It’s been about half a year since I last made a post here. Sorry to everyone who was planning on keeping up with me via this blog.
The truth is that my life, like that of everyone else in the world, has been made significantly less interesting by the spread of COVID-19.
Since April 16, I have had only one day of work. I have 6 days after today before I return to work, and I will be teaching lessons online, from my apartment.
I live alone, so it’s been kind of lonely. I’ve gone spans of 2-3 days without speaking out loud, if I don’t have any video chats or supermarket visits scheduled.
Despite the potential for sadness in this situation, I’ve actually been enjoying this time of social distancing!
Not working means it’s easier to plan time to talk to people back home, because I’m flexible enough to work around the 13-16 hour time difference. It also means I have time to play (Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild; Netflix – Outlander and The Walking Dead) and work on pet projects (studying Japanese, writing a novel, learning guitar).
Plus, I’m quite lucky to live in the countryside (never thought I’d say that), so it’s easy to maintain the appropriate social distance during my jogs through the city and to the park.
In addition, I’ve been getting a little more creative with my endeavors in the kitchen. I tried a savory Japanese egg custard and an authentic tuna poke recipe given to me by a new Hawaiian friend.
Maybe – MAYBE – I’ll use this time at home to start updating this blog regularly…but don’t hold me to it!
Another update is that I’ve extended my contract.
Originally, I had been planning to work in Japan for a year (July 2019 to July 2020) and save enough to stick around for the Olympics.
Everything was going well in the fall and winter of 2019, and I was able to visit a lot of the sights and cities that were on my list. I got to see some beautiful temples in Kyoto and feed the deer in Nara. I made it twice to Tokyo and Yokohama, and I met some friends on an island near Nagoya. Even as late as February 2020, I was travelling to see dinosaurs in Fukui and traditional farmhouses in Shirakawago.
Since then, however, I haven’t ventured off the route that takes me from home to work, let alone left my prefecture.
It’s been a bummer because spring is probably the most famous season in Japan. I didn’t get to go to any cherry blossom parties, and the spring festivals around here (including the famous tulip fair in Tonami) were canceled.
I know I’m not alone in being hugely disappointed in the first third of 2020, but I still wanted to get those feelings off my chest. It was a big decision to extend my stay, so I wanted to explain why I’m doing it. I really want to make up for lost time! Plus, I’m happy here. I’ve made friends and gotten used to my job.
That said, I miss everyone at home, and I might try to take a trip back to the U.S. during the Obon holiday in August if things are clear enough by then (please, God, let things be okay by then).
Thanks for checking in on me 🙂
If you’d like to schedule a video chat sometime in the next week or so, just let me know! I’m certainly available.