Cold day

A three day weekend here in the land of the rising sun (though not so sunny today, as you will soon see). Actually, it’s Monday, which sadly means I have to go back to work tommorrow. Panda is tired, and desperately needs one more day to recharge before jumping back in the grind.
To this end, I went grocery shopping and splurged on tons of food. (keep in mind that I had been literally eating lentils and rice until payday last friday) (and not good lentils either, but rather some dodgy-looking dusty beans I had found stuffed in a dark crevice of one of my cupboards, presumably left their by the previous tenant). I don’t know why, but I found myself missing “american” food (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE japanese food, but somedays…).
So panda made this:
Yummy hamburgers. Ignore my messy table in the background…
The only thing I couldn’t sort out was some proper buns for the hamburgers. No biggie, though. Mmmm… good ol’ fashioned home-cooked burgers. With all the fixin’s – lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, cheese …. mmm mmm good!!!
Eating large amounts of food serves two purposes: 1) it cheers me up (hardly the healthiest approach to eating, but it beats heroin addiction) and 2) it helps replenish the tremendous amount of calories I burn simply trying to stay warm in my apartment…!
It’s cold here people. Very cold. I run my heater sporadically, but the fact that there is no insulation in the walls and that one entire wall of my house is made of glass doesn’t really help matters much. I am currently wearing many, many layers of clothing, plus I walk around draped in a big thick blanket. Actually, to be honest, I feel sorta’ cool – like a modern day nomad or something. (I remind me of my (decidedly skewed) image of mongolian nomads wandering on the wind-swept steppes of the cold hinterland.) (Only I don’t know how to ride horses.)
Yes, I am very cold in this picture. And yes, that is a fake Burberry scarf.
Anyway, between eating lots of food, wearing many layers, and occasionally jogging in place rapidly for 10 minute stretches, I’m surviving. To be honest, Japan has nothing on Wisconsin. Which brings me to a funny story:
I have been employed at my current job for almost 5 months now. I know all my coworkers and all my coworkers know me. We all converse in Japanese (except when I’m speaking to the more capable English teachers), so it goes without saying that everyone at work knows I speak at least a little Japanese.
The other day I was walking down the hallway towards the staff room. It happened to be a rather chilly day, and since Japanese schools are not heated (actually, my theory is that in reality they blast hot air into the classrooms in the summer and then pump refrigerated air into the hallways in the winter, but that’s just me…) it can get rather chilly walking around outside of the staff room (the only climate-controlled room in the building). Nevertheless, I was only wearing standard casual-business attire – long sleeve shirt, regular slacks and a tie. Nothing fancy, despite the fact that the rest of the staff looked about ready to tackle an Antarctic expedition. What can I say, I lived in Wisconsin.
Anyway, as I’m walking down the hall, I end up walking next to two female teachers. One of the women turns to the other, and the following conversation transpires (pardon my horrible japanese):
teacher a: “kare ha samusou ne!!!” (“he sure looks cold, doesn’t he!?”)
teacher b: “iie, sonnani jyanai yo! shibo ga ippai aru, deshou?” (“naw, not really. He’s got a lot of fat, you know!?”)
…. Yeah, exactly. So I turn to the women and protest “You know, I CAN understand what you’re saying…!!?”.
To which teacher b sort of looks a bit embarassed, mumbles something like “hoonto ni?!” (“really.!?”) and then the pair slow down so their pace falls behind mine. No “I’m sorry” or “Gee, mr. panda, I guess we shouldn’t have criticized you for weighing more than 25 kilograms”. Just a “oh really?!”, as if this was news to them. Please note – I have sat directly across from teacher b since I first got here!
Random sad invention from Japan. Really, if they’re so lonely, I’ll volunteer to sleep with them.
Anyway, that’s about all I can think of to write about today. I’m off to continue my “Friends” marathon. Yahoo BB shall rue the day they ever let me sign up for their broadband service!
Now listening to “William Orbit – Barber’s Adagio for Strings”
(Not as… stringy as I had envisioned…!)
12:49 am

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