daiundokai!


Breakfast: PB banana chocolate smoothie (same as yesterday)

I really love sports festival. It is hands down one of my favorite days in the year at school. There is such a feeling of camaraderie in the air, and the students really are amazing and are able to accomplish and achieve so much! My block this year was red and we won awards for best dance performance and best back panel (the pop art gorilla). Blue block won for best kumitaiso (check out the amazing pyramid they made). This year was the first time that I have seen sewatari, the race between teams to see who can walk across the backs of their teammates the fastest.

Lunch: Bento box pictured above half eaten! It included a potato croquet with sauce, a piece of karaage, tamagoyaki, a small hamburger, rice with a small umeboshi, potato salad, a chili shrimp, and sweet red beans. Evan and I were also given a green tea mochi and a chocolate bonbon for dessert.

Snack: Two Country Ma’am cookies after the undokai finished as a pick-me-up.

After the undokai finished I couldn’t go home because of the enkai. I was on the touban (the preparation crew) for the enkai this year, so I had to be there extra early. Needless to say all the sweating from the hot sun and being outside was not fun to deal with without a cold shower, but I managed to clean myself up and not smell terrible, or at least I think.

Dinner: Enkai feast! The thing about enkai at my school is, if the enkai is at the Omuta Garden Hotel then you’re probably not going to eat much. It feels like the silent consensus is that everyone will sit, chat, and eat the first course at their separate tables after the initial kampai, but once the second course comes everyone is up and out of their seats, glass in one hand and large bottle of beer in the other, seeking out teachers around the room to booze and shmooze. I think one of the reasons is that the food at the Garden is buffet style, and the other is that, to be honest, it really isn’t all that great. Anyway, I am no exception to that trend. I hardly ate much at all at the Garden, but drank many little cups of beer while chatting.

Enkai: School parties have become more and more fun for me recently as my relationships with my teachers has improved. I am no longer skittish or nervous about going up to and speaking with people, and they no longer seem standoffish either. It is incredibly gratifying to hear teachers compliment me on my improving Japanese skills, and to see them try to speak in English too. One teacher (let’s call him Kitsune-sensei because his long face reminds me of a fox) asked me how long I had been at the school, and he seemed so surprised when I said almost two years. I asked him why that was, and he explained that he felt as though I had been there longer, and that he hoped I would stay for a long time because I was the friendliest ALT he had ever met. It’s nice to feel valued, and not just for work-related things but for who you are.

Nijikai (aka. afterparty): Our nijikai is always at the same place, a small karaoke snack bar near Omuta station where the entry fee is 2,000 yen for unlimited whiskey highballs. The past couple times we’ve gone to this particular spot, the karaoke aspect has been readily ignored and I have felt jilted out of an opportunity to do one of my favorite pastimes. That was not the case tonight! This year my school took on four new young teachers, and one of them was so awesomely genki with karaoke! It really set the tone for an energetic, music-filled nijikai! I sang the theme from Evangalion and Yume No Naka He, both of which were big hits, to my relief. I was even getting requests for the Slam Dunk theme song, which I didn’t get a chance to do. I will definitely try to do that one next time. The snack aspect of this bar meant that I ate a couple little tea sandwiches and couple chips during our stay, and I think I had three highballs too.

Caught the last train home with a handful of teachers, including Kyoto-sensei and Kocho-sensei. My new Kyoto-sensei speaks English, which is pretty huge for me. It is so nice to have someone in his position who can understand everything I am saying. And it also meant that the ride home was very smooth and there was conversation amongst all teachers, including myself.

Late night snack: By the time I reached my station I was pretty drunk, so I decided to go to the conbini for a snack, which was a really bad idea. I was definitely hungry, but drunken late-night conbini runs never end with a salad. I ended up with a personal margharita pizza (400-something calories) and a bag of chips. Although I definitely ate the pizza, I managed to withstand the bag of chips (beef and fois gras flavored, say wha?) and just had some chocolate instead. Afterward I promptly passed out.

I am writing this all the day after, as you’ve probably guessed, and I have to say that yesterday was really awesome and fun all the way up to getting home with my midnight snack. This is the crux right here. Why did I buy that stuff? Why did I eat it? Honestly, I cooked and ate that pizza in the kitchen without mentioning it to Evan, like some sort of shameful secret, and when he asked where the chocolate had gone I said I didn’t know. I was totally ashamed by my actions and didn’t want him to know. I am being very upfront about this because I need to acknowledge to myself and to others that clearly this is a problem. I am keeping things from my husband? Practically lying? And for what? A fucking pizza and a Twix bar? This really has to stop.

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