Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Soneda-san gave me my first official Japanese class today! I'm very excited - previously I've just been learning hiragana and picking up phrases from my peers. I really appreciate Soneda-san's style: she teaches Japanese in Japanese. It keeps me on my toes.

I had coffee at a Starbucks near the Chiba train station today. I don't normally frequent Starbucks in the US, but today it reminded me a little of the Pacific Northwest. Except I don't remember Starbucks providing complimentary ashtrays in Seattle. And there's also a towering, hot pink Christmas tree covered with strobe lights.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

the glove compartment is inaccurately named

Monday is my day off. I have been sleeping intermittently.

For the second week in a row I will be the sole teacher of my American students in the Keiyo Christian School - the other teacher is currently in the States. This is an exciting challenge, but it's also very difficult keeping track of 5 kids in grades 6-11. My respect for school teachers has increased over the past month - I would never have thought that they do more homework than they assign! Good times...

As of today I can sort of read hiragana. Yay. Driving by a restaurant, I read the letters "ra...me...n." Click. Hey, it's a ramen shop! Now I just need to learn katakana and oh...2,000 or so kanji.

Monday, November 21, 2005

an excursion into udon

This simple udon noodle soup was my first home cooked meal in Japan. My culinary skills are pretty much nonexistent (cup noodles and cold cereal), but I've recently discovered that I enjoy cooking things and plan to take advantage of the exciting Japanese seafood and produce during my stay here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

fresh salmon and a shot of downtown chiba

I really need to buy some of this.

Vending machines are everywhere - shopping malls, small neighborhoods, even backcountry roads! They're filled with Coke, espresso, Pocari Sweat, green tea (hot and cold), beer, and cigarettes.

a neighborhood view

My neighborhood, although technically within Chiba city limits, has not been built up like the areas immediately surrounding it. Traditional Japanese houses still exist, although there are also more modern apartments like the ones behind this small farm. If I had taken the snapshot 45 degrees to the right, you would have seen a horizon peppered with highrises and billboards. I would have thought that such different lifestyles could not coexist; Japan surprises me every day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Hi Everybody,

This is my blog while I'm in Japan. As you can see, it's still under construction, and prolly will be for awhile. This is my first blog ever, and any web publishing skills I ever had have long atrophied - please be patient. I'll hopefully post some cool pics sometime soon.