First Day in Akita!

(Originally written: August 8, 2013)

The more I unpack and clean my apartment, the more I discover that the previous ALTs have been pack rats. I found 10 toothbrushes and 6 hair brushes still in their hotel packaging in the bathroom, not to mention duplicates of the JET Language Course textbooks and a billion hangers. Needless to say, my garbage bag for tomorrow is full despite me being here for only two days!

My apartment is coming together slowly but surely. I’ve officially unpacked one entire suitcase – yay! – and only have two more to go. I still need to clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, clean out one more set of drawers/storage, and gut my second, larger closet, but it’s starting to feel like a home to me. :)

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My first breakfast in my new apartment! :)

Today was another easy day. I woke up at 6am and puttered around, having breakfast, watching New Girl, and doing some cleaning, until 11:30am when my supervisor and T, one of my sempai ALTs, came to pick me up. We then drove to Akita Airport to say farewell to an ALT from my city who was leaving to go home. The drive to the airport was pretty funny – my supervisor doesn’t speak a lot of English, but he and T would talk in Japanese and I would be able to understand most of it (!!!). I even joined in sometimes; we discussed Justin Bieber (hahaha), Celine Dion, and even sang a bit of High School Musical. Amazinggg. Of course, we also got to drive the 45 minutes to the airport, so I spent a lot of time staring out the window, appreciating the beauty of my prefecture. We had a delicious lunch at the airport with the leaving ALT; I had fried shrimp, rice, and miso soup – yum. :) Then it was back to Yurihonjo to register me as a resident at City Hall. I officially have an address now, yay!

Afterwards, S, another sempai ALT, took me shopping in her car. We went to Aeon where I bought towels, face cloths, cleaning supplies, bathroom accessories, more groceries, and other necessities. It was sooo nice of her to help! We didn’t take very long; I was back in my apartment by 4:30pm.

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Grocery shopping success!

Around 6pm, I decided that I wanted to make a trip to the conbini (convenience store) before it got too dark. My first trip to my conbini, aww! I took my time in there and ended up buying a bunch of junk food and a green tea drink. On the walk back to my apartment, I ran into one of my JHS students and her mom, who were about to walk their dog. Her mom was so excited to meet me, and the girl told me (in English!) that she wants to be an English teacher. It made me really excited to get to teach her and the rest of her classmates! We had a fairly long conversation, mostly in Japanese(!!), before parting ways. I hope I’ll see them again soon. :)

I had ramen for supper again tonight, so my goal for tomorrow is to figure out how to work the rice cooker. I should have my cell phone tomorrow and thus should have internet, so I will be able to Google it if all else fails! One week without a phone… how am I surviving?!

I finally hooked up my TV today, so I’m going to go watch that until I fall asleep. Goodnight!

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