Donnerstag, Juli 27, 2006

Leaving already!!

Just an old pic, but better than nothing.....

I didn't really expect it, nor plan it, but my stay here will be a lot shorter than anticipated. Not such a bad thing.
What happened? Well, for a start, Maren decided not to got to China, after finishing her degree, which she is now pretty close to achieving. For those of you who don't know, she's studying "City and regional Planning", or "Urban Planning", or whatever you wanna call it, and now has only one oral exam left, her "Diplomverteidigung". So far so good. As we were planning to meet up in Australia sometime before the winter starts, as winters in Tokyo are suposed to be horrible, even worse than the summers, we basically decided to meet up a bit earlier. I will have spent 3 months here, mainly in Tokyo, which is obviously not long enough to learn the language, or do enough travelling, or really get to know the country or the people. But flying out to Cairns on the 11th of August, Maren arriving on the 14th, then hanging out on the beach, doing a bit of diving, buying a car and then crusing down the coast towards Brisbane, Sidney, Melbourne and maybe trying to learn how to surf and do a bit of work on the way doesn't sound too bad.
And long distance relationships, as we all know, are a pretty stupid idea. We should be able to survive the last couple of weeks, but six months or maybe longer might not have been so great.
Well, that's "the plan", if you can call it that. Hope we'll find sopme good jobs on the way, maybe a place to stay a bit longer, and mainly I'm waiting for Maren to kickstart her career, so I can concentrate on surfing. Well, we'll see.
While I'm waiting on the island for my plane to get ready, I have a few weeks left to do some more sightseeing. More about that later though, when I get a few more pictures from other people.

Lazy Bastard

OK, I've been pretty lazy. At least about writing my blog. That has also to do with nopt having a photo camera, so from now on, it'll mostly be pure text entries. Unless I receive a few more photos from people I meet. Like this really great one of me and two of my students...I guess also the first one of me and my new amazing even younger haircut. Well, apart from that, I've been working pretty hard (2 days and 2 evenings a week!!!), teaching English to all kinds of people from 7 to 70. A lot easier than teaching German. And I can work whenever I want. The best lessons are generally with adavanced students, as they mostly end up being conversations on any kind of topic, from comparing Berlin's and Tokyo's electronic music scenes to preparing presentations about Java and Java beans (the programming laguage, that is). One of the reasons why I realised pretty quickly that this isn't really the country I want to live in, is the incredible amount of time peple spend working. Pretty much all the school children are going to cram school for the summer, and before coming to my additional English lessons, they have to learn for other subjects or do sports or go to music lessons. "Homework is my friend!", is how Ayane put it. She's about 10, and the other things she can say in English are things like "I like Stitch!" - from "Lilo and Stitch". I guess paying about 50 to 80 Euros a lesson is really worth it. Not that I'm receiving all that money. Almost all my more or less adult students work until about midnight at least a few times a week, and getting four to five hours sleep a night seems to be the average.
The Gaijin (foreigners) in my house in contrast seem pretty much the opposite. Somebody's always ready and willing to keep everyone else awake, as the weekends are different for each person. Which is mostly good fun, maybe not for everyone ... for example when Dom found a little Casio kind of keyboard and decided that 4 in the morning was the right time to check out the preset rhythms, improvise a bit and sing along beautifully. There were other people present, I just couldn't tell who it was.

However, soon enough you will be able to find out more about my lovely housmates, as Ben and I have decided to shoot a little documentary about Parkside House. We finished shooting a few days ago, and are now starting to view all the footage, about 8 hours, in order to edit a little 20 minute piece of art, which it will surely turn out to be! Don't know if it'll be interesting for anyone but the people in the house, but I'll put it up on the net as soon as I can. We have about 2 weeks to finish it.
Read the next mail.....