So it is pretty funny at times with the happenings around here.  I will do
my best to accurately portray these things.  Preview:  Reason #132 for why
I am so stupid, the worse food in the world,  and other interesting things
that aren't really big enough by themselves for a whole category.
        ----->The day I arrived at my apartment I opened up the right side
of one of my windows and there wasn't a screen in it.  Remember how that
old man reached into to my open window to deliver mail?  About 2 weeks ago,
I asked (in one word English) one of the women who works with me to ask my
direct boss where I could get screens for my windows since it gets
extremely hot in my apartment, and running the air conditioner costs a lot
of money.  I was willing to pay the costs to purchase them, and she told my
boss.   He in turn consulted his boss who came over to him, and from what
the woman told me they were having a meeting about this matter.  Well, that
was 2 weeks ago and I hadn't heard anything.  The other day, I opened the
LEFT side of one my windows, and there was a screen in it.  I repeated this
process with all my windows discovering a screen in all of them.  How nice
they put them in!!  Free, cool air to lessen the grip of the heat.  But
wait... I had never opened the left side of the window before...could they
have been there the whole time?  Surely not because I had checked one
window from the outside and didn't notice a screen...maybe I didn't check
as carefully as I thought?  I guess I would have to find out by just
        Yesterday, I again confronted the translating woman who works with
me.  I asked how long have the window screens been (the word "been" was
difficult for both she and another man who knows some English at my office
to understand...the process of explaining the word "been" took on its own
15min to explain) in my apartment windows.  They didn't understand.  Okay,
next attempt from a different angle.  Did Heather (the young lady I
replaced) have window screens in the windows?  They still didn't quite
understand...until after another they were going to ask my
direct boss...about the screens.  In Japanese "Did Heather have window
screens"...the answer..."hai" (sounds like hi)...meaning yes.  I began
laughing and saying "I am an idiot"...which no one understood until I
explained it...another 15min...then both translators laughed, at and with
me.  My question then was...what was the meeting between my two bosses
about?  I can only imagine it went something like this--"He says there
aren't any screens on his windows."  "There were just screens there a few
days ago, where would they have gone?"  "Maybe he just opened the wrong
side of the window."  "Well I am not going to be the one to tell him maybe
he made a mistake."  "Okay, maybe we will just pretend we forgot about it,
and hope he finally figures it out."  "Does the program he works for
actually have a screening process before hiring?"  I can only imagine what
that meeting was say the least I felt pretty stupid.  I remember
during my student teaching in America one student asked me what my most
embarrassing moment was.  I couldn't think of any time when I had felt a
great deal of embarrassment.  If nothing else, Japan has provided me with a
plethera of moments such as these.
        ------>Ladies and gentelmen, of all ages, after searching high and
low, I believe I have discovered the worse food in the world.  It is called
nato (not NATO...consult your history books for that but a different out for that).  It is, what appears to be, spoiled
green peas...extremely sticky and smelly.  The smell can only be compared
to something that has been rotting in the back of a male college student's
refrigerator (I've had my fill of that) for about a month or two.  As a
matter of fact I think I would prefer that kind of rot when compared to
this kind of food.  The other day it was served during the school lunch.  I
quickly gave mine away to an unsuspecting student who had not yet sat down.
 When he did he gave it away to the student across the table, who by this
time, had collected quite a few from the neighboring students.  He tore
into them while mixing them with his rice...nice.  The aroma in that room
would be enough to kill just about any living thing with a nose.  Yes, I
had tried it (at this point I try about anything...I won't go into what
I've tried...some of you might be eating soon) last week.  I decided not to
smell it (a good move on my part) and ate a pretty good size portion.
Okay, so the first 10secs are not too bad...but then the rancid taste
begins to grow.  Like an enemy of your soul who hasn't bothered you in
years its vengence is quite deadly.  If you ever try it, proceed with
extreme caution...even put on all the layers you get at a barber shop here,
and I would recommend you do what I did and have that bottle of...acid...I
mean soda really close by because that is about the only thing that can
burn the aftertaste  away...but the memory will be forever seered on your
        ---->Now for other goodies that I decided to throw in.  One of the
favorite past times of one of my English teachers (actually the one I sang
the Carpenters with) is to have me go around to each student and ask them
individually, "How are you this morning?"  Normally, the standard response
comes back..."I'm fine"...some adventurous, intelligent, English language
loving students will actually come up with a different response..."I'm
tired" "I'm sleepy", "I'm wonderful" the responses are pretty
predictable..  With this in mind, imagine what my response was when one of
the bigger, male students loudly responded with, "I am crazy!!"...maybe he
just had nato or something.
        If you are ever stuck in traffic for hours in Japan, and think
there must be a huge accident up ahead, don't be surprised if it turns out
to be a car that someone just decided to park on "the side of the road."  I
had this experience and was quite angry when it was just a parked car
blocking the whole lane.  Thoughts of getting out and putting the car in
neutral as I pushed it over into the ravene, were entertained...still are.

        You go into a Japanese restaurant and notice that your waitress is
wearing a surgical mask, but don't be alarmed, she is just sick and doesn't
want her germs on your food.  I often think I would like it better if she
didn't wear the mask though.  The association of eating and the hospital
look doesn't  really make my food settle too well.  Maybe the germs would
be better.
        The Japanese are big on making things smaller (no pun intended)
than you can ever imagine.  You think cell phones are small in the States?
Think again.  The cell phones here fit completely in your folding
required.  They are slightly bigger than your favorite candy bar.  I also
saw a video camera on the TV the other day...again...the whole camera was
slightly bigger than an 8mm tape... and could fit, almost completely,  in
your hand...pretty amazing...but those stupid roads...make the silly things
just 5ft wider!!!