For the moment, though, I've got about three more hours and four more transfers before I can shower at home. I'm pretty sick of combini food and even thought, "hmmm, McDonald's would be good"--which it NEVER is...--earlier today. So far, so good, though, and if it continues I'll have shaved almost an hour from my original plan by making tight transfers in unfamiliar stations.

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Cloudy, 27C (30C)

So, I went today to see Moriyama for myself.  I happened to also know about Ishiyama-dera, which is the place where Murasaki SHIKIBU is said to have written her famous book, The Tale of Genji, the oldest continuously acknowledge novel in the world.  Since I am in the midst of a bit of private study on this and related matters, I took the opportunity to visit.  I had intended, originally, to finish the day with this excursion, but, as fate would have it, I saw Ishiyama-dera on my way to Moriyama rather than from.  I think it worked out better that way, anyway...  so here we have some pictures and commentary :

Pictures and Commentary : Ishiyama-dera )

Anyway, I was so pleasantly impressed with Ishiyama-dera that I bought two metal-cut-outs of Murasaki at work and a charm for "safe returns".  I will send one of the bookmark-plates and the charm {one item to each, that is...} to anyone who comments or PMs with their snailmail addresses...

A favorite point about Ishiyama-dera : the wonderful, rich, clean, earthy smells and sounds of flowing water.  Just magnificent!

About Moriyama, I'd rather not comment, really, at this time.  Except to say I will want a bicycle, that I did see at least three restaurants, and that a lot will depend on my apartment so I really hope that it is quite nice.  Lots and lots of staring, again ; but people seem to have a slightly different attitude than they did in Shikoku about it, also, I'm much, much better with it than I was when I first came to this country--of course, I'm much better after living for a year somewhere where I'm not enough of an oddity to be stared at or at least people are cosmopolitan enough to know better than get caught at it.  This will probably be the source of some trouble, still, but at least for the time being I think it'll be cope-able.  The staring, I mean.

Ishiyama is very near the water--both the lake and the one river which flows out from Lake Biwa.  It made quite an impression, really!  (I was born in the land of 10,000 lakes, afterall...)  One thing I noticed was that there were a lot of people rowing.  I've been interested in rowing for a little bit ; perhaps, living in Shiga, the opportunity to partake of this sport will present enough of itself for me to snatch at it.

Overall, I think I will have a more active outdoors life there than I had in Kawanoe, which is fine by me. I also think I will write a handbook to surviving in the inaka. For various reasons which may or may not be discussed at a later date...

View the Ishiyama gallery, here.
Rainy, 18C (21C)

About my new assignment... and why July will suck inordinately (is July the new November??) :

So I have to close my current school, meanwhile trying to convince as many of my students as possible to go to Sannomiya school, meanwhile I know the native instructors at Sannomiya are a bunch of half-assed twats and probably won't stick out the year. That ought to be enough, and I think it is.

But add to this that in Moriyama there are currently two branches : Moriyama and Moriyama-dai2. Well, Moriyama-dai2 currently has no native instructor--that school wants a native instructor yesterday, I'll arrive after closing my branch (dates still not determined, as far as anyone local is aware)--and is supposed to combine with Moriyama (the original branch). I can't be sure, but I think they expect me to move that school--which, if I'm right, will be a godawful pain in the ass, mostly because I don't know that school and so will have to move everything and then sort it and what I bring with me in the new-old building, which I also have absolutely no idea about and won't until I arrive. It's possible I could actually enter the school if I took my pilot trip to Moriyama on Monday rather than Sunday, but I really need to do something about that sooner than later and Monday I want to take a bath at Arima.

In completely other news, I'm getting seishun18 for my trip to Kanazawa, which is a certificate of sorts good for seats for five days on non-express trains. Kanazawa will only require two of those days' seats. Maybe I'll go to Asahi Zoo in Hokkaido with two of the others.... Then all that's left is a one-day trip ; I was already considering Matsue in Shimane-ken or, in the opposite direction, somewhere in Nagano-ken--from Shiga-ken, Matsue would be longer and Nagano would be shorter... I'll have to think on it a bit more.

Seriously, though, today was the first day I was allowed to begin informing my students about the first half of this mess. I only had two classes today but when I got home I just wanted to collapse and sleep for the rest of the evening ; I felt so drained I didn't even go to synagogue, and I'm not even going to be able to so easily very soon... I have seven classes tomorrow [today!]. I hope it is less taxing...
Rainy, 18C (21C)

So thinking on it some more I was able to remember times I felt good as a person--they basically all revolve around demonstrated growth. Which is not really a middah, persay, so maybe I got the exercise wrong ; but that's what I'm going with for now.

I've got lots of plans at the moment ; I would try to be humble or realistic and hope to accomplish half of them, but really I want them all.

I'm watching Full Metal Alchemist : Brotherhood, now. It's awesomely exciting.

Also, maybe I'll try to go from Shanghai to Xi'an via a southerly route around Golden Week next year. I could try my hand at a few Mandarin travel phrases.... Or something like that.

I'm testing Amazon.jp with an order of three books--I'm excited about reading them!

So far, all's clear with plans for Kanazawa at the end of next month.

This weekend I want to go back to Nara if the weather should be clear. Next weekend I want another soak in Arima hotsprings. I feel like my guts were improved a little since then. I've been hungry more times in the last two weeks than in the six months before...**

I found a proper desk and chair; now I just need to bite the bullet and buy them. So I can grow more. And more and more and more!

I also need to get some cosmetics, though. And in July I want to rejoin the go class (although I haven't been playing...).

In August I have to pay some back taxes to Kawanoe, though, plus everything else--and I still don't know for certain if I actually have a job then, or how much it pays.

mataku not having enough money really stinks....

Anyway, my average sleep over the last thirty days per night was at a whopping 8h21m yesterday, today it's 8h14m. Completely fucking ridiculous. But then, again, body is stupid. The average will be messed up for another month and a half, I'm sure, just because. I'll get the balance out of it later.

**I have a theory about my appetite but I've stopped myself writing about it a few times, now, as people from the first world aren't supposed to have those sorts of experiences.

On an aside, writing my fictionalized autobiography was becoming somewhat traumatic so I took a little break. I really think I need to base it in some historical-esque period or make it more fantasy-like in order for even my idealized version of my life to be more plausible... sasuga the spawn of the fish god and the god of wind, I guess...
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:58 pm)
Mostly clear, 16C (17C)

I had a bad dream. It wasn't bad enough to be a nightmare, but it wasn't good enough to be indifferent so I'll say it was bad. I'll guess it's environmentally/stress induced. It was pretty incredible. I woke up, late, right in the middle of it, so it stayed with my groggy self for longer than dreams usually do. Maybe it would be a nightmare to some people, but it all seemed horrifically normal and predictable to me. This is mildly surprising. I'm glad it's over--at least the slumbering part.

As a kind of therapy I've entered a raffle. Last year I entered this same raffle and all kinds of issues were brought to the fore because of my involvement with it. I've thought about that and the underlying reasons a bit since then. Entering again is rather like a test. Now I shall put it out of my mind and see what happens. I hope only things that I can immediately recognize as good...

Some more details are emerging about what the future in my job might look like--but not really enough. For example ; I now know what the various ranks are paid and how they are defined, but I don't know what my rank in the company would be. Who the hell knows. I'm kindof tired and kindof fed up but also kindof out of ideas and a little too apathetic. Part of me insists it'll all be fine, the other part wonders how the hell that's going to happen.... you see the conflict, I suppose.

Speaking of work, I was magnificently unproductive today during my four-hour lull in teaching--I read wikipedia articles on figures of Sengoku-jidai. Fantastic stuff. I've been rather encouraged lately, as I'm getting more and more of the jokes and references in the anime I watch. This was one of the things I mentioned wanting to acquire in terms of cultural and linguistic literacy that I figured I wasn't going to get in Kawanoe. Freakishly enough, the source for this--anime and cetera were equally available to me in Kawanoe ; I just never accessed them there. But now that I'm in a city it seems wholly more appropriate and becoming to feed my curiosity in these matters. Either way, I'm happy in this one little sphere, at least.

I made reservations at the old samurai house this morning for Kanazawa in July. It was terribly exciting and I'm terribly excited about it all! Thank God for small miracles--like ppl painlessly prodding. Now I have something to look forward to, and I need that. For a healthy change in pace I'll be traveling with another human being (usu I'm solo) : Tsubasa.

I've been thinking a lot about martial arts and such... I think these thoughts are interesting and insightful syntheses. Experience, again, is the final arbiter of learning... I want to play a lot more go but I've been somewhat depressed and my sleep is all messed up... excuses, excuses, I know. I'll let them slide for just a bit longer. Probably the rest of this week.

Also, following a particularly incensing drunken conversation, which I'm sure I only half-understood, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I have simply become one of those people who are alone for good and for ever. Somehow, this does not bother me so much. I'm reminded of a letter I once wrote in which I begged someone to find some light to dispel their darkness--now I wonder why ; my darkness, at least, is velvety-smooth : perhaps his was as well.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( May. 26th, 2010 11:10 pm)
Mostly cloudy, 17C (16C)

So I was watching some construction workers on my way to work one day recently. Next time I see them I will take a picture so you can see the getups they wear, here. I love their pants. They especially make me want to take them off, etc....

Anyway.

Recently it seems like I can't escape talk of onsen (hot springs) ; and recently I've really, really wanted to go to a bath-house ; there's one very nearby my place (as there is in virtually every urban neighborhood predating WWII in this country), but I feel like I might be spied upon or meet one of my students, or their mother or grandmother or something there so as much as I want to take a nice hot BATH, the prospect of naked-time with such a character has kept me away...

So Arima, a very famous hot springs area (Wikipedia and the horse's mouth), is just on the mountainside, here. Overnights are about Y30,000 ; even cheap-o daytrips start around Y5,000. However, there are two public bath-houses there--the cheaper one is Y630. Guess what I plan to do this weekend. =D It means putting off fixing that pile of boxes... but... maybe I can live with it if it means a dip in ginsen (carbonated radium water, yoshha!).
.

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Stephanie

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