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If anyone had a time lapse camera trained at my desk in my living room, they would think I am a raging alcoholic. Every night, I have three or four wine glasses filled near to the brim with dark purple liquid.

But fear not! I am just a Baptist, drinking grape juice out of what happens to be the largest glass in my house - a large round wine glass.

I am still adjusting to this whole "having an entire apartment to myself" thing. In some respects, it still feels a bit like I'm just living in someone else's house for a little while before I get moved to a more permanent location, like in witness protection or something. On the other hand, I have decorated a bunch and have adjusted to sleeping in a bed that is just ever so slightly too small for my tall frame.

It's been a busy first week in Shimonoseki. I started teaching right from the get go on Tuesday, and have been enjoying my classes. The lower level English Oral Communication courses can be frustrating at times, especially as I have no way of talking to the students in any language but the one they are in that class to learn. I'm sure it will get more comfortable eventually, but for the time being, it's a bit frustrating. However, my writing class, composed of top level English students, is a breath of fresh air - the students can express themselves decently well and the language barrier is more of a low wall than an insurmountable fortress.

I've gotten to speak with my parents a couple of times, which is nice, and I'm slowly developing the ability to stay up past 10, which means I'm overcoming the jet-lag.

Sorry this is kind of a scatter-brained post, but I figured I should get something up so that you know I'm not dead.

Other adventures I've been having:

-I used the onsen for the first time yesterday. Discovered it doesn't drain into a pipe, but onto the floor of my bathroom (which has a drain). Unfortunately, said drain must be a bit clogged as it...well, took FOREVER to drain so I had to watch it carefully to make sure it didn't flood the whole room.

-I had fugu today. Yep, that's right: blowfish or pufferfish, depending on what you want to call it. It was deep-fried in some sort of batter, and was actually really, really delicious. Squid was also available at this lunch, but I didn't want to go too far into the exotic realm. ;)

-Today is my last day without a couch. My lovely neighbor, Linda, offered to buy me some furniture as a housewarming present. We found a nice, white leather with red trim, 50s Art Deco style couch for a pretty reasonable price, with free delivery. So tomorrow between 2 and 4, I will have a couch! (Which also means I now have a place for people to crash when they come to visit! Hint hint.)

-Linda and I also took the ferry across the strait to Mojiko today, and explored the town a bit. Shimonoseki, for those who don't know, sits on a strait between Japan's main Island and it's southernmost [large] island. Mojiko is a port town across the strait from Shimonoseki, and it takes 5 minutes by ferry to get there. They have stores that sell American goods, and a 31-foot tower where you can see for miles (see above). There's also a house there where Einstein stayed for a little while when he was in Japan in 1922.

-I am slowly conquering the grocery store - thus the presence of grape juice in my fridge. I have discovered (I think) a way to make Yakisoba noodles at home, so I've been having those a lot. I also discovered that peanut butter is very expensive here, so I need to be careful how much I eat at once (a fact I forget when it comes to the actual making of a sandwich). Bread here is about twice as thick as that in the states, which makes for interesting eating.

I'm settling in nicely and enjoying my time here. Next week, I'll be getting up at 3AM my time to hopefully watch England trounce the US, so if you're watching that game, you're watching it with me. And here's a parting gift, a video of my walk to work:


  1. Your walking to work video looks a lot like the United States. I imagine Shimonoseki is very different than, say, Tokyo.

    I've always liked Japan from a distance, so I'll be interested to hear about more of your adventures.

  2. At the bakery they sometimes have uncut loaves of bread, and you can ask them to cut it thinner!


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