it back together in a differnet manner that will allow hair to grow through the scar. anyway, it looks pretty recent because of the treatment and the short length of my hair and i have stitches in it that are starting to dissolve and fray.

    anyway i look in the vending machine glass and see some little shit's reflection pointing at me and then to the back of his head laughing as if to tell his buddies to look at me and also have a laugh.

    i called him on it.

    i turned around very serious and looked at him and asked if he was looking at my scar. he didnt really say anything until i pressed a touch by asking three times. finally admitted it so i told him about my accident and that there was nothing funny about it at all, especially since it was caused by a drunk.

    shut his ass up pretty quick.

  6. #26
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    I arrived on wed to a big thunder storm. It is a small inaka in the mountain. The roads are small and the the bugs are huge here. No welcome party or anything. Met the BOE and went to work the next day. There was nothing to do yesterday or today. No one speaks English and my Japanese isn`t good at all. So.....it is study time for me.

    Oh, I am going to get my internet next friday. So it shouldn`t take everyone a month to get it. It is also with YahooBB.

  7. #27
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    .
    Last edited by aj19; October 4th, 2010 at 01:43.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajoyce1985 View Post
    I would have told him I got it in a bar fight...
    Why?

    I have no shame in the fact it was from a car accident, and I have absolutely zero problem telling people who politely ask or are curious because it at least lets them know what it is instead of walking around wondering if I had a lobotomy. I think telling Japanese I got in a bar fight would make me lose a lot of face in the eyes of my coworkers.

  9. #29
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    Last edited by aj19; October 4th, 2010 at 01:47.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Rin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajoyce1985 View Post
    Cause he's a little shit, and you could have appeared tough, as in let's not mess with this guy, he'll kick our ass!!!
    Or, you know, it could appear to them that he LOST the bar fight, which is why his head was split open.

    I think he did the right thing. Schadenfreude is done by cowards who shut the fuck up and back the fuck off when confronted anyway.
    教育を要らない
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    3 years later - it aint culture shock. Japan's just got its priorities wrong here.

  11. #31
    Senior Member FuriousVitamin's Avatar
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    Was this at school or out in town?

  12. #32
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    Last edited by aj19; October 4th, 2010 at 01:47.

  13. #33
    Apathetic Wench AnruiUkimi's Avatar
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    I was picked up in Kyoto by one of the teachers, drove 3 hours in near silence to Mineyama, where I was introduced to the Principal and a few teachers, before picking up my big luggage and jaunting over to the other new ALT's apartment (which is like 10sec from mine) and dragging it all in. My apartment is still occupied for a week and a half, but I got to see it. Looks great.

    We went to Amino (I think) and watched a fireworks show, walked around for a bit, and staggered back. I got up early the next morning, went to the school, and sat around for 75% of the day. Everyone is really nice and laid back to a point, and hopefully everything else will work out. I will probably end up renting a car as well, as I am in a rather spreadout area. Lots of stores in town, as well as a foreign foods store, so I should be able to get decent amounts of things.

    School is hot, I live in the hottest area in Japan practically (according to some people) and they only have squat toilets. ;-;

    I went to a izakaya last night, ate snacks and watched everyone else drink. :P

    Everything is good for now, update on this front soon!
    "...There was Kirk going, “Scotty, we need warp factor 9 in five seconds, or we’re toast!” And he goes, “I can give you 30 miles an hour in a week, Captain, how about that?” ~Eddie Izzard

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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriousVitamin View Post
    Was this at school or out in town?
    school (high school)

    the scar really doesnt bother me since i know it will fade and i know if i absolutely hated it i could grow my hair out to cover it, i just dont like when people laugh about it behind my back without realizing how serious it is.

  15. #35
    Senior Member sine_qua_non's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnruiUkimi View Post
    School is hot, I live in the hottest area in Japan practically (according to some people) and they only have squat toilets. ;-;
    You mean just at the school or everywhere? I would imagine just at school... it'd be pretty weird to have an entire area in Kyoto without western toilets.

    Glad everything else is going well.
    "Dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions."

  16. #36
    Apathetic Wench AnruiUkimi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sine_qua_non View Post
    You mean just at the school or everywhere? I would imagine just at school... it'd be pretty weird to have an entire area in Kyoto without western toilets.

    Glad everything else is going well.
    At the school . The apartment toilet is very nice, and even has buttons.

    I'm now registered and bank-accounted, hopefully I can get my keitai this weekend.
    "...There was Kirk going, “Scotty, we need warp factor 9 in five seconds, or we’re toast!” And he goes, “I can give you 30 miles an hour in a week, Captain, how about that?” ~Eddie Izzard

    http://anruiukimi.livejournal.com

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by puma View Post
    yeah so i just found out i have a couple little shits

    i was at the coke vending machine, and there was a group of boys at a nearby table. a little background--when i was younger i was riding in my friends car when we were T-boned by a drunk who ran a red light, and i had a fractured skull. resultant, i have a pretty gnarly 11 inch scar across the back of my head. i recently had laser treatment a couple weeks before japan to shrink it, and part of that treatment included cutting the scar open to fold it in on itself to reduce visible scar tissue, as well as sew it back together in a differnet manner that will allow hair to grow through the scar. anyway, it looks pretty recent because of the treatment and the short length of my hair and i have stitches in it that are starting to dissolve and fray.

    anyway i look in the vending machine glass and see some little shit's reflection pointing at me and then to the back of his head laughing as if to tell his buddies to look at me and also have a laugh.

    i called him on it.

    i turned around very serious and looked at him and asked if he was looking at my scar. he didnt really say anything until i pressed a touch by asking three times. finally admitted it so i told him about my accident and that there was nothing funny about it at all, especially since it was caused by a drunk.

    shut his ass up pretty quick.
    hey i know obviously you dont want to feel like people are laughing at you, but a tip i'd say if it happened again i wouldnt get toooooo angry with the person in question.. in japan it's ok to point and stare at people's idiosyncracies - the old sticking out nail gets the hammer down thing. Just yesterday I went to a social event with some other ALTs and one of them is, shall we say, a large character... and i saw 3 different japanese people make fun of his tummy, patting and poking it... he just had to grin and bare it, often they dont mean harm or offence they just respond to things that make them curious in a way you might not be used to. if you get too lairy with people i understand they tend to lose respect for you...



    ..meanwhile responding to the OP.. im on the beach in Kochi, its amazing... my flat is HUGE, spare bedroom, massive living area, GARDEN!!!! ... spent two days at work now doing exactly NOTHING, tho i did go to a beer-can smashing contest on the beach yesterday with the staff (who said its backwards down here on Shikoku?) so far so good..... tho might start to get city envy in the months coming....

  18. #38
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    So far everything and everyone is amazing. I don't have a computer or the internet yet but the teacher next to me lets me use his whenever I like. My predecessor left everything spotless and they took me around to get food. My house...yes a double story house is amazing. It has an air conditioner downstairs and two fans upstairs. the furniture and cutlery and everything that was left to me is all in good condition and was free. my town is beautiful and lovely. And now that they have bought me a bicycle I can explore it fully. I cannot ask for much more. I am very lucky

  19. #39

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    I LOVE MY PLACEMENT!!! The city is wonderful, the teachers are wonderful, my go-between is the most amazing guy EVER, the other ALT at my school (here until Wednesday) is seriously Superman.

    It was about a 2 hour drive from Yashiro to Nishinomiya. The teacher who picked me up took me to the school to introduce me to everyone there then we got my suitcase and he took my to my apartment where I met the other ALT. They gave me some time to rest and shower and then the other ALT took me out to dinner and showed me around. Oh my gosh... I got a big mall, the stadium, 3 supermarkets, and... wow. All within walking distance. My only problem right now is that I have no a/c and I`m having troubles getting my bank account set-up. It`s so crazy hot here!

    My building is 12 floors tall and part of a giant complex. It looks so beautiful at night when it`s all colorful and lit up.

    I also have gotten to meet some of the students. The other ALT here knows EVERYONE. But he leaves Wednesday and then his replacement comes that same day... But the students are so wonderful. I already helped 3 boys with their speech and they`re so friendly and wanting to chat all the time. The band is practicing in every corner of the school. Like, I walk down the most random hall and see a girl playing the trumpet?

    So, there it is... my first impression is that I absolutely love it here.

  20. #40
    Senior Member FuriousVitamin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puma View Post
    school (high school)

    the scar really doesnt bother me since i know it will fade and i know if i absolutely hated it i could grow my hair out to cover it, i just dont like when people laugh about it behind my back without realizing how serious it is.
    Well, I can understand it pissing you off. I'd just be careful about getting off on the wrong foot with potential students. Sure, they were being little assholes and had a reprimand coming, but they're also kids. Just don't get a reputation as a teacher with no sense of humor.

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