Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still alive

Konnichiwa, bitches! Well, it's been an interesting week for school lunches. Yesterday we had a historical lunch: a spartan offering a plain rice ball, seaweed salad, and a very salty cured fish, which was apparently a typical dish of the Meiji Era. Not sure I'd want it every day, but it was a nice change of pace. Then today the kujira (whale) surfaced once again. It's only wednesday; by friday we could be eating acorns or the concept of pity or something.

I know it's been almost a month since my last update. At first there just wasn't much going on to blog about (having said that, the bike ride was a resounding success; the highlight was seeing a graveyard full of monkeys). Then I got a bit busy with seminars and Thanksgiving dinners and the like, and then I got stressed out about having to give a ten minute speech in Japanese next week. Then for the last few days I have been in a truly weird mood, brought on by at least some of the following:
  • The aforementioned speech. It's been a while since I've had to just grit my teeth and spend hours toiling through a task that I really didn't want to do, such as attempting to write an interesting and engaging bit of oratory in a language at which my level is low-intermediate at best. It put me in a really foul mood. I started writing a blog post whilst in that mood, but luckily had the sense to 86 that one before letting it see the light of day.
  • I've had a cold, and the associated nasal blockage made it difficult for me to get a good night's sleep. Insomnia always seems to coincide with my episodes of gloomy soul-searching, but I'm not sure which is the cause and which is the effect.
  • Culture shock? I feel that at t=16 months, this rationalisation for my mood swings is wearing a bit thin.
  • The existential angst of being 28 and still not really knowing what you're doing with your life. I believe this is sometimes called a quarter-life crisis, in which case I'm either hitting it a bit late or I'm going to live to 112.

Or maybe I just had the blues. Anyway, I spent several days pondering the question of whether I have a certain mental disorder - can you guess which? - I think I've pretty much pulled out of this funk now, and while I'm not 100% convinced that I don't have it, I've decided that it doesn't really make any difference to anything so the point is moot.

So, this is really just a placeholder post to say that everything's cool and that normal, less emo, blog service will resume shortly. Although it might actually be a while, since between now and getting on the plane in a fortnight my schedule is looking pretty packed, what with the speech, my Japanese exam, three Santa Claus appearances, a kids Christmas party, and all the usual midweek drinking. Well, it is December after all!*

* This would be a joke in Japanese, albeit a lame and predictable one. The months are simply called 'one month', 'two month', etc. But they also have archaic traditional names that are a little more poetic, of which December's is shiwasu, meaning 'teachers running'. This is because at this time of year even the usually serene priests (who I guess were teachers of a sort in those days) run around taking care of all the end-of-year religious rites. I believe I have got in before anyone else by making this gag on Dec 1st. I'm the king!


  1. You were quiet for a long time, was searching BBC News for baths of sand. Why are you giving a ten minute speech in Japanese, aren't there Japanese people who could do that?

    Classic "December" joke.

  2. I guess they want to hear from a gaijin, but I'd say this is exactly the kind of thing that the 8% of JETs who are CIRs (Coordinators for International Relations) rather than ALTs, and speak Japanese as a requirement of the job, are there for.

  3. Yaaay! You're back!!

    And I still get culture shock or the blues YEARS on!!

    Mon :)