Trapped by Tradition!


Life since Hong Kong has been normal 🙂 It’s been nice to have some normal nights-trying out new restaurants, going to a movie, buying new lamps and a rug. Yes, a movie! We went through the process of reading a movie poster to get times (Guardians of the Galaxy) and the poster was in Japanese! We got the right time, in English-love when it’s smooth!

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This weekend we await the typhoon…let’s see where it decides to go this time. Last time a typhoon threat was upon us it just rained-minimally. Let’s hope this one does the same!

Wednesday-Friday Paul leaves with the middle school kids for their retreat. He’s in charge of building the camp fire. Do they KNOW what they have just done? Hehe-he loves it!

I leave Friday for Tokyo for 2 days for a PYP training. It’s not far, but I am excited to explore a different part of the city!

I have lots of pictures of food to post-I haven’t come across something I haven’t liked a whole lot in a while. Yes!
School is going really well. We are starting our 2nd unit of inquiry, How we organise ourselves, Monday. I can’t believe Monday starts the 8th week of school.

This past Thursday night was the induction ceremony for National Honour Society, which I advise. The event was perfect-nothing went wrong. That’s always a plus!

This week I MUST get back into my routine. Though I have ridden my bike home many nights, and rode to school last weekend (I parked outside my classroom!!!), I haven’t been to yoga in 2 weeks-I miss it! My chorus group didn’t happen this week because they are out of town…I missed my Japanese class due to helping the kids prepare for induction…I don’t like missing it all.

o thankful for my love Laura for sending me this snap on my bday! Made my day!IMG_0607
arked outside my door!

o this is a urinal in the women’s room. How are we supposed to use that!??

So, this week I have meetings scheduled with parents who want to talk…before the conferences in November. It’s not like I talk to them in the hallway almost daily…and email frequently…but OK. Let’s meet and talk. I have a skype conversation Monday with a student’s counselor, 2 parent meetings on Tuesday, yoga on wednesday with sushi afterwards, Japanese on Thursday, chorus on Friday (maybe…depends on when I have to catch the train to Tokyo)…busy busy! But that’s how I like it.

Last week we stumbled upon a gorgeous cemetery and temple-it was right near our neighbourhood…and hiding! Of course Paul had to ring the gong bell thing a couple times for a video…I hope no-one saw!

This week on one of my rides home I had a lovely hello chat with a boy, and everyone on my path was saying hello, nodding, etc. I love my rides home. I haven’t worked up to riding to work much yet. There are way more up-hills than down which is exhausting, hot, and makes me all shaky before work. That’s a no-go.

My parents sent a package that came yesterday! Lot’s of goodies that we requested…Duncan coffee, a can opener (the ones here are crazy!), hair oil, BLEACH!!! I can bleach my hair! Yes!!! My finished necklace and earrings mummy made me!!!-a calling card for those “just in case moments”-Tums. I don’t need them often anymore, but when I do…

I also got a package from Lindsey Hamburg today…a beautiful peacock necklace!!! I was surprised! It made my day!!!

So, I bet your wondering why the title is about being trapped? Well, as you are aware, Japanese generally don’t wear shoes inside buildings. Mostly homes, and some restaurants. Stores sell the most amazing liners for your shoes…they are the BEST “socks” I have ever had. They are cheap, cute, and comfortable. Even have padding for your heel or ball of your feet. They are just the right height not to show too much when wearing flats…and they don’t fall down! Genius!

I have many pairs of these. They are very handy when shoes are not allowed. Well, tonight we went for traditional Nagoyan fried chicken wings. They were delicious. Better than that…some of the best wings I have ever had! One was a Worcestershire flavoured…the other a very peppery-lemon-esk flavour. More pepper, less lemon.  This place had a traditional sliding door booths where you remove your shoes and sit down on pillows, with the table sunken into the floor. Well this particular family was in a large room, and a baby starts crying. Incessantly.


The door slides open, and kneeling there is mom, dad, grandpa, screaming baby, and 5 year old boy. I wish I had a picture…because they were all half-way hanging out the door, but no-one would come out. Why? Because they didn’t have shoes. You see, they take them off on the floor, and step into the room…WITHOUT touching their feet to the carpet where the shoes are. Well, mom was looking for shoes, and couldn’t find them. The staff had come by after they sat down to store the shoes under the booth…a little flap door opens up and wala…the shoes are hidden.  It was so comical because she is frantically opening up all the cabinets looking for her shoes, and her baby shoes, and the boy’s shoes.

It was just one of those moments…when no shoes can be a problem. They were literally trapped by tradition. They finally located the necessary shoes and ran into the bathroom.

Shortly after that life resumed normalcy. Until I saw the back of the chopsticks paper which had a lovely cartoon that began with a picture of a man eating a chicken wing, and ended with the restaurant mascot, who is dressed as a chicken, standing with his butt showing and dancing? Are we supposed to do the chicken dance after we eat?

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Another cultural thing we ran into was at the movie theatre. As the movie ended, Paul and I got up to leave. And as we walked out in the dark *clue one* we realized no-one else was moving. We continued on our journey as I had to seriously use the potty…and Paul hung around to confirm his suspicions. The Japanese watching the movie waited until ALL credits had finished rolling before getting up, collecting all their trash, and leaving very orderly. They waiting until the credits stopped…like the movie cut off completely and the lights came on. So, 2 things I learned about movies in Japan…we will always have the perfect seat when seeing an English movie…or rather, a movie in English…and we won’t fight to leave a busy theatre (if ever that happens) because we will be the first out. I don’t think that’s a custom we will follow. LOL.

Oh, and I cannot forget to mention the concert we went to last Sunday! Our colleague James is in a band, with Tomo the lead singer. I met him at my birthday Karaoke before Hong Kong when they both showed up at the same place we were at…so they joined out room. Tomo is a middle school English teacher in GIfu. It’s great seeing him moonlight in his band! He’s crazy! And loves James Brown, and all things funk. And Georgia. He always has it on his mind!!

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We have break coming up… we were planning a trip to Okinawa, but I think I’d rather go to Kyoto and Osaka this time. We shall see!

For now,




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