Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crap! Ookyook! (FoF)

That's how I feel right now. Ookyook be damned. (It's fuyu in Japanese, and snow is yuki- which is the best word I know for snow.) On Wednesday there was so much snow that the train took 15 minutes to make a 6 minute trip to the next stop. There's another 40 minutes of train line North of that stop. They didn't even bother to try, they just cancelled the Northern part of the line.

Here's a picture from one of my schools last year when we had a normal amount of snow. This year, we had about 18 inches in 8 hours. It was ridiculous.

As if that isn't bad enough, it is -7 degrees celcius! IN MY HOUSE!!!

That's right. In my house. Japan hasn't been on the insulation bandwagon too long, so only houses built in the last 15 or so years tend to be insulted. Except, it seems in Hokkaido, the northernmost island.

I live about 4 hours by train south of Hokkaido, and every year we drop down to -10 or lower in winter. For those of you in the North midwest USA or in Canada, -10 Celcius (14 F) is nothing. I agree. Except we you go inside your houses, it's nice and warm, and when I go inside my house, it's so cold I have to put my toothpaste in my fridge to keep it from freezing!

Today my washing machine froze in 3 places. The drain froze and I had to beat it open with a broom. The hose froze and I had to melt the contents with hot water. That took about 20 mins pouring in water and draining it off. And it froze inside the basin, so I had to reach in elbow-deep in freezing cold water and manually unclog it. I can't take it!!! I'm generally a good tenant, but I think I'm going to go grumble to my supervisor on Monday. I can't keep living in fear of losing my toes.

And now that I got that off my chest: a little fun. Asians are notorious for mixing up the l sound and r sound. I can't speak for the rest of Asia, but in Japan, there's only one sound. They write it as 'r' but it's somewhere between the two sounds we use in English.

Last week, we had a demonstration lesson for the Elementary school teachers in our area. This is from the lesson plan.

In case you can't see clearly, the last line says "cRap your hands." I almost choked trying not to laugh out loud.

Sorry I'm late this Far Away Friday, but things have been crazy busy.

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