Updates…

Well, it’s been a busy weekend in Kamo! I’m feeling much more settled into my apartment now and a little less anxious about this whole just-moved-to-Japan affair in general. Major highlights of the past few days have been:

1. Gospel choir practice at the Kamo community center: Friday night, Tomoko, one of my predecessor’s friends invited me out to the Kamo community center to see her gospel choir practice. Yes, gospel choir practice – we’re talking 15-20 Japanese men and women singing “This Little Light of Mine”, “Amazing Grace”, and the arrangement of “Joyful, Joyful” from Sister Act 2. It was pretty amusing, all in all. Somehow, I made the mistake of telling Tomoko that my choir had sung the same song in junior high – and now they want me to “teach” them the solo part next week. Hrm.

2. Dinner at Pinokio: Julia, another friend of my predecessor’s invited me to go to a cute little restaurant called Pinokio – she told me that my predecessor used to go there practically every day and actually taught the chef how to make one of the desserts on the menu. Anyway, I had tuna pasta, similar to at home. Julia is Filipina and very active in Kamo’s International Association. She came to Tokyo as a singer 17 years ago, married a Japanese man, and has been living in Kamo ever since. I gather that she was very close to Geraldine and helped her out a lot – she likes to help out all of the foreigners here and acts as a counselor to those in international marriages…

3. Guitar concert / Impromptu welcome party / Acquisition of a car: Julia also invited me to a guitar concert at the home of John Okada, a well-known guitarist around here. He had his traditional-style Japanese home remodeled so that the upper floor is a small club. Anyway, the concert was fun – he played a fair number of English songs like Hotel California and Stand By Me. Eventually, the concert devolved into various audience members going up to jam with each other on stage. I went with Julia, a couple of Russian exchange students, and a couple of older businessmen who are taking English classes from Julia. Afterwards we went to Pinokio for drinks and talking. Eventually, we went to the third-floor for karaoke. I had a delicious seafood pizza, pineapple, etc. and sang and danced. The businessmen were *hilarious*. And one of them, a good friend of Julia’s and my predecessor’s, *gave* me a car. Pretty crazy. I don’t think I can fully describe the bizarreness of it all. :) But it was fun…


The jam session after the concert…

Anyway, today I’m back at work, checking my email and looking through some of the junior high textbooks to acquaint myself with the types of things I will be teaching… Omi-sensei took me to Sanjo to order Internet service on Friday, so I should have that set up in two or three weeks (yay!). Better run for now!

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