Japan Saroma

This Isn’t Japan

I’ve been to Hokkaido a few times before, but didn’t really appreciate it until this weekend.  Having lived in Honshu for a year, I have developed an image of Japan and the Japanese that I’ve had wiped clean by this place and its geography.  I went east to Nakashibetsu for an ALT party but was astonished by the landscape.


It reminds me so much of so many other places that are nothing like Japan: Alaska, the American Midwest, Australian Pasturelands, the German Countryside.  Cows, Corn, Hay, Potatoes, Onions, Cabbages, Horses, Unused Forest, Wild Animals.  There is room here.  Niigata feels like a closet in comparison.


Really, does that image remind you of Japan?


A Fun Photo Pun Poem



It’s like moosic


to my ears


I lake it a lot


because the views are spoketacular


elementary Japan Middle School Saroma

New Same Job; New Same Life?

I’ve been here in Saroma almost a week now.  I am an Assistant English Teacher for the Saroma Town Board of Education as part of the Sister City relationship with my hometown of Palmer, Alaska.  It’s a pretty sweet deal, and everything is going well enough, but I somehow haven’t found the right adjustment knobs and levers for my brain and emotions, respectively.  The schedule is a lot harder to get used to than I feel it should be.  I have to relearn everything about the house and town.  It’s almost as if I still haven’t allowed myself to mentally reenter this life place.  I really cranked down my Japan thoughts while in America.  Like shut it off.  I think maybe cultural transition is like a coal-fired power plant: it takes a lot of time to start up and is really hard to make similes with.

I have a nice house though.  I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping in it.



27 Days Back in the States

Even though this blog is mostly for my family and friends back in the states, I feel the need to write a small post about the series of trips I took to visit all of you just last month.

First, thank you so much to everyone who I saw, who picked me up at whichever airport, or bought me a beer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, helped tow my car, let me marry you, took me to the airport, or just made the time.

Home for almost a month, rather than stew in month of inactivity and again develop the wanderlust that drives me abroad, I applied that energy, with the help of Katya from Vladivostok, to America.  We had a good time.

No more words are necessary.