Journal Entry: August 11 and August 12, 2013

You wanna go to my town by bus? Well, there's 5 options for ya!

You wanna go to my town by bus? Well, there’s 5 options for ya! Only 3 if it’s a weekend.

2013年8月11・12日の日記

Two for the price of one! Get them while they’re a year old!

Background Info

Well, my journal entry from August 11th was so boring that I decided it would be a grave disservice to provide it alone. So here are two days in a row. Hope you enjoy.

JAPAN JOURNAL

8/11/2013

9:00 am – Two options for today:

  • I manage to get on the bus to Shiroishi and explore that town for a bit. Find where the train to Sendai is and how much I should expect to pay. Buy some manga, some conditioner, cue-tips…the essentials.
  • If the buses aren’t running today, then I spend today at home washing my clothes and bedding. If Yuuichi is free, maybe I can even get a car? We’ll see.

Anywho, those are my options. Right now I’m going to go finish getting dressed and go to the bus stop. They’ll hopefully have the schedule posted there. If not, I guess I wait? At the very least, there should be one at 1:30 or so.

Well, off to the bus stop.

11:15 am – I went by only to find that the next bus is indeed at 1:30. After coming back, I decided I’d go back to the bus around 12:30 and hope that the ramen shop is open. If it’s not, I guess I’ll head back home again? Well, at least walking is good for ya.

Anywho, that’s my plan. よし!

 

 

8/12/2013

12:25 pm – I find at times when I’m writing in my journal, my life is at its most inefficient point. Makes sense, of course, that when I’m writing down my thoughts I’m not actually doing anything of note. I haven’t often said while writing, “Now I’m writing, which is the highlight of my day.” I do like writing, but I’d rather be doing.

What I’m getting at is, I want to start work. I’m going to be paid in about a week for work I haven’t really done. Sure, I’m doing orientations and getting settled, and I’m in no place to complain about getting paid, but I want to be working more.

I texted Takuya先生 this morning to see if there was any work I could be doing. I don’t want to bother him on his off days, but if there is work I can be doing, that would be great. All over again, I feel like I’m in limbo. Well, at worst, it’s only for two more days. On Wednesday I have orientation in [Tomiya].

Just talked to Yuuichi on the phone. I didn’t understand half of what he was saying, but I think I got out that he would talk to me about the car situation next Monday. I fumbled around saying that while going to Shiroishi by bus was a good experience, if I wanted to go to Sendai, it would be much harder.

I dunno what my above train of thought was. I just came back from finishing my first batch of laundry. Anywho, [my grand predecessor] sent a message saying that leasing is the way to go. I think I’ll agree with that.

I feel a little better now that Takuya先生 texted back that he wasn’t doing anything in particular to prepare right now. Does that mean I’ll feel less guilty about walking around town? Maybe. I still feel like I should be working. A little direction in my life is good. On the other hand, the time I’m spending at home practicing Japanese is useful too. But a lot of it is reading practice. Maybe I should get onto the streets and talk to others. I just don’t want to be a hindrance to anyone.

Is this what a Hikikomori feels like? They want to get out and do stuff, but they don’t want to be a hindrance? Probably, I imagine. Just wish I had internet so I could talk to others online. Strange, right, being in Japan and not talking to locals? Anywho, I have laundry to do today. I think I will go back to that ramen place for dinner tonight. Hopefully get in some talking there. After all, anything after 5:00 and I’m definitely alright.

Thoughts

That first day feels more like a personal planner and less like a journal entry, but then, who am I to say what a real journal entry is like. In some ways, maybe it’s the most realistic interpretation of what a journal is–a cataloging of events. Get on a bus. Buy manga. Eat ramen. For someone not living in Japan, they are able to see how plain daily life is, so that’s a plus.

On the subject of bus schedules, the fact that the bus only comes 5 times a day greatly influenced my decision to get a car. There was no way to have a social life without one. Maybe it seems like a lot of money ($250-300 a month, about) just to have the ability to travel and meet with other English-speakers and transport others around… Actually, that’s not much money at all to maintain my mental health. To be honest, it was never a hard decision to get a car out here.

Imagining those days without the internet or a car is hard. My world feels so big now because of my car and my knowledge of the surrounding area. With the internet I can get English into my eyes and ears without a problem.

I’ve come a long way since those days when I thought myself a hindrance. I’m still cautious of wasting people’s time, but I’ve also met folk on the street who want to be talking. This town is made up of a lot of retirees, after all, whose only desire is a little movement in their life. I’m reminded of an old widow who lives next to my school who always asks me to come over. Or of the science teacher who’s about to retire.

A lot changes in a year. But the old people here don’t change too much.

Tomorrow, Miyagi orientation!

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