Basically, I still love it. We're staying for at least another year, possibly more. Who knows?
I have really fallen in love with the countryside of this country. We've visited big cities (no Tokyo yet though) and I just can't get beyond how it feels like a whole different world in them. Where we are, it is not what I would consider "rural," having gown up in Wisconsin, but to the Japanese people, it is about as "inaka" as it gets. Like, people ask where we're from, and when we say a city in Kyushu, they go "huh. What's there in Kyushu?"
Really, it's so wonderful, though. In cities, you feel like isolated among all of the people around you. You are just in the way. Don't talk to me if you don't have something important to say. You don't speak great Japanese? You're wasting my time. Just use the English menu. We don't care, just get out of my way.
Down here it is the complete opposite. You get stopped by random people all the time who want to talk with whatever English they have learned. For example, a few days ago we were at the local pub (izakaya) eating dinner, and there is a group off to our left. We usually sit at the bar and chat with the owners, so we were surprised when this old guy from the group comes up. He must have been 80 at least. He says "hello, nice meet you. My name --- where from?" And we just started chatting with him in half English, half Japanese. We met his son, and his grandson, who one of our coworkers teaches in Kindergarten. And he says, as he's about to go back to his family, "thank you. I learn English from Television. You nice people. See you again." and shook our hands.
Stuff like that happens a lot. Like, a lot lot. And every time it's awesome. Every time we're reminded that we're outsiders in this country, but not in a "you're in my way" sort of way, in a "it was neat to meet someone different" sort of way.
It's really hard to describe, but I hope you get the point.
We joined the local gym, and need to start going more often. We know a ton of older ladies who go, and do water walking or stuff like that in the pool, or yoga classes. Even though I speak next to no Japanese beyond niceties, most people are still very gracious and do their best to communicate. It's kind of amazing.
On that note, lets see... updates on life. When a teacher decided to just up and leave in the middle of the night about eight months ago, I got a job with the company my husband works for. I work part time, teaching at an Elementary school three days a week. In a month or so, that changes, and I'll be teaching all five days at two different schools, but that's it thankfully. No other classes in the evening.
Because of this, we're looking for a house to rent. I want to live near the castle, in the old part of town. I want to have a yard, or at least more than a tiny apartment - around November we adopted two kittens from the litter my friend's cat had, a brother and sister terror. I think they're getting to big for our tiny apartment.
My husband kellin
is looking to get his Japanese driver's license soon so we can get a car. I miss being able to go drive up into the mountains - where we live it is notoriously flat. I love mountains, with no one to be seen for miles, or so it seems. A random temple scattered here, a small restaurant there. That sort of thing.
Anyways, I just really felt like rambling at you. I know I'm kinda AWOL here, and since I don't do much in the way of sewing as often as I'd like, I understand if you are annoyed by me and the lack of costuming.