This week in numbers
Vietnamese words/phrases I have learned: 9
Vietnamese words/phrases I have forgotten: 8
Hours of Vietnamese language listening per day: 2
Hours of Japanese conversation per day: 5
Walking distance to school in minutes: 10
Hours per weekday spent in classes: 4
People in my class: 10
Countries represented in my class: 8
Countries outside of Asia represented in my class: 1
Times I have been asked how tall I am: 250
Times I have been asked if I play basketball or volleyball: 150
Times I have been asked where I come from: 120
Times I have lied about where I come from: 6
School staff and teachers whose names I know: 9
Percentage of school days I have eaten lunch in the staff lounge: 100
Percentage of the time I understand what I am eating: 15
Apples I have bought and eaten: 6
Cost of above apples, in dollars: 11
Milliliters of unsweetened green tea per day: 800 (3 cups)
Milliliters of water per day: 500 (2 cups)
Rank of a 400g (1 lb) bag of granola among all purchases: 1
Times I have been to the ocean: 1
Meals per day that include rice: 2.5
Percentage of the time I am the only person of my race in the room/area: 98
Children who boo/hissed in unison as I went by on my bike: 200
Days completed of Oprah and Deepak's meditation series: 7
Note: Above are averages, approximates or guesstimates where appropriate.
Now that things have calmed down a bit, I have finally been able to create space in my life for a daily meditation practice. The first order of business has been a slow but thorough cleaning of my apartment/dorm room. For me, cleaning, especially the floors, is a grounding and meditative experience. It is a great way to be thankful to the space I am living in. Plus, it keeps the 2-3 inch cockroaches to a minimum (I am glaring at one as I write this sentence). They are pretty happily in residence; this place hasn’t had a thorough cleaning in, um... I have no idea how long. Maybe years. I also have been meditating for 20 minutes daily with Oprah and Deepak. Namaste, guys!
social skydiving, throwing the covers over my head, and fun with problems
Occasionally, I give in and do exactly that (read useless stories on the Internet). Like the time I tried to use an ATM for the first time and found out that none of my 2 debit and 2 credit cards worked. I had 500 Yen ($5) in my pocket, and it was Friday night. The banks wouldn’t open until Monday. I was NOT a happy camper. Or the time I got yelled at for swimming in the snorkeling/diving only area. Or the time I got boo/hissed by several hundred school kids for my state of (un)dress according to their cultural standards. Or the time I... ahem, anyway, moving on.
It’s been an eventful first full week in Okinawa, and I am off to bed to find out what tomorrow brings.
p.p.s. Sakura (cherry blossom) photos below, by request! Sorry if they are slow to load; i tried compressing them but they lost too much clarity in the smaller file sizes.