I’m into the second week of work after my holiday and my post-holiday glow has definitely disappeared. It vanished so brutally that I was shack-bound with some mystery illness for 3 days last week. I’m sure it took one look at the grade 2 classes and decided to high-tail it out of here. I can now understand why teachers at school were especially irritable directly after any sort of holiday.
A consequence of my travels to Japan is the fact that I have now been effectively shunned by my colleagues in the dining hall. I now find myself eating breakfast and lunch alone on a table for 4. Considering the lunch hall seats about 50 and there are 70 teachers in the school, the avoidance of ‘she-who-cavorts-with-the-enemy’ is quite obvious. Before this happened completely I did break bread with two colleagues on the first day back. At breakfast, the first excitedly asked me how my time in Hong Kong was and whether I liked it. She sounded a little smug; like she wanted to let me know that she too was a well-traveled lady who likes to mix with other cultures. I told her it was great but I was only there for one day and I had to confess where I had been for the rest of the holiday. This was greeted with a rather pained grimace. At lunch, the second asked me whether I had enjoyed Japan. “At last!” I thought. I was excited to share my tales with someone:
Me: (casually) “yeah it was cool”
Her: “Did you visit Disneyland in Japan?”
Me: (in head – yes of course I went all the way to Japan to go to Disneyland!) “No.”
Her: “Did you go shopping?”
Me: “No, not really”
Her: “So what did you do?”
Me: “I did cultural things, like visiting temples and shrines, and I went for walks in the mountains, that sort of thing. It was really interesting.”
Her: “So you just visit your friend?!”
Me: (inward sigh) “Yes, yes I did”
The conversation abruptly ended there. She hurriedly ate the rest of her noodles and left the table. Since then I have been flying solo in the dining room.
Considering her hometown is only 7 years older than she is, I can imagine that few weekends were spent admiring the history of the architecture and visiting museums with Mum and Dad. So I’ll allow the enthusiasm for the materialistic side of things.
For those who are interested in ‘culture, history, and stuff’ (I got the impression that this is pretty Big in Japan), I had a fantastic time. More of this in the next post but until then here is an idea of the types of shapes that were thrown in a club in Osaka by Sarah and I (check the guy on the right): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyGqk3Uac_Y&feature=related