Oh my god, i am so exhausted and frazzled right now. Today I arrived and it has been really difficult and busy. I need to wake up too soon to write about it now. Being late in Japan to my first day at work would be the worst possible thing to do. For now I will just paste the email i sent off to loved ones tonight. maybe tomorrow i will replace this with a more blog-worthy edit. Here goes:
It's 10:30. I arrived in Fukuoka today and split up with my group. met up with Takakura-sensei at the airport and she took me to my town, Amagi. She and the other teacher who accompanied her took me out to lunch at a chinese restaurant, but they had both eaten, so THEY just watched me eat, and then bought it. awkward.
They then took me to the high school where i found my desk, was introduced to teachers and the vice principal, and had to deliver a speech in Japanese that i had only looked over for the first time in the car. I said "good morning" very loudly despite it being 3 in the afternoon... because that's how it was written. everyone laughed and it was insanely emberassing because none of it came out understandably, but i laughed it off and everyone applauded at the end of my 5 sentences. ahhhh. Out of everyone ive met, including my supervisor and several other english teachers, only the vice principal has spoken to me in english i can understand. i REALLY need to get my Japanese up to speed if i'm going to succeed here.
They then took me to my apartment. someone turned on the gas, we plugged in the fridge, and discovered that the microwave and tv dont work. I was forbidden from using the bath-water heater which uses a fire-furnace. The technician said that he never tells foreigners because we might start a fire. I accidentally sprayed water on him. lots of apologies all day. I have a full bed, but no sheets yet. A girl lived here before me and there are lots of appliances and papers and books i need to throw away, but doing so can be incredible expensive and complicated here.
Tomorrow i need to be at school at 8:30, so i am packing up some gifts for the other staff and vice principal, and my textbooks, and my indoors shoes and then im going to sleep. It is very interesting here. lots of messing up so far. lots of apologizing. lots of awkwardness. Just trying to laugh it all off and come across with a really great attitude. It's hard and i'm kinda starting to get stressed out, but i will overcome!!!
Takakura sensei said i could expect Roman, my predecessor and future prefectural advisor, to come to my place around 5 and take me out to dinner with a couple other ALTs who are leaving this year. When 7 rolled around, i was starting to think i had somehow missed him or he wasnt coming. A ring at my door. another teacher from the high school who lives in my building just saying hi very nicely.
around 8 Roman showed up. and we all went out to dinner. it was such a relief to here from other people i can actually communicate with and ask them lots and lots of questions about living here. So much good advice. they were so friendly, but they all leave this week. Roman mentioned that if it's too overwhelming being the only foreigner here in Amagi, that it has already been cleared with the board of education for me to move up where he's going to be closer to the city, where there are a bunch of other ALTs. It would mean a 30-40 minute commute to work every day, but i have to admit it's appealing, even just because it's on the rail system and it would mean not having to take 2 hours to get into the capital city. and being only 20 minutes away from it. It might be a nicer balance but i want to give country life a try for a few months, if i can.
I'm sitting on the cracked linoleum floor of my kitchen, feeling a little overwhelmed, but very excited about all of this and SO happy to finally be here.