Sunday, July 18, 1999: Wakayama: The Undiscovered City

This is Helen's last weekend here! Then on Tuesday, it's back to Canada. To commemorate this milestone weekend, we had lunch, then went for gelato, and hung out for a while before dinner. I'd not seen the gelato place before she pointed it out to me last week... it's amazing the things you don't know about your own city. I'm sure there'll be cool things about Wakayama that I won't know even by the time I leave here!

Monday, July 19, 1999: Closing Ceremony

Thank God it's Friday! Well, it's not exactly Friday, but it sure does feel like it. Last day today lasted only about an hour and a half. Last week, the principal told me that I'd have to make two speeches. One to the teachers during the morning meeting, and one to the assembled students and teachers in the auditorium during the closing ceremony. I'd been dreading this day for that reason only. The principal told me that for the morning meeting he wants me to say three ways in which Seiwa is better than the other schools in Wakayama! Can you believe that?? He told me to give the list to him and he'd say it to the assembled teachers in Japanese so they'd be sure to understand. Well, today I didn't hand him no list and didn't say anything about it, and neither did he, so maybe he figured out that it wasn't right of him to ask that of me. I was able to worm my way out of the second speech. Whew!!

For lunch some of the English teachers and I went out for okonomiake. During the feast, of course, I got the 10,000th compliment on how well I use chopsticks. Haha Whenever I put them in my hands, everyone is just so impressed, like they think we couldn't possibly have chopsticks in America. That and I've been here for a year already! We also made plans to all go to "Minato Matsuri", a festival held in Wakayama every year. A few games, food, and a huge fireworks display. Should be pretty cool.

In the evening I got together with some JETs for the last time. We had dinner then some watermelon! Ohhhhh...... it had been so long; more than a year. Fruits here are really expensive, but for the most part, they are even sweeter than they are in the States. Goodbyes suck, especially when you think you probably won't have the opportunity to see that person again. I'm not good at goodbyes.

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

Minato Matsuri was really cool, but it was soooo crowded. We had to park the car about a mile away from a decent viewing point, and walk most of the way in near pitch-black. Wish I'd brought a flashlight. But the fireworks were terrific. Many girls were wearing yukata, and some boys, too! Everyone keeps telling me I should buy a men's yukata, which I think I will before too long, while they're still "cheap". I heard they run for about $250 these days. Met Akiko's fiance, finally. Nice guy, but she says he's the most boring person in the world. He's got no hobbies at all. I asked him and he said, "watchingu TV". Oh man. But whatever floats your boat, right?

Wednesday, July,21, 1999

Bills, letters, etc. Overdue things. Fun fun fun!

Thursday, July 22, 9999: Moving at the Speed of Life

I've just figured out that with no job, no real responsibilities, and no one really depending on me, I'm just able to keep up with my life and the things I need to do. It's great! All my bills are paid (well, almost), letters have been written, my apartment is clean, and I'm studying the things I want to study again. It's been so long since I've been able to do that. Haha! I don't even feel like a bum. I wish it could always be like this.... ahhhhh.... But I think even I would get bored after a while.

Saw the X-Files movie on video tonight. Just came out on video last week or so. It made more sense this time around, too. I'm still itching for the sixth season of X-Files, though... they have all the episodes in the video store for seasons #1-5 and the three tapes for the sixth season, but they're always checked out.

Friday, July 23, 1999

Me and another ALT just hung out at my place most of the night, checking to see if they have everything on www.ebay.com (which, for the most part, they do!) It's a pretty amazing site. Just bid on another Egyptian papyrus and a set of about 70 comic books. Don't know where I'd put them or how I'd get them here, but I just want 'em! Probably I'll just have them shipped back home and sit in my folks' garage for another few years!

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