Message from the Editor
They closed my Mister Donut!
With no warning at all, the 1st of April found a sign on theÂ door thanking everyone for 2 years of custom and sayingÂ that my coffee providing study zone was no more. I wasÂ informed of the closure by a friend who came over forÂ dinner on the 2nd and had to go to the ex-misudo inÂ person to confirm on the 3rd â€“ I was that certain my friendÂ was mistaken. I know people who had been there on theÂ 29th, 30th March & heard nothing of the impending doomÂ of the establishment. Reading that little piece of paper, aÂ part of my Sasayama soul died. It’s sounds pathetic, especiallyÂ as it’s only been around for 2 years, but I was skipping whenÂ it opened. Free coffee refills right by Japanese class? It wasÂ so perfect for pre-lesson study sessions. And I got to eatÂ doughnuts. I wasn’t always a doughnut freak (and ice-cream:Â had a beetroot, apple and ginger one recently) but misudoÂ opened my eyes (I don’t understand the queues outsideÂ Krispy Kremes, they’re too sweet as far as I’m concerned.Â And overpriced). Wondering which of my ex-studentsÂ I would get to chat with… it’s all gone.
But now, after a month of mourning, marvellous May isÂ finally here. I’ve put away the kotatsu, ready to contemplateÂ evenings spent basking in the setting sun. The frogs are backÂ croaking their little hearts out, but I have yet to see anyÂ squished in the road; my laundry dries in less than a week.Â Happy times after my sudden loss. If it wasn’t for the factÂ that I really like the food and colour scheme that AutumnÂ brings, I would say we’re in the middle of the best timeÂ of the year. It’s not too hot, but the sun is shining. The rainsÂ haven’t really started yet and students are getting usedÂ to their new positions in the hierarchy of the school. TheÂ mountains and fields have lost their grey tinge and areÂ gradually returning to vibrant green. I think about May andÂ I smile. Definitely a good time of year.
Hopefully everyone is getting used to their new schedulesÂ and students right around now. I would like to say that I have,Â but that would be fibbing. Between first year orientation,Â 2nd years needing to finish the textbook from last year, andÂ me disappearing off to Germany and the UK last week (myÂ aunt’s 60th birthday celebration â€“ I surprised her; it wasÂ fantastic. I didn’t even need to feel too guilty as orientationÂ coincided with me being away â€“ huzzah!) I haven’t had aÂ ‘proper’ week yet. That day will come, but Golden WeekÂ isn’t exactly helping. I’m not really complaining about extraÂ days off, it’s just frustrating when I thought that schoolÂ starting up again would give me back some of theÂ routine that I’ve been hankering after.
â€œBut whatâ€ I hear you cry â€œpray tell is in this month’s HT?â€Â Well, I’ll tell you. If you’ve a longing to see ladies dressed upÂ as men and relating great works of literature through theÂ medium of song, check out the Takarazuka Revue reviewÂ (you see what I did there?). It might be a little late for GW, butÂ get some ideas for a short city break to Taipei. Or why notÂ head out and up some of the mountains we’re blessed withÂ in Hyogo, perhaps following up with a celebratory Kobe beefÂ dinner at Wakkoqu? All present and correct, plus other bitsÂ and pieces to boot.
Is it still hot beverage season, or have we moved on? Eitherway, have a read over a morning (or other) break and we’llÂ be back next month!
Message from the Prefectural Representative
Itâ€™s already May and, despite making a brief comeback in Mid April, winter is definitely over!! Thank you to everyone who came to the Hyogo AJET Hanami event at Sumarakoen despite the weather that weekend. I had a great time sitting in the sun under the cherry blossoms, having a bevvie, sharing some food and looking at the ocean. Iâ€™d especially like to thank Pete for doing a wonderful job organizing. Unfortunately, we donâ€™t have any events organized for this month, but, the farewell party is coming up soon.
In the run up to the new school year, I went more than a month without regular classes. As I write this Iâ€™ve just taught my first two classes for the new school year. They didnâ€™t go so well. It definitely was a struggle â€“ remembering what comes next & trying not to look at my lesson plan every 3 seconds, working with new teachers, trying to remember studentsâ€™ names, using classroom English and most importantly, trying not to speak too fast. I hope everyone is settling back into the teaching (with any luck more easily than I appear to be).
This is my third May in Japan and Iâ€™ve always felt itâ€™s a funny time of year â€“ the new school year has started but some of our friends are leaving in 3 short months. Itâ€™s a topsy-turvy time of year. As youâ€™re reading this youâ€™re probably either thinking about your plans for the second half of Golden Week or just getting back from your holiday. Last year I went to Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia during GW. Coming back was really difficult. I kept finding myself sitting at my desk, dreaming of Beng Mealea, mangoes, spicy food and late night Teh Tarik & tissue prata in Kuala Lumpur. This year Iâ€™m planning to go to Tottori for a weekend over Golden Week and really looking forward to venturing west.
For those of you who will be leaving us in the summer, there are some fantastic resources moderated by our P.A.s Ben & Liz. Please have a look at the Hyogo AJET Wiki for a handy checklist, visa advice, useful information on the pension refund and shipping stuff home. Finally, the Hyogo Times has a useful online classified section for getting rid of things you arenâ€™t taking home. You could also try using gaijinpot or the Kansai flea market magazine.
Have a great month!