Friday, January 18, 2013

Sleepless in Saitama

Hey everyone, sorry to leave you out of the loop for so long, but there isn't really much to tell! On the 14th I went to meetup with Naomi and had plans on heading over to Akihabara for the day. However, as you'll see this is what I woke up to!

Snow anywhere is the best. So I was very excited walking out of the house in the snow to meet up with Naomi. However, I quickly learned by way of the super strange looks I was receiving that a hat, not matter how cute is not acceptable snow preparation. To my surprise everyone was carrying an umbrella. So once at the station I quickly stuffed my hat in my purse and bought a $3 convenience store umbrella which was quickly replaced by a larger umbrella at Big Box.

Waiting for a train.
Had a cool lunch with Naomi in a crowded little.... I'm not really sure if it was a restaurant with a cafe feel or a cafe with a restaurant feel. Anyway, it was nice. I decided because the snow was still coming down pretty hard to play it safe, head home and get some miso soup.

However, this is when the problems began. The trains had long since given up on letting everyone know what time they were supposed to arrive, which was no big deal. It was snowing pretty badly by my standards, which are pretty low since we almost NEVER get snow back home. The first problem I had was because I was over confident. I took the wrong train. Right direction, right line, but I assumed it would stop at the station I was going to because quite frankly, I didn't check the route. I ended up riding the train to the end of the line, which was my first major clue that I was on the wrong train.

After talking with a family who got on the train I realized that I had missed my transfer by about thirty minutes. Okay, I can do this. So heading back on the train I misheard the announcement and, without an electronic display on that particular train, I got off a stop too early. I was pretty frustrated by this point, but got on the next train and after double checking I was getting on the right train I made my way to the transfer platform.

Then I waited.

And I waited.

Then  waited some more.

Then I tried to make sense of the message appearing on the board underneath my train on the ticker board that normally let's you know when the train is coming. With my denshi jisho unfortunately at home, I sat and stared at it trying to understand kanji I either didn't know or couldn't remember. I managed to make out something about a tire and something needing fixed. Oh dear. With the seats on the platform soaked and about 4 inches of snow on the ground I went up into the station hoping for some relief. And it was a little bit warmer, but there was still nowhere to sit.

After about an hour of waiting with a station now full of people I decided I couldn't be cold anymore and left the station and headed into the first restaurant I saw. Ordered some soba and sat down to wait. Finally, about 2 hours after arrival the train was up again and I was on my way back to the apartment.

Of course, you probably have guessed by now what happened next.


I got sick. I caught a cold and have been bedridden up until yesterday. However, I haven't been able to sleep in about 3 days. Thus the title. I managed to make it to the store and buy some much needed OJ, cough drops and medicine, but what I really wanted has still eluded me. Chicken noodle soup. I will find you some day.

My cough medicine.

Long story short, I'm definitely feeling better and was out and about yesterday. I even taught my first English class of 2 students. Of course I wore a face mask, and I despise the things, but I don't want to get anyone else sick after all. I just want to say first of all that this was held at the community center. Now, don't think that this will describe every community center, I haven't seen any others yet. However, this particular center seemed well, pretty run down and I couldn't help but get a scary movie vibe from the place.

I'm a teacher now!

On the whole though, once I was in the room where I would teach I felt a lot better. It was a good hour and I have three more classes I'm teaching on Saturday. Just need to remember to put a pen in my purse....


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