August 26, 2006

JET for Sale

Here I am at 1:30 in the morning on a Friday night with nothing to do but blog away until I get sleepy. So far, my return to the United States has been uneventful. I saw a homeless man try to shoplift some cold medicine in the local supermarket. The poor guy was not that incognito about his plan. He merely walked into the store with a plastic bag, grabbed a handful of packages of medicine (whilst knocking down various other brands) and then strutted towards the door in an extremely conspicuous manner. The store manager saw this all and apprehended him. It was a scene that I had never experienced, nor can imagine experiencing, in Wakayama. What else is happening? My stomach is having trouble adjusting to the rich American diet. I find myself being unintentionally wasetful here, given that the portions of food here are, on average, triple that of Japan. I ordered a turkey sandwich and salad today only to receive a behemoth of a sandwich and a pile of greens that looked like someone had opened up a lawn mower's refuse bag on my plate. Two open faced halves of focaccia with turkey, bell peppers, onions and goat cheese with a mountain of vegetables spilling out over the plate. Later this afternoon I made my first trip to downtown San Francisco for an interview with an English school called Aspect. They are located in the heart of downtown, right at the foot of Chinatown. I stepped out of Montgomery Station, took the San Francisco wind and hills in full stride, but was stopped in my tracks by my archenemy--diarrhea. Naturally there was a Starbucks close at hand whereat I relieved myself of the aformentioned sandwich. Then I went in for the interview. The school itself seems really nice, with many students from all over the world, though mostly of East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and Western Continental European (French, German, Italian) descent. I felt that I struggled to sound as professional as my interviewer would have liked, but she was all smiles throughout the process. That doesn't mean anything, yes, but I am slowly weening myself from my persistently pessimistic ways. After we were done, I made an awkward exit and hopped on Bart again for the 30 minute ride to Berkeley. A whole day spent for one job interview--probably more than I can say for some of my days on JET.

All in all, I have felt myself worried and lonely, as well as excited and hopeful. That of course is a contradiction (I think), but it is nonetheless true (I know I am defying the scholastic's definition of truth, but what the hell...). Some things are verifiably true: I must move out, soon. I cannot survive living at home for very long. However, I need money. Rent and all that other stuff. So I must find a job, even if I am an underqualified and picky dilettante whose intellectual and creative resources have been left to dry for some years (so it feels). Native English is slowly coming back to me. By this I mean the English native to the Bay Area. It has been a hard first few days trying to get my words out without long pauses and moments of deep concentration on a particular verb that I forgot. This is all coming from a future grammar teacher. From now on, this blog might be utilized as a practice pad for my English prose. Sorry to you readers out there who may be wondering why I suddenly sound like a garrulously phatic chatterbox.

I think I will call it a night soon, having gotten nowhere with this entry. I got an invitation to some punk show, from what I gather, at a club called "Kimo's" in SF. I wonder if the club owners know that the Japanese call a certain part of a cow's intenstine kimo. I, for one, found that not so delectable treat to be extremely kimoi...Still working on getting Japanese to work on my home's computer. My laptop is being reclaimed next week. Thinking about buying a new Mac, but also must consider moving out and all the other things money can buy. Donations are being accepted year round, folks.

Oyasumi everyone.


Blogger pik said...

Liver' is a great name for a punk club!
I know it's home for you, but being able to walk freely about San Francisco is a very cool thing to me.
I'm writing this reaching over JLPT study materials and supping frequently from a Kirin lemon chu-hi. Yep, nothing's changed in the last three days.
Good luck with the interview result.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Patrick Schwemmer said...

let's try my best! お健闘を祈るよ。

11:31 PM  

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