June 4 2001

Subject: “humm, this tastes interesting…”

Date: Monday, June 04, 2001 4:31 PM

I fed my boss some energy bar recently. It was my breakfast, and since my boss eats ANYTHING and everything, I figured that I’d share my bounty with him. We all know how yummy energy bars are, right? So being a little bit mean, I offered some. He ripped off a little piece and plopped it in his mouth.

And started to chew.

And chew.

“Ahh, this….(chew)…..tastes…..very…..(chew)….interesting…..(chew/swallow/drink coffee)…(breathe).”

I keep a straight face and offered him some more. He quickly passed on that offer.

I think it’s now June. I’m not totally sure, things have been fuzzy since late April when I went home for a two week vacation. I think I went home. I must have, because I have this nice pedal scar on my right shin (finally one to even out the left leg). Must admit, I’ve gotten lots of enjoyment out of the scar, as I’ve shown it to all my students and during meetings it provides hours of entertainment, keeps me awake during all the Japanese speeches.

Since I’ve last journaled. I’ve been to Hawaii (play), Tokyo (play), Kobe (work), and had the way cool girlfriend visit twice. This past weekend we visited

a small island, rented bicycles (if these bikes came into McBike, Dave and I would have said “sorry, we don’t fix these things, please throw them away”). Hiked to the top of a small mountain (short but steep and very pretty), then downhilled back to the ferry, all in the space of an hour. Good fun. Almost had to Flintstone the bike when I wanted to stop, but hey, all good. (Sorry, technical bike term. Flintstone means to drag both feet on the ground and scream ya-ba-da-baDO! while trying to stop and avoiding grannies, dogs, and ever pesky cars).

And work has been a bit…busy. Late nights, early mornings, and the occasional Saturday. With the new year starting on 1 April, there are lots of projects, meetings and conferences that are held (before the prefecture $ runs out). Plus the reciprocal visit from the Hawaii students is going to happen this weekend, so that means I get to help and hang out with the Hawaiians. Which will be cool. Busy, but cool.

And for the JETs whose contract ends in July and the new JETs who come in July….

It’s a damned good thing that “they”  (“they” would be the new Information Technology Department that was started to turn Okinawa into the next Silicon Valley. Biting sarcasm here!) replaced my nice computer with this, ahem, older model that doesn’t seem to like me at all (anti foreigner?) (I now understand the PC ‘blue screen of death’ thing, even better when you get it in a foreign language and you ask your neighbor what it is, and he sucks his breath in and that just says it all) and that it’s due for replacement sometime next week and that all equals up to probably a full week of lost work and frustration. Don’t be alarmed if that last sentence doesn’t make any sense, I’m just getting in touch with my nonsensical Japanese office worker self (karaoke anyone?).

Two weeks in Hawaii. Too much fun. Enjoyed it all. Food, friends, family, and fun (and falling off the bicycle). Ate at Taco Bell four or five times. Had steak twice! Hamburgers twice! Bagels out the yingyang, fruit. Powerbars! Had non Taco Bell Mexican numerous times. And went shopping. Strangest thing, I’d go into a store and people would say “hello” to me. Not scream a Japanese greeting in my ear. Strange being able to understand random conversations.

Two weekends ago, I sat down at the Macintosh at home and since it was raining (rain in Okinawa? Naaah, never!) I decided to write. I started typing. I looked at the screen. No letters, but I’m typing. I can feel the keys depress under the weight of my fingers, but nothing on the screen. Hasn’t gotten any better, thou when I started HITTING the keyboard recently, I managed to get the “m” key to repeat, oh about 40 times. Thus I have no computer at home. Haven’t a clue what I’m going to do, other then tie it to the bike and go jumping and ride off some loading docks That’s my feeble excuse for not writing sooner. That’s the next adventure, getting the computer fixed or replaced. Good thing I have access to this wonder, ahem, high tech marvel at the office. HAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, I’m not as annoyed as I sound. I think that summer is here, as it was excellent weather during the last weekend and I think that there is a smidgen of blue sky over the Math Senseis head. Or it could be light reflecting off his gray hair.

Take care, have fun, and enjoy.

Chris

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