"Go grab a stick sweets and take 'em wherevermore!"

I'm writing from my tiny apartment in Higashi Hiroshima City.

The apartment has a "walk-in-closet" and a "bed."

Basically, they put a box in the room with a door, and the box is the closet, and the top of the box is the bed.  I prefer not to have to climb up there every day or bend down to use the hobbit box door, so I don't use half the space in the room.

If you open the door to go out, you're greeted by bamboo trees rustling in the wind.  Little birds hop over the trees day and night.  When the lights go on after dark, insects come out to play.  I brought a flashlight on a whim, and I'm so glad - every night I explore what kind of wildlife the lamps have brought in.  The flashlight is useful for another reason, too.  There are very little street lights, and the walk from the bus stop to my place is 30 minutes.  The bus comes only once an hour.

I'm not used to the Country Lifestyle yet.  I walked 30 minutes to the bus stop on my first day, to learn the latest bus had just gone by 5 minutes ago, and I had the choice to wait an hour for the next one.  I'm not good at waiting, so I just walked to work.  It took the full hour.  I was wearing sandals and they were making blisters on my toes by the time I reached the shopping center.  On one side of the street they were selling bikes, and on the other side was a shoe store.  I debated in my head for a minute, then decided crossing the street was too much trouble and I bought a pair of nice running shoes.

I don't have any internet access, so I'm sending this on the weekend when I go home for a bit to take care of some odds and ends.

I'm excited about my new role at work.

My company has instructors, staff, middle management, upper management, and director/executive roles.  First I was an instructor, then I moved to middle, then upper management, and now I'm staff.  Having rolled around the ranks, I've come to realize just how important every single piece of this puzzle is.  I don't have regrets.  The pay cut shouldn't be so bad after I finish moving.  But the staff job is just a little different from the instructor job, and I felt that flutter of nervous excitement when trying something new.

On the first day, there was a typhoon, I got stuck in Kobe, and the trains didn't run all day.  The airport was flooded.  The wind blew people's roofs off.  I was just glad to be safe.

The second day the president of the company planned to visit for a morale boost.  I dashed off to Hiroshima on delayed trains, navigated their bus system, and got to work moments before the top lady arrived.  I had just enough time to get all our signage out properly.  I didn't have time for breakfast.  I felt like I was going to pass out just before lunch.  The president gave me a random hug before she left.  I guess I'm doing okay so far!

The third day was good.  I made some sales, I organized a lot of things, and in any spare moment I said hello to people walking by as a way of advertising myself - Hey look I'm a foreigner!  Can you speak English?!  The staff gave me a ride home in her car.

The fourth day was my day off.  I found out my old piano teacher is living in the next ward and I was able to pay her a visit.  She made me really good food!  I was chased out of her house by a thunderstorm which caused a blackout on the first day that they've re-started the trains since the horrendous typhoon hit a while back.  Oh luck..  At least the blackout didn't extend to my area.

The fifth day the staff quit!!

I got in early and opened up the school by myself.  I dealt with having to re-start the internet, outside signage lights, and clocks, as the blackout had affected everything.  Then my first student called in absent with a hangover, the second one spilled coffee everywhere, and during my lunch break I scrawled out "The staff will be back at 3 o'clock" in really awkward kanji before hopping off in search of calories to get me through the rest of the day.  Some guy came by to inform us about the blackout and was like, "Where is the staff?"  "She quit."  "What??  So there's no staff?"  "I'm the staff today." "So there's no one here.."  "I'm here!!!"  >_<  One of those - your eyes are a funny color so you can't possibly be taken seriously - kind of things.  Eventually he imparted his information to me.

The sixth day the Rabbit Suit arrived.  Thank the Lord for blessing me with height so that I may never have to don a barbie-pink rabbit suit.  As the person who could fit in to it quit, it's just sitting in the back room for a while.

At the moment, the area manager is helping me manage the school.  Oh what does the future have in store for us. . .

Jennifer

P.S. Subject is from a sign over a sweets store.  It seems the full message got cut up a little.

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