I get lazy about updating this blog because it takes a long time to write a good post and choose what pictures I want to add, and resize them so they don’t take up lots of space.  But as of late there hasn’t been anything that needs pictures in particular, and I decided to be as brief as possible since I can tell (the Internet is Big Brother-ish like that) no one’s really reading this so why waste my time writing it? But if I write it no one can complain “you didn’t let us know what you were doing in Japan!”

So I’m a bit irritated.  Sitting in a chair all day will do that to you.  The reason for my unholy boredom is that kumi (homerooms) are dropping left and right due to the swine flu/H1N1/新型インフルエンザ as you may like to call it.  Once 8 students in a homeroom come down with it, the rest of the homeroom is sent home, presumably to prevent it from spreading. How that works given that the students who are sick are already staying at home, I don’t quite understand.  Certainly it makes a big impression when that many students are out, you worry about the kids who will fall behind, and one kumi has as many as 11 students out.  But given that each class has 40 students, when 10 are out that’s still 30 kids that could be in class.  And, given that this “New Type Influenza” (to translate its Japanese moniker) is no more dangerous than the regular flu, and these high school students being relatively healthy young people, they get over it in a two or three days and come back to school so to me it seems like too much fuss is being made.  Indeed, the kumi that have been sent home are only out for 3 days at a time.

Today there was supposed to be a tour of important Dazaifu historical sights for the 1st years, but since two kumi were out we didn’t go, and I guess a kid was diagnosed with it today because yet another kumi will be off for three days.  At least, we got to teach them before they were sent home.  But otherwise…I get to sit in my chair.  It doesn’t take so long to plan lessons, it’s hard to concentrate on studying Japanese while in the teachers’ room, in short, I get bored and read lots of random news on MSN and Mainichi Shinbun.

Stupid flu!

Anyway…to get this blog up to date, here’s some quick Random Life Stuff.

Last Sunday a friendly neighborhood older lady invited me to go to an art exhibit at the Fukuoka Prefectural Art Museum.  Some works from the Hara Museum were on loan, modern and contemporary works by Japanese, European, and American artists.  Then, we went to see the Seinan University Chanteurs’ annual concert at Fukuoka Symphony Hall.  They were pretty good.  It was mostly a cappella, but some songs did have piano accompaniment.  The last song kept saying ピエロ (“piero”, meaning “clown,” from the French word “pierrot”) over and over again.  I don’t think it was supposed to be Pagliacci, but maybe it was something like that.  I thought, “would anyone be able to take a musical composition seriously if it was in English, saying “Clown, clown, clown, clown, clowwwwwwnnn!”?

“Big Size Specialty Store” Twenty-five minutes away (by bike) from my house is an 大きいサイズ専門店, or “big size specialty store” called Zaza.  The first time I went, I was not impressed, but I was able to get two shirts.  More recently, the fall and winter collection came in, and it was much better than the summer fare.  I got one sweater and a pair of pants.  Considering I’m size 16 (in American women’s sizing) I’m glad I can find clothes in Japan, even if it’s not much.  There’s some funky things in style right now that don’t look right on me (or anyone else in my opinion, i.e. shirts so big they might as well be muumuus–no disrespect to Hawaiians).  Anyway, if anyone on Kyuushuu looking to buy “Western-size” clothing stumbles by, here’s a link to Zaza’s site that lists their locations: Click Me, I’m a Link!

Well, that’s pretty much it. I don’t think anyone would be particularly interested in the minor, random details of my life.  But in case you are, my internet bill for the month of October came to 5,103 yen (about 57 USD at this instant’s exchange rate). Happy?