Well, my Tuesday started off horribly but ended well. Let me tell you the story.
Background: I teach at a kindergarten in Tajimi on Tuesdays and I have to be there at 9:55, which means that I literally have to be walking out the door at 8:45 to guarantee that I catch my train and subsequently my bus to the kindergarten. Then in the afternoon, I work at ECC Tajimi school.
Story: I set my alarm for 7:30 this morning, thinking that I would have ample time to wake up, relax, and get ready before I had to leave for work. As usual, I snoozed my alarm, and the next time I woke up, I had a bad feeling. I looked at the time, and shot out of bed when I realized that it was 8:44!! For Real!! Of course, I start freaking out! That was the fastest I’ve ever gotten ready in my life. I was out the door by 8:50. I raced to the station, only to see my 8:59 train pulling away as I exited the bike garage. Stinkin long line to get into the garage. I seriously need to get a monthly pass so that I can bypass the time it takes to buy a ticket everyday.
So, I got into the station and proceeded to wait…and wait…and wait. In between Kasugai and Tajimi, there’s another major station, and a lot of the trains on my line only run to that station- Kozoji. So, I had to watch two trains pass through until I could get on my train at 9:23. Now, if I had known that the train schedule was that messed up, I totally would’ve taken longer at home getting ready. So, 9:23 rolled around and I was mentally mapping out my run from the train station to my bus, because I would just just just make the right bus so that I could get to my kindy just in time. But while I was doing my mental run-through, I realized that my train was late. And that just annoyed me to no end! The trains are always on time in Japan, but of course, the one time, I really cut it down to the wire, my train’s late. And we’re not talking one minute or anything, it was 7 stinkin minutes late!! Are you kidding me?! So, as soon as I got on the train, I knew that I would not make my bus.
I get to Tajimi station and head toward the taxi stand. My bus only runs every twenty minutes, so the next bus was due until 10:00, and it was 9:45. I get in the taxi, and manage to stammer out where I needed to go in very bad Japanese, and called work to tell them that I would be late. Well, the taxi driver takes me where I requested, but since it was only my second time going there, first time all by myself, I didn’t recognize anything. So the very nice taxi driver calls in and requests specific directions to my school. I felt so bad because I definitely couldn’t communicate what I needed to say, and we were both more than a little confused.
So, I finally get to my kindy, and it was great! I have two 30-minute classes, and they’re just so cute! I saw a little 3 year old running around with no pants on, and right before I left, a little boy had a slight problem with the sink, and water exploded all over the hallway! The only downside is that the teachers there don’t speak English, only a little bit. I felt a lot better after teaching, and I even made it back to the bus stop with no directional problems. But I had to wait a long time for the bus because once again, I just missed it.
I got back to Tajimi station around 12:10, but had some time to kill before my train. So, I grabbed some convenience store lunch, decided that I didn’t want to go all the way back to Kasugai for an hour and a half and then back to Tajimi, so I decided to go on an adventure to Jokoji, a small local-only stop on the train line. It’s just this baby stop in between two mountain tunnels in the middle of the country, but every time the train stops there, I can see the most beautiful river with huge rocks in it and a big waterfall. So, I thought I’d hang out there and eat my lunch.
Jokoji was everything I expected and more!! The river is so beautiful and I found a really nice hiking trail nearby. I didn’t actually go hiking, but I sat next to a stream and read my book for about an hour. It was so relaxing! Just what I needed after such a horrible morning. I also took a walk along the big river and just got to appreciate nature. I saw a big wading bird, and several butterflies. It was so peaceful and just wonderful. Maybe I’ll make it a weekly thing.
Finally, I got back on the train and headed to Tajimi for work. I have two kids classes, three free time lessons, and one long adult lesson. I got there, and my boss informed me that all three of my free time lessons were vacant due to last minute cancellations. So, I basically had three hours of my own free time. But in both of my kids classes today, I have a shy boy in each, and the staff and I were worried about them ever participating in the class, and maybe even dropping out. But in a miraculous occurrence, both boys participated in class and left with big smiles on their faces, saying that their class was really fun!!! I felt like such an awesome teacher today!!! Then I had my big 3-hour break, where I just talked to my boss and did random helpful things around the office. The time went by very quickly and it ended well with my adults. They’re all really talkative and funny, so it makes me happy to teach them.
Then I got on the train and made my way home and here I sit telling you how a day with such a horrible beginning ended so wonderfully!! It sounds unbelievable, but welcome to my life!