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2005-11-12 7:02 p.m.

like the dream of a spring night

So, I知 in the midst of a uniquely Japanese experience. Namely, I have to go to Nagasaki tomorrow, but I have neither the money to pay even the ferry toll to the mainland nor the means of obtaining that money until Monday at the earliest. This is due to the combination of the cash-only nature of Japan and the never-operating nature of its ATMs.

I used up the last of my cash on Thursday and had planned to go to the bank on Friday (yesterday). I forgot. The bank and its ATM are closed all weekend, leaving me destitute.

And actually, I lied. I DO have the money to pay the ferry toll, but only because I borrowed a hundred yen from the grocer. Combined with my remaining pocket change, that will allow me to get off the island tomorrow. And I知 hoping everything will be cool after that, since I知 riding down with two other JETs who live in the Bigger City, and I知 assuming that the capsule hotel I知 planning to stay in tomorrow night will accept credit cards. Food may be an issue, but many convenience stores (such as the kind that are found nowhere on the Rock) have ATMs in them.

Someone once told me that the sound of the bell of the Gion Monastery echoes the impermanence of all things. They also said that the blossoms of the paired sala trees reveal the truth that the prosperous must decline. You think it痴 true?

Sometimes I wonder how long U.S. 塗egemony can last, especially as India and China start to get the lead out. As Tom Robbins said in Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, 泥id you really expect that a culture that believes the Second Coming is right around the corner, sucking on a breath mint and straightening its tie, could have the long-range vision or the long-term will to sustain a superpower economy? Especially as long as diplomatic solipsists like the current guy are running things, man

Another of my favorite quotes from the same book is "Evolution drives a bulldozer disguised as a stationary bike. With history, it痴 the other way around." I think that's a pretty good statement of why I find both biology and history so fascinating.

The head of the Rock痴 board of education, who is basically the ultimate boss of everyone who works in education here, showed up to observe my class at the high school on Friday. I was doing a lesson on North Korea. He must have liked what he saw, 祖ause afterwards he asked me to stay for a third year. He said the elementary school teachers told him I知 trustworthy and reliable, and that the preschool teachers really like me, too. (I note the absence of any reference to the middle school.) Huh.

The mother of my surrogate niece (mentioned last time) asked me to stay another year, too. (If I were to give them nicknames, I壇 call the mother Natch and the daughter RahRah. I shouldn稚 have favorites, but RahRah痴 my favorite, man. I致e spent more time with her than with any of my other students, as she痴 been the most reliable attendee of my English conversation class over the last year, and I think she and I also have very similar personalities.)

It痴 tempting, very tempting to stay. But... no. Graduate school combined with the upcoming merger mean I have to say no. The future is waiting, and the Rock痴 future is not my future.

The first year I was here I wasn稚 called on for my musical skills at all. But recently everybody痴 been asking me to play clarinet or guitar at this or that thing. One gig last week, two gigs this coming week, and another gig the week after that.

Oh, I started a Japanese blog. That means I have three now. If you池e wondering what the secret to keeping three blogs is, the answer is to do all three of them half-assed.

And now I知 thinking I really ought to start a French one, too

It痴 strange to write a blog entry in a language that 99% of the people I knew before coming to Japan will never understand. It feels like it痴 an alternate me that痴 writing it. It痴 surprisingly easy for me to write in Japanese, though

Check out Hacker koans and anti-terrorist driving techniques. And oh boy! Fun and exciting mind control coming to a store near you!

I think I知 feeling a little wistful tonight

they will never know how the autumn breeze can strip the trees,

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