July 27, 2004

Casa de Scatterlaschi

At long last, we are ready to show you our home. It has taken some time to get settled in, but I think we finally feel at home. We love our cozy apartment and feel lucky to have gotten a two bedroom instead of a one bedroom. There are a couple of downfalls to where we live, the first being the price. The downfall of accepting company assisted housing is that they can charge several hundred dollars more for our apartment. The plus of this, is that all of our home related bills are taken care of through the rent, we only have to give 30 days notice, no security deposit was necessary and it came completely furnished, including television and appliances and iron, among other things. We also live far from the city center, and since the subway stops running at midnight it severly limits my overtime opportunities. But all that aside, please enjoy Casa De Scatterlaschi...

Click Here For Pictures

Posted by karen at 10:40 PM | Comments (3)

July 20, 2004

Jabbering from Japan

I have no idea where to begin.

This has been such a wonderful and long month and I am not sure I can even recount the adventures we have had since arriving in Japan over a month ago.

Jed has posted pictures that are worth looking at, if you would like an idea of what life has been like for us here. Interestingly, I have found reactions from people back home just as entertaining as our adjustment to life here. For example, Jed's mother will begin every conversation with "Are you coming home?" She has suggested rickshaw, or other underused and highly dangerous means of transportation. Then there is my mother, who when I speak with her during her workday, she panics at the idea that I am not at work. I don't think that the whole time zone thing has caught on with her. She constantly begged me to get internet and then when I do, asked me to hold on so she could carry on a conversation with my brother who is only an hour away. Mothers will never be comfortable with their children in foreign lands! They just have very different ways of communicating this.

It has been interesting and humbling for me to finally experience life as an obvious minority. Foreigners are not always looked upon nicely here, and there are protests to remove foreigners from Osaka. Not only am I foreign, but I am a citizen of a country that is responsible for the deaths of so many loved ones of those I teach. I am also a woman, a gender not yet worthy of much acceptance or tolerance as men in this country, no matter how 'modern' they may say they are. No matter how uncomfortable it is for me, it is more so for Jed. At least I am an average height and have dark hair. I am clearly foreign, but not as glaringly so as Jed. He towers over everyone, can't fit through most doorways, hits his head on the hanging billboards of the subway trains, his head nearly scrapes the ceiling in the train station and what little hair he has is either blonde or red. But, while I ignore the looks I might get, Jed embraces them. People are drawn to him and his students all describe him as gentle. He has admirerers everywhere he goes and children always smile at him (unlike my nephew who is terrified.) His difference is almost celebrated and I think he truly enjoys standing out.

We have so much to share and can't wait to put every single little thing up. I will be adding a side column at some point that will detail funny things my students say. For example, one student thought toes were called foot fingers. It should be noted that I am laughing with, always with, not at the student.

For now, we are safe, we are happy and we love our job and new life. My entries might be based on one aspect of life here while Jed takes a more narrow approach about things we do. I really don't know what we will talk about but I do know all of it will be interesting. I hope you feel the same...

Posted by karen at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)