Martin's Japan Pages

Our Man In Japan

02 February 2005

And still the snow falls...

I was watching TV last night and a few weather maps helped me to understand why I had spent a good hour shovelling snow. A massive region of low pressure is sitting to the north of Japan so Niigata prefecture is bearing the brunt of winds direct from Siberia.

From what I could make out from other charts, Niiagata has had the highest snowfall this winter (some 3 metres) in all Japan and Tokamachi has had the highest snowfall in the last three days (153 cm) . According to my teachers, this is all well above avereage and will explain why the snow clearing measures have been unabel to cope. Hence me spending an hour shovellling snow every day this week.

The snow has also disrupted lessons at the school. Today, Tsunan started later and finished earlier so that students had extra time to arrive and return home. The reduced hours meant that one lesson had to be cancelled and the others became shorter by five minutes. Most of my lessons for today were posteponed because the teachers I would have taught with were to leave on a business trip. But the trip was cancelled, and with no lesson plan, the students ended up watching Wallace and Gromit. I had to stay in the office. Spoilsports.

Went to JAM on my way hme from Tsunan to pay the rent on car. One of my windscreen wipers has stopped working so I asked if it could be repaired. They need a part so while they're waiting for it to arrive they've lent me another car. It's an automatic but it does have a 10-disc CD changer so it balances out.

To take my mind of things, I went climbing. The other people that climb are really friendly and between our small knowledge of each others languages, we have a pretty good understanding. Tonight they invited me to an enkai, or drinking party, on Friday. I'm really chuffed tah they asked me, but I'm also bricking it because I don't think my japanese is good enough. i'd be a fool to bottle out though, so we'll see how things go on Friday.


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