Also, sans dragons.

I apologize to everyone who thought Bilbo Baggins had started blogging.

Anyway, I went to the States, and I’m back in Japan again.  Have been for…almost two weeks.  Anticlimactically, I did not experience re-entry culture shock in the States. It felt like I’d never left.  How to interpret that, I don’t quite know.  My theory is that I felt that way because time has gone by so fast.  By the third or so day in the States, Fukuoka started feeling unreal, despite the fact that I was giving my friends and family mentaikou flavored chips, and that I still had my phone on, so I was getting SoftBank’s Otousan-kuji messages and seeing emails about the other JETs in my area doing hanami (flower viewing).  The first seven months here passed in the blink of an eye.

It was great to go home though.  It was refreshing, mostly because due to my particular living arrangements here in Japan, I feel constrained.  Living in the juutaku is like living in rented housing anywhere: you’re never quite free to move about as you please.  If you’re up at 2AM (which I often am) you might be making noise for the neighbors.  If you like to exercise in your room, you might be disturbing the downstairs neighbors when you jump around.  And while I never felt like I was too tall for my apartment here, in my mother’s house in the States I realized that yes, it is nice not to accidentally hit your light fixtures when you stretch.  Again, these are things that have more to do with the fact that in the States I live in a single-family home, whereas here I live in outdated public housing, than they do with being in Japan versus in the States. Well, it’s not just that it’s old, it’s that it’s uncared for because this apartment has been occupied by a JET for at least the past 15 years. Read: by someone who knew they weren’t gonna be here forever so they did less than their best to keep the place nice.

Anyway, while home I bought clothing, shoes, and Final Fantasy XIII! Though I haven’t played it yet because I still don’t have a PS3 and HDTV.  But I plan on spending Golden Week with it! I’ll have the hardware by then, hopefully!  I also made sure to watch High School Musical 2, so I can better help my English Course students prepare for 英語劇 (eigo geki, “English play”). It wasn’t as completely asinine as I thought it would be.

Now I will make this post have a Michigan feel with a picture of the Uniroyal Tire, taken on the way to the airport the day I came back to Japan.

I liked it better when it had the nail in it.

Speaking of movies, on the plane to the States I saw The Blind Side (good) and New Moon (…). They also played The Soloist, which I had tried to watch on the plane ride to Japan back in August, but I kept going into half-asleep mode. (I can’t sleep sitting up.)  I was dozing this time too and gave up halfway through.  Then they played a bunch of sitcoms.  On the plane ride back to Japan, they played The Blind Side and New Moon again, as well as 17 Again and an episode of How the Earth Was Made.  I was losing too much on Final Fantasy Dissidia while New Moon was playing, so I gave up on the game and for the hell of it I watched the movie with the Japanese dubbing.  Not that that made it any better.  Seriously though, I don’t get it.  This movie is about a girl who values herself so little she’ll do suicidal things just to see an apparition of the vampire who dumped her! What the fugu?

And so, I landed in Narita with 17 Again just having finished.  It was funny to see Zac Efron in that movie after watching High School Musical because the character from 17 Again was basically the same as his character from HSM, just that with 10 times the attitude and less dancing.

In Narita’s domestic terminal I got random gaijin checked.  As I was walking down a hallway, a cop came up to me, asked me if I spoke Japanese, then if I was Japanese (well, he said 「日本の方ですか。」which I assume can be taken as “Japanese person” not “person who is in some way involved with Japan,” but maybe it does mean the latter?), then told me that because security was strict, they were checking people.  He copied the info from my Foreigner Registration Card unto a plain sheet of paper and took down my phone number.  He ended the strange interview with 「勉強がんばってください」(“please do your best in your studies.”) Ummmm, okay.  That was all kinda weird.  Despite how cordial he was about everything.  If there had been a checkpoint, okay, but…I guess I’m just a shady-lookin’ individual.

The funniest thing about it was that the cop looked like the well-fed, grown man version of one of my students, the class clown at that!  So as soon as the cop was out of my sight, in my memory he was replaced with that student! >o<

And that segues nicely into what will be the next post. 次回!イ君 Lays Down the Law!

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Yes, I thought that was rather funny. Ohdearlord I need to go to bed.

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