I’m here! I made it to Hamamatsu! A lot of tears were shed along the way, but I’m very happy to be here. In the last few days my students and co-workers were amazing to me. I took a lot of photos and I’d love to share them but unfortunately I’m not allowed to. However, I can share the link to the photos which don’t include my company or students themselves. Here you can see a lot of the presents I was given. It was quite overwhelming. One particular gift really got me crying. Rie先生 organised for lots of students to write messages on Kit Kats for me, and she bundled them all up into a bag and gave them to me on the last day. I didn’t know what to say! What a wonderful gift! 😀
My move to Hamamatsu was interesting. On Saturday morning my manager came to my apartment to give it one final check over, and then I took a taxi to Nagoya Station to meet someone from honbu (head office), who had a train ticket for me. She gave me about 3 minutes to get on the shinkansen (bullet train), which was a bit of a struggle with all my bags! Anyway, I managed it and just got on the train anywhere and stood. The ride was only about 30 mins by shinkansen.
I happily stood watching the world whiz by…
…and before I knew it I was in Hamamatsu!
I was instructed to make my own way to the school. I had taken the day off because it would have been impossible (not to mention unbelievably stressful!) to have to get there for 11am and teach. But, as it was a Saturday, I was told that everyone would be very busy so I wouldn’t be met. That was fine, as I knew where the school was anyway. Unfortunately, I ended up spending most of the rest of the day at the school, so I ended up working and preparing for some of next week’s lessons. That wasn’t my intention, but it seemed I wouldn’t be able to go to my apartment until after the lessons had finished, at 8pm. Anyway, it gave me a little time to look around and become familiar with the school and lesson materials.
The school is very different to what I am used to. For one thing, there are no kids. And, at my old school, I basically lived in my classroom. I prepared all my lessons in there, ate my lunch in there, everything. Sometimes that was kind of lonely, but it was also nice to be alone sometimes so I could concentrate. But at my new school there is one back room where everyone has a desk and we all work there together. It’s going to take me a while to get used to that! Another thing that will take me a while to get used to is working with another foreign teacher. I have a co-worker from Canada now, whereas before I was the only foreign teacher. Still, it’s all good. It’s just going to take me a while to get used to it!
As for my apartment, well it’s almost identical to my old one! The main differences are that this one has a balcony:
Yes, an actual balcony! I’m so thrilled!
The front door opens from the other side and has a different kind of lock. And I have a brand new rice cooker and oven toaster:
Yesterday I spent a lot of time walking around and getting my bearings. Amazingly I didn’t get lost at all! I managed to find the local DVD rental place, the nearest supermarket (which had an interesting mixture of Japanese and Brazilian food), the other nearby supermarket which was a little bit more upscale, and which had a 100 Yen store above it:
…and the river that I was so excited about checking out:
This river is right by my apartment, so I now have no excuses not to start jogging! There’s even a set of jogging paths right by it.
I wandered around town and checked out the shops a bit there. As for shopping, there’s pretty much everything I need. I’m very happy! It’s all on a smaller scale than Nagoya, but that’s fine for me.
While I was wandering around I saw a few groups of people practicing for the upcoming kite festival:
I have to find out more details about this kite festival (which is during Golden Week), as I really want to check it out!
Today I actually haven’t left the house yet. My boxes arrived and I’ve been unpacking them, but also feeling pretty worn out. I need to save a bit of energy for the week ahead I think! I start work properly tomorrow and I think it’s going to be a busy one. I don’t have too many lessons (they’ve been kind to me on my first week), but I do have a few tricky ones, and a lot of materials to prepare. Still, there’s only a week and a half until Golden Week! 😀