Toshy picked me up and we went to Gyosei wearing our “suits”. All the new teachers were invited to a little ceremony and a “party”. There were 2 new international staff – myself and a scottish primary teacher – and 6 new Japanese staff (a nurse, a senior maths teacher, some sports teachers/coaches and some elementary teachers). We had a cup of coffee in the waiting room (what’s with all the cups of coffee? I don’t like drinking the stuff). Then we went upstairs (changing into inside slippers) to a meeting hall/lounge where Father Tagawa and all the deputies met us. Our names were called and certificates given out, then we all had to say some words of introduction about ourselves. Toshy acted as my translator. Lots of “yoroshiku onegaishimasu” all round with lots of bowing and clapping.
Then we had our “party” which meant sitting at a long table with little cups of Japanese wine and having lunch of salad and rice brought out on ‘cafeteria trays’.
Toshy was busy for the rest of the day so the vice principal (of the elementary?) dropped me home. Benno stayed at home during the morning and awaited our fridge delivery. The delivery man got lost, came late, then left again (saying he needed a blanket so the floor didn’t get dirty) but came back instead with another man and together they lifted the fridge into the apartment.
It was raining a little today, but we can tell that the weather is generally warming up for spring…maybe…there was lightning and thunder in the evening along with more rain overnight.
We enjoyed a 4 course dinner (cooked by Benno) which included salty edamame (steamed green soy beans), udon stirfry with bean sprouts and aubergine, oven baked chips with heinz tomato sauce and adzuki bean ice creams. We found cheap broccoli, tofu and garlic (about $1 each) and strawberries were reasonable too (maybe $8 for 2 punnets). However the myth of the $100 rockmelon is true – perfectly round rockmelons are about $75 or over 4500 yen.