Friday, December 7, 2007

Good news and a funeral


Of all the things I haven't experienced in life, I didn't expect I'd attend a Japanese funeral. Let's rewind back to yesterday morning where all this started... Yesterday was a day just like any other for me, I ate breakfast, showered, and walked to work in near freezing weather. After arriving at school I sat down at my desk and noticed something wasn't quite right in the staff room. I found out quickly enough what was up when the principal called the staff office and asked for me. Apparently the Nurse's father passed away the evening before and the principal had invited me to attend the nurse's father's wake.
To my relief, I studied many aspects of Japanese society and ceremonies while attending college. Thanks to my Japanese professors, I knew just about all there was to know about the do's and don'ts of Japanese funerals. The Japanese funeral is incredibly formal and rigid in how it's carried out but it is also very well organized and goes really quick for non-family attendees. I was a little nervous about how I'd look in the ceremony but it turned out just fine. I did every thing expected of any other Japanese person and didn't stand out much in the crowd. I think the strangest aspect of the wake is that every attendee is required to give 3,000-5,000 yen in a ceremonial envelope with your name on it. One good thing that came out of this experience besides saying I've experienced a Japanese funeral is that I got some expensive tea as a parting gift.

Moving along; It's been a few weeks since I last posted on my blog. The reason behind my disappearance from the net would have to be my recent acquisition of a social life. Thanks to my newly found GIRLFRIEND Yuko, I now spend most of my time with her. We spend just about every other day with each other, going out and having dinner together. We met through one of the teachers I work with at my school and things just ended up working out between us. So now I won't be alone for Christmas. Yay.

The year is just about over and I can't believe that life in Japan has been fairly comfortable and irritation free. The only thing I wish I had more of was money, but I suppose that's just about every body's problem. I'm looking forward to meeting my friend Enoch and his wife Sanae in Osaka in a few weeks. Travel isn't cheap and it will most likely be the end of my petty cash for at least until the beginning of January. Hopefully this month's pay on the 31st will be my first saveable paycheck.

Well, that's it for now. Things are going well but there aren't many new details besides Yuko.

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