Ramblings

Flu Battlezone

All who come near, be warned.

All who come near, be warned.

Every year in the states my friends, family, etc. get flu shots. Every year, I turn up my flu-resilient nose at them and refuse shots or even daily cautions. I’m a snob about growing up on orange juice and having the immune system of an alligator (google it). Typical Floridian, the flu isn’t a huge deal for us as we have warm weather and enough vitamin C to cure scurvy and have enough left over to make juice.

And then I experienced flu season in Japan.  Continue reading

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Ramblings

The Constant Coffee Conundrum

Ever since moving to Japan, I have this new problem. Coffee. You see, “conbini’s” (convenience stores) carry coffee. And when I say they carry coffee, I mean they have an overwhelming amount of options. You can choose between hot or cold, but that’s only the beginning. Coffee is also sold in vending machines all over Japan (and that’s something like 1 vending machine to every 5 people…. imagine it).

Then there are the flavors. Black coffee? No brainer. Milk? Got it. Sweetened/unsweetened? Take your pick. How about caramel? Want some coffee jelly in there? Cafe Latte? Light? Cappuccino? Almond? Honey? Banana? Cream? Hokkaido cream? Brazilian blend? I’ve got it, you want the “relaxed, evening” coffee. Wait, what does that even mean?! Continue reading

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Ramblings

6,000 Miles of Thanks

I woke up this morning in one frame of mind: today is Thanksgiving.

This is obvious for those in the states but from 6,000 miles away, I have to work at remembering it/ feeling it. So, in an effort to embody the true spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s my list of things I’m thankful for. I promise to throw a few sidewinders in.
Continue reading

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Around Koga

Japanese Fall Festivals

Between late September and mid-November, at schools all over Japan, Culture Festivals are held. Each school has their own spin on festivals, some doing bazaars, others (like mine) doing chorus contests.

At one school, the agenda was all singing, with a morning of competition (I’ll explain that in a minute) and the afternoon as an open mic sort of thing. Students put together dance routines, preformed as bands, or just did abstract performances. It was entertaining to say the least. The last number, was a band comprised entirely of teachers, with the head English teacher as singer. Naturally, he sang all 80’s rock music.  Continue reading

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Around Koga

Interactive Forum

The whole of Ibaraki has begun practicing for what is known as the Interactive Forum competition. It’s basically 3 minutes of English conversation between 2 or 3 Japanese students. Every day at lunch, and for one hour after school, we practice. I’ve been promised compensatory time-off, but I’ll let you know when that actually happens. So far, no luck. Continue reading

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