Saturday, May 04, 2013

Life in Japan - an update

Howdy folks. I know recent blogs have been about Australia, so a good chance to blog about life in Japan I thought today. Today we are enjoying an extra long weekend. It's called 'Golden Week', a week that us celebrated around the start of May each year. It's a very very busy time in Japan, and exists because of a string of public holidays around this time.
In fact, it's kind of two weekends, rather than an actual week. Last weekend we had Monday off, this weekend it's Fridays and Monday. Yes, four-day weekend is nice.
Here in Ichinoseki it almost coincides with the Cherry Blossoms blooming, but not quite. Last year it was timed perfectly, but this year most of the cherry blossoms have been and gone. The weather has been cold, wet and windy too which doesn't help.
Thursday last week was a special day at my high school. It was a volunteer day. In 2012 I stayed at school all day and used the day to walk around the school chatting with students, as I'd only been at the school two weeks. Half the students, at a guess, spend the day pulling up weeds from the school grounds. Not a great way to spend the day in my opinion! Others head out around the town to pick up rubbish and help out in similar ways. This year I jumped on the coat tails of the brass band, who were playing at a nursing home ten minutes drive from the school.
I was surprised to find brass bands so big in Japan. Most high schools have one I think. Much of the music does seem to have an American influence, but that's brass bands for you. The brass band at my high school is pretty darned good, the girl who did the saxophone solo was brilliant. At the nursing home the cherry blossoms were blooming, and the elderly people there really appreciated the music. The brass band put on a show with some singing as well. It was a great day. And I got to help load and unload the instruments.
After this weekend, we will be in for some solid teaching. No public holidays for two months! Still, we are paid to work! I've uploaded a couple of pictures. Sorry there aren't more but we can't put students pictures on the web, and that's fair enough.

Also, please take the time to visit my Amazon Author page.
Andrew Boland's Amazon Author page.

Over the next four days, I am running a free promotion - on the Romanian chapter of my book, the eighth chapter over all and the second chapter in Europe (second) book.
Dhaka to Dakar. Book Two: Europe. Chapter Eight: Romania

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