Saturday, August 4, 2007

Party Time, Conversation School Style!

Friday night we had a farewell party at our school for my fellow teacher, who's leaving in order to move back to Canada and possibly enroll in college there. A lot of students came out to wish her luck and say their goodbyes.

My bosses had the office refrigerator full. I went in to put my daily water bottle inside to cool it and there was no room for all the green tea and beer. They had a visitor, too. An old friend of theirs who's actually a fairly young guy from Canada. He was in and out most of the day, entertaining my bosses with stories of his life in France with his French wife and his current job as a tour guide despite barely speaking Japanese.

Seemed like a cool guy. I wonder how one achieves this sort of life. I could go for a French wife and a tour guide job. Plus, I also barely speak Japanese.

I ended up teaching only 3 lessons. So the morning (actually the early afternoon, but I always think of it as morning because my day is bisected by a late lunch/early dinner break) was pretty boring. I taught 1 and a half lessons after dinner; the high school girls I teach during my second evening class rarely come to the school earlier than halfway through the lesson period.

Then it was party time. My boss ordered something like 8 pizzas from a delivery place called Pizza Time. They have pretty good pizza, with thick and thin crust available. Of course you have to put up with things like octopus and corn on your pizza... but it's still tasty.

Since my coworker taught a lot of kids and was very good with them, her littlest students all showed up with their parents. They occupied the seats in her classroom and quietly ate pizza. That was the strangest moment- there must've been 10 or 11 people in the room at one time, none of whom spoke at all for extended periods. Off in their own worlds, the way children tend to be sometimes.

Although some of these "children" were in their late teens.

Another ex-teacher was there, a very nice woman from Montreal. Our top student, the late-arriving high schooler, was once her kid student. That was 10 years ago.

I mingled as much as I could until a little after 9pm, then headed off to meet a couple of people at a restaurant downtown. They lured me out with promises of karaoke, but then didn't deliver. But we had a fun time anyway.

Still, the karaoke tease has left me antsy to do some singing. Maybe I'll go to Shidax by myself next week, in the afternoon. It won't be as fun as singing drunk with friends, but at least I'll be able to hear myself.

Tomorrow is finally moving day. I'll be without Internet access at home for a while until I can get SoftBank to hook me back up. Luckily, McDonald's has a wireless connection and there are some other hot spots downtown as well. I need a break from all this blogging anyway. My ex-coworker (I'm using ex- way too much in this post) told me there are some Americans living there, but that it's generally very quiet.

"There was one guy who was playing electric guitar upstairs," she said. "But his next door neighbor complained... so he stopped."

That's good to know. There's also a half-Japanese American girl living there who wanted to know if she should introduce herself. If she's anything at all like a certain other half-Japanese American girl I know then by all means she should. I highly recommend it, in fact.

I'm definitely in need of a new location and social environment.

And next weekend, I'll be in Shinjuku, Shibuya and possibly Harajuku and Ikebukuro as well. I've never been to Ikebukuro, so I'm interested to see what it's like. Eat some steak at the Outback in Shibuya, some shabu-shabu and kaitan-sushi in Shinjuku, pizza buffet at Shakey's. There's also a chance I'll go out to Mitaka to visit the Ghibli Museum again... if I can get a ticket and it's not too crowded.

Some students expressed giggling doubt that I'm going to Tokyo alone. But guess what? I always go to Tokyo alone.

No comments: