It’ Just Like Home…

Except I couldn’t work out how to flush the toilet…
So one week after moving to Shimonoseki, I am slowly acclimatising. By this I do not mean that I am getting used to anything at all, but that I am getting familiar with that feeling of hysteria as I do almost all things wrong.
I started off on day one at school buying a delicious Soba noodle dish for lunch. I couldn’t quite work out the mixing order of the dish. For Soba noodles you have a bowl where you put the liquid and seasoning. My vice-principal looked at me like I was insane as I tried to mix the spring onion and wasabi into the actual noodles. Seems like such a small error, but made me look a little unfamiliar.
Day two, time to meet some other JETs at the main station. I can do this! Not, it seems, without the kindness of strangers. Naturally I missed the bus by standing at the wrong stop (easy to do, there were two whole stops for me to choose from…). I walked pretty aimlessly up the street only to be helped out by a lovely couple who went well out of their way to drive me all the way to the station. I repaid them with terrible broken Japanese and not understanding any of their questions. I hope they don’t regret their act of kindness as it saved me!
On the way home, I got off at the wrong stop by paying attention to nothing.
Day three, first day of solo busing to work. Nearly missed my bus again by standing on the wrong side of the street. Whilst there I kept wondering why the bus time was not on the lamented schedule in front of me. However, I wasn’t sure I understood the schedule anyway…it was then I noticed a man on the other side of the road and a bus approaching at the correct time. Thankfully the yen dropped.
Same day, thought I’d treat myself to a white chocolate bar. On biting into it I realised it was full of what can only be described as venom. A sharp terrible tasting sherbet venom. Why, whhhhhhyyyyyy?!
Day four was a Saturday and I mainly avoided people. Sunday I ventured out to buy a freshener for the wardrobe. I purchased a harmless looking sachet with the picture of clothes on it. Win. Or not. When I opened it a smell so pungent it made me gag spread throughout the apartment. I’m still not totally sure what it was, perhaps the same sherbet. Anyway, it’s in the bin now!
Monday and Tuesday were ok, seems like I’m getting used to it! Until today… determined to get some internet I decided to head to Starbucks after work (where I am now). Initially I was pleased as I found the correct bus stop. I also stayed strong and refused to get on any bus (tempting in this heat, but, very much like the UK, I have found out that they don’t all just go where you want to). Japanese buses are like clockwork, so when my bus failed to show, I suspected the worst and planned my return home. However, on the horizon I spied the number 32 a. I mean, hey, I was waiting for 32 but that’s close enough! And it was close enough I suppose. But first I enjoyed a trip around my block and a wait at the bus stop outside my apartment for ten minutes. All of that for a couple of quid.
However, I made it to Starbucks, ordered my chai latte. Whilst they prepared it I went to the loo, where I couldn’t work out how to flush the it…
I am just about functioning…but so far not taking myself too seriously and enjoying each fudge up! After all there is something familiar about it all, just not yet comfortable. Oh no, I need the loo again…

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