car JET Murakami travel

Sweet times

Awesome sunset

Kind of a meaningless title, but I guess it’s appropriate. I’ve finally kicked the cold I have been struggling with, and today after work I almost felt as if I was now in a recognizable routine. I filled up with gas, and bought fuel oil, and threw away some bottles and cans, and finished some other errands.

Last weekend was the second rehearsal for the Niigata Charity Musical. I am participating in a production of Alice in Wonderland (called Alice in Japan due to copyright issues) with about 25 other ALTs from the prefecture. I am playing the White Rabbit. Each year the ALT’s in the prefecture put on a musical and use the proceeds to help schools in Papua New Guinea. During January and February, we will put on about nine performances, then at the end of March, we will fly to Papua New Guinea for two weeks and help build a school, or something along those lines.

Three weeks ago, we drove down to Joetsu, toward the southern end of the Prefecture for our first rehearsal. Me, Chris, Reed, and Katrina hopped in my car and zoomed on the expressway.


About halfway there, as we were passing through Kashiwazaki, which was badly damaged in the July earthquake, we passed something which made us all crack up:

Robot man

It is a fake man, with a mechanical right arm that waves his yellow flag up and down. Alaska road flaggers, watch out for your jobs!

For dinner later, driving through the Jusco dimension of Joetsu, we ended up at this place, the “Jacasse”, an italian restaurant that wouldn’t cook us vegetarian food and took an hour to make a thin, uncooked pizza. Pretty much a place run by, well, Jacasses. Perhaps it would have helped if we had read their motto before choosing to eat there:

When you meet someone
you never dreamed you’d meet
you’re taken by surprise,
so you haven’t made up
any fantasies
and you’re not let down.


I’ll close the post with a picture of us in the Joetsu tetrapod graveyard. It’s where they go to die.


3 replies on “Sweet times”

Hey Sean,

That was so cool you calling me here in the classroom last week. Too bad we’re having to depart from Saroma on 11/22, but it couldn’t be helped.

It’d be great if we could connect but I understand about your play practice and all. That’s really wonderful that the procedes are going to education in yet another country and that you’re actually going there to help build a school.

Read your accounts of some of your recent lessons — you’re off to a great start, Sean — innovating, making lessons fun, and presenting English in a practical light. Slang is great for captivating even reluctant learners. I can see you’re quickly becoming a fine teacher. Murakami’s is lucky to have you.

What’s a phone number to reach you at? I’ll try to reach you when we’re in Japan. We depart this Friday — Yikes, that five days from now.

Peace, paul

I miss you, Sean. And I like reading about your adventures. GUESS WHAT?!?! I’m getting MARRIED! For real this time, though. To Dave. WEEEE! Email me if you want. Miss you!

Man good sir I envy your ability to simply jump in the car and go see awesome stuff. That is I guess one of the side affects of A) Being an exchange student and B) Living in the 3rd (or 4th depending on who you talk to) largest city in the country.
PS: I’m glad you got over your cold, those things suck.

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