Monday, December 31, 2012
Tuesday the 18th I had my last kindergarten visit for the year. Things went smoothly as usual. I came home and changed quickly before going out to the usual Tuesday afternoon video game session down South. In the evening a friend of a friend came around and the lot of us went out for dinner at a local pub. After dinner I went to another friend's house for even more video games.
Wednesday I awoke with clogged sinuses from the cold I'd have been able to shake if I had a real day off to rest or go to the clinic and get some drugs. In the morning I started transferring the guts of my computer from the old case to the new one I bought the previous week. I lost track of time and ended up making a dash for the train up town for date number three with my new lady-friend. This time we went to see "the Hobbit" which turned out to be pretty good. In the evening I returned home and finished putting my computer back together and gave it a test run to make sure it didn't catch on fire.
I woke up well rested on Thursday and did my usual routine of lunch at Subway before work. The staff has more-or-less memorized my order by now so it's a pretty easy option. Work was very easy as I had no students in my adult classes and just taught three classes on kids all day. Back at home I headed to bed early to try and get another good night's rest.
Fortunately I slept very well again and even slept in a bit as I had a later than usual start on Friday. The late start also meant that I could go to my favorite burrito place for lunch. Between lunch and work I updated last week's blog and got that posted online. I went to substitute for another teacher in the afternoon. His classes were interesting and kids class kids were nice. This was the last day of Christmas lessons and I was a bit relieved to not have to hear kids call stockings "socks" until next year.
Saturday was the last official day of work before the winter vacation and all kids classes were on break already so I only had to teach two adult classes all day. The rest of the time I got to draw the New Years greeting on the neon-paint black-board in the front of the school. I also had my picture taken a number of times to be plastered on the school's home page. In the evening I went to meet the girlfriend in Umeda. This time we went to see the new "One Piece" movie (a pirate themed 'anime' that is super popular here in Japan.) After the movie we walked over to a British pub I know but it was too crowded and we left after one drink. On the way back to the station I made a formal request to officially go out together and she said "Yes."This, of course, made my week.
I signed up to do overtime on Sunday and Monday morning, the first two days of my winter vacation. Both shifts were fairly busy and I really earned my extra pay. Sunday night I went back to the burrito place with some co-workers and did some last-minute Christmas shopping too.
After Monday's shift I rode the train out to Kyoto to have dinner with my girlfriend and some of her friends. It was a little awkward on a number of levels: First, it was a joshi-kai (an all girls party), second, it was a singles party to which we were invited to before we hooked up. All in all a good time was had by all. We had an all-you-can-drink set-menu meal at an Italian restaurant in Gion. I spoke mostly in English and knew I was getting a bit tipsy when everyone stopped, stared at me, and exclaimed, "oh, you DO speak Japanese." My girlfriend lives in Kyoto so we said goodbye at the station and the rest of the party caught a train back to Osaka together.