Saturday, July 21, 2007

Early morning Setagaya

It's only been a few days since I arrived in Japan for the fourth time, but things have already fallen into a more or less familiar routine. There's the predictable 4 or 5am wake-up time, which is a perfect opportunity for a quick jog around Setagaya and down to the area surrounding Futako-Tamagawa-eki before it gets too hot (the early morning temperatures are already hotter than the mid-day heat in Sheffield or Paris was the last two weeks), the same scenery, the same hard work moving box after box from the Eiken office in Setagaya to the school while still jet-lagged (a mere 24h after disembarking), etc... On the other hand, there's a fair deal of novelty going around. Quite a few familiar faces have moved away, both amongst the assistant body and the teacher body (to which I now belong, hurrah for *much* higher pay!), Mr. Donuts in Futako-Tamagawa has either closed permanently or is temporarily closed for refurbishing of sorts, and probably most importantly, the Eiken summer programme is taking place in the International School of Sacred Heart (instead of St Mary's), all the way over in Hiroo (near Roppongi). On one hand, this means no more getting up 20 minutes before the morning meeting for me (St Mary's was a mere 4 minute walk from my apartment), but on the other, the school is at a better location for after-work drinks. The structure of the teaching has also changed, with a mere 2h15 of teaching for me per day instead of 3h (although we must be present on campus from 9am to 2.50pm, ie roughly 6h for those of you who can't be bothered to count), and only for 5 days a week instead of 6. And all that for the same pay. Score...

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