Thursday, July 9, 2009

the rainy season

They weren't kidding when they call it the "rainy season." Apparently the rainy season lasts until the end of July, so I came right in the thick of it.

I think the best part of living in a small mura (village) is that no matter what the weather looks like, it's always beautiful. Right now, the mountains are covered in clouds and mist.

I've spent this rainy week basically being a Japanese housewife. Cooking and cleaning and all that jazz. And barefoot no less (but everyone is barefoot in a Japanese home). I'm really trying to embrace the Japanese diet and learn how to cook authentic Japanese food. One of my projects this week was making tsukemono, Japanese pickles. All it takes to make tsukemono is vegetables, salt, and a jar. I also found the tofu shop in town. They sell tofu puffs, which are fried tofu pockets that you can slice up and mix in soup/sauce or stuff with rice and other ingredients. Yum!

Exploring new food is one of my favorite parts of being here. I was craving something familiar so I bought what I thought was peanut butter the other day. It is more like peanut jelly, sort of like that gooey PB concoction they serve in school lunches but better. Jam is also really expensive here, I guess because people don't eat it much on this side of the world. I can definitely see a European influence on the grocery stores here.

I have an interview tomorrow with the Board of Education in this area. One of Zack's coworkers told them my situation and they agreed to meet me to discuss helping me find a job. I'm so grateful! I hope my suit is professional enough. I think one of the reasons I get so many stares is because of my breastu, which are very large compared to the average Japanese woman's. I've had quite a few comments made about them in the last week and a half, all from women. I am dressing super conservatively tomorrow and wearing very little makeup. I'm starting to get an idea of what it means to look professional in Japan.

A kind of slow week but I'm still enjoying the adventure of being somewhere new, of seeing things I've never seen, of trying things I've never tried. We walked to Komagane earlier this week and explored a 100 yen store, which is a lot nicer than an American dollar store. Sunday, we're going into Nagoya to watch a sumo match. I can't wait!

My goals for the month of July:

*learn hiragana and katakana. I'm making pretty good progress!
*start exercising again, which will probably require me getting a rain jacket.

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