Monday - 24 Mar 2003
Day 70 (Monday)
Day 70 (Monday)
Stardate: Monday, Day 70
Diagnosis: The Japanese Plague
Prognosis: Will surely die.
Still sick. This morning I was just as bad as yesterday, however I decided that I wasn.t going to take this crap any longer. I hopped on my bike and said I was going out for some exercise. I promplty bicycled to a little medicine store and bought some vitamin C. I.m totally against taking pills that you can.t read, so I made pretty sure of what I was taking. It wasn.t hard to read. I was so happy that I.d found vitamins that I promptly started downing them. I went on a little bike-ride because the sun was shining (for once) and the sun helps your body make vitamins. Yea. So I felt so good after taking my pills. My the time I went to bed my ears had stopped pounding.
On the down side of the day. My host mother made sukiyaki because she knows it.s one of my favorites, but I couldn.t eat very much. I have no appetite. She also made wonton soup from scratch. The woman can COOK.
Day 71 (Tuesday)
Day 71 (Tuesday)
Stardate: Tuesday, Day 71
Diagnosis: The Japanese Plague
Prognosis: Probably gonna die. Can.t tell at this stage.
I.m feeling a whole lot better. Oh how I love my vitamins. I.ve kept them a secret because my family thinks vitamins are silly. Right. You just go on taking your medicines for your allergies which you shouldn.t have. I.ll just continue on with my vitamins.
This morning I was woken up by a cow. This fact kept me very angry for a large part of the day. Around 8:30am, a 5-year old, dressed as a cow, opened my door and started mooing at me. I promptly said "You know, I.m sleeping here" and the cow giggled and ran off. So very annoying. I can handle the room invasion when she knocks and then promptly enters. It doesn.t bother me THAT much. But, when I.m sleeping and she doesn.t even knock? Oh, feel my wrath.
I was in a funk for a while and then I just got up.
We went to the library today and I got a library card. Now I can read English books, too! Yea! Maybe I.ll be able to speak real English again. So, my library also has a tatami (woven mat) room where you can take off your shoes and read. Cool. Really cool. There are also lots of other places to take off your shoes. I don.t understand why they would expect you to take them of in a public place, but apparently it.s the thing to do.
Today, for just a moment, I want able to smell. Shhh...don.t tell. I don.t want to jinx it.
Day 72 (Wednesday)
Day 72 Wednesday
Stardate: Wednesday, Day 72
Diagnosis: The Japanese Plague
Prognosis: Might Recover. Have Run Out Of Kleenexes.
Today I went to school to meet with Nagomi, my conversation partner. Afterwards I ended up in the lab. Surprise, surprise.
On the way to school, I had just emerged from teh sidewalk when I little old Japanese lady "Sumimasen"ed me (siad "excuse me!"). Then she noticed that I wasn.t Japanese and apologized again. However, she continued to ask her question. She needed to know where a certain hospital was and I actually knew. I was so relieved. It was on the way to school, so I pointed it out and she did the cute, polite little thank thing. I felt so competent. I am not, however, going to kid myself into thinking that I really am competent. I was lucky that I recognized the word for hospital, nothing more. But still, it felt good.
Day 73 (Thursday)
So, how am I feeling, you ask? Not so bad. Still a little mucus-y, but I think I.ll live. I just keep popping the vitamin C pills.
Today I went with host mother and host siblings to the Sato.s house. They live in the apartment building my host family used to live in. Mrs. Sato came to pick up the kids first so h-mom could finish doing some cleaning.
Let me explain about the Japanese "genkan." It.s basically just a little entry spot (foyer) by the door where you get out of your dirty shoes--and trust me, if you.ve been walking in Japan your shoes are definately dirty--and step up into the house and into your slippers. You.re not supposed to stand in your socks in the genkan. It.s dirty. Well, to open the door for Mrs. Sato I accidentally stepped on the floor. Boy, was I ever scolded.
Mrs. Sato let me play on her husband.s computer and we all had lunch when h-mom got there (by the way, host mom.s name is Mayumi. it.s a lot easier to use that than to keep saying host mother. i.ll try to remind you). So, Mrs. Sato (Yoko), Mayumi, and I chilled for a while. Just chatting. The kids kept running through.
Yoko.s bathroom is so cool. The has a hand-washing sink built into the lid. As soon as you flush, water automatically starts pouring from the faucet. It stops automatically, too. Japanese-style bathrooms don.t usually have sinks in the same room, so I think this is very cool.
All in all, a good day.
Day 74 (Friday)
I met my Japanese class at the zoo for flower viewing ("hanami") this morning. The sensei.s were there, too. It was a lot of fun and I got to see my sensei.s wedding pictures from last Saturday. She was so pretty! She got married Western-setyle in a church.
The class went off in little groups, but we all came together for lunch. On the way back to the station we played a game of Tag. It was great. The weather was very cooperative and the flowers were nice. Apparently, cherry blossoms open more in the afternoon than in the morning. Supposedly this happens because they like the warmth of the afternoon. How cute.
Before lunch I dragged my friends to the playground inside the zoo and we started playing on the slide. While I was pretending to ride a lion sculpture I met a really cute boy. We hung out for a little while and he had an adorable grin. When the time came, he even said good bye in English. Too bad he was only 6.
Day 74 -- Cont.d: Trouble in Paradise
When I got back from the zoo, there were little children running all over the house. Mayumi invited me to tea with her friend (I had met her before. Very friendly. She even brought me stuff to mke my curry spicy. Nice). I went to my room to drop off my bag and that.s when I got really irritated.
My door was hanging open. Hmmm, I thought. The 3 foot tall bunny that is usually in the corner of the hallway was wedged between my bed and the wall. There were drawing paper and crayons on the floor in front of the door. Worse, there was a big razor blade lying on my floor. I was very, VERY not happy. I decided to tell Mayumi after her friend left because I didn.t want to embarrass her. We had a lovely tea. I didn.t have a chance to talk to Mayumi until a few hours later. In the meantime, I decided to clean my room (around the evidence). I had just about stopped being angry when I looked under my bed whole sweeping.
Under my bed was a treasure trove of toys. All belonging to my host-sister. I have the only bed in the house that you can climb under, so I guess she and her little friend thought it would be cool to stuff as much stuff under it as is humanly possible. I was not amused. I had to choke back the curses. Even I need a little privacy.
I went and told Mayumi and she was ticked off. She marched the little girl up to my room and berated her as she pulled all of the stuff out from under my bed. I had no sympathy. Then the host mother told me that when the child irritates me I should scold her and swat her little butt if she.s really bothering me. Well, it.s nice to have my privacy back. I feel no malice. We were friends again an hour later.
Day 75 (Saturday)
I don.t really remember what I did today. Give me time. It.ll come to me.
Day 75 (Sunday)
I had 3 friends over to my house today. I think my host family doubted the existence of my friends because I.m often content just to go places with them. I make plans, of course, but they just don.t always know about them. My 10 o'clock curfew thwarts most of the good ones...you know, the ones that could get me into trouble.
My host dad and I picked up the girls and the train station. I got to do introductions in Japanese and it was so cute when everyone bowed. The girls brought a cake. That.s good. Never go anywhere in Japan without a present.
When we got to my house we did introductions again and then hung out in my room. Then we came downstairs for home-made pizza, fried chicken and salad. Mind you, we were still in Japan so the pizza had rice balls and whole mushrooms, but it was good. The salad had tentacles in it. We even had takoyaki (fried tako balls). It turns out that my host family had thought that my guests would all be small like me (I.m short enough to legally me called a dwarf). My friends are gargantuan, so host dad went out to buy takoyaki because he was afraid we wouldn.t have enough food. We were fine.
Host brother was shy at first, but host sister was all over everyone. We played games with the kids and then watched Legally Blond. Half-way through we paused the movie to make S'mores. We had no burner or sticks so re rosted them on bamboo skewers over a firestarter. It was so much fun and host mom took pictures. She tried a s'more and liked it. The kids had them, too, but they had more fun lighting the marshmallows on fire.
We played with the kids some more, had cookies, chocolates, tea, and more snacks. Then everyone went home. Good day. My host family was so happy to be doing something for me, they said. They wouldn.t even let me chip in for food. Afterwards they told me that they had been surprised by how loud we were. hee hee hee.