It’s a Bug’s Life Out There

Alright, guys.  Here’s the deal.  I actually moved to Japan about a month ago.  Hitherto, I have not posted due to a painful lack of internet connection.  And you have no idea the level of satisfaction I glean from using these odd English words after a month of speaking the simplest English possible….Anyway, I’m here now, and that’s all that matters, right?…right.  Here goes, then:

I’ve studied Japanese for four years, but nothing prepared me for the sheer amount of Japanese that was thrown at me when I first got here.  Maybe it wasn’t even the Japanese–it was the accent.  You hear about how Japan has many different “dialects” (accents, really).  What you don’t usually hear is how heavy the accents are in remote places such as the small island on which I am now living.  Basically, my ears are full of nonsensical sounds ending in a very clear “~masu.”  But, nonetheless, I’m using my words and doing my best to get through daily life.  The good thing is, the people are nice, so they don’t mind much if I just stare at them blankly with a fixed smile on my face. 

I moved to Japan to become an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Programme, so I’m expected to act like a proper adult.  Indeed, I’m very conscious of that role.  But, while I am treated likewise as an adult maybe half of the time, the other half I am treated as a kind of pet.  Like, people give me cookies and things for being a good girl and trying to act Japanese, and speak Japanese, and stuff.  I’m met with a chorus of “uwaaaaa” and sometimes even applause for the most rudimentary Japanese sentences.  It’s pretty cute.  But I’m quite sure yet whether or not my pride should be hurt….

And o-ho my goodness, the bugs.  Hearing about them and experiencing them are two entirely different things.  I don’t mind them so much when they’re outside and minding their own business.  But it’s a very different story when you look down to see a mukade (Japanese centipede) approximately three inches from your foot and squiggling along towards you.  Just the other day, I watched a giant red spider begin construction of a gargantuan web, stretching from the corner of the front of my house all the way to a tree behind my house.  I tried cutting the web with scissors, but the little bastard had it fixed within two minutes.  I would have been more impressed with the way it waited and aimed itself just so to shoot out it’s web in accordance with the direction and speed of the wind if I weren’t so alarmed by the fact that this creature was probably going to eat me in my sleep if it got the chance.  Fortunately, it rained that night; and the spider’s dream of a web that, in the arachnid’s world must have been akin to an Emperor’s palace, were dashed to the ground.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t really stopped raining.  A typhoon is on it’s way as I speak, and just today it poured on me on my way to work.  My poor umbrella tried to withstand the fierce winds, but it just ended up getting all bent the wrong way, and converted to a useless stick in my hands.  Oh well.  I got a cookie at work for my efforts.

But really, honestly, and truly, life has been great so far!  It’s all one big adventure from here on out.

Anyway, that’s it for this post!  I’ll begin making some posts about more specific adventures over the course of the next couple of days to make up for my previous absence.

Mata ne!

Here is a baby mukade for you:Image

 

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5 thoughts on “It’s a Bug’s Life Out There

  1. I am SO. HAPPY you posted. Also, seriously, email me if you have something you want to post, but your internet isn’t cooperating. Also, I’m jealous of the number of cookies you’ve been given. 😦 I only got two, and they were for lunch, and everyone got them. 😦

  2. I enjoyed your first post. I am Nikki’s uncle and lived in Tokyo for seven years. I can empathize with the challenges but it will be worth it. We loved living in Japan and would go back in a heartbeat. Look forward to your future posts.

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