I've been off from work since last Friday - sort of. Even though the kids are gone from school, I normally would have had to go to school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this past week and next week. However, some of the English teachers organized some community English classes here at our apartment building. We have 2 meeting rooms on the first floor, so we were able to have classes at home. We taught for 4-5 hours everyday. It was nice to be working from home. I was really energized and happy to work with adults as well. I'm taking next week off.
This past week has been super relaxing and nice. Mostly, we've been biking around, browsing stores, having nice long lunches, watching movies, going to bars, etc. In case some of you are wondering about Christmas in Japan. It is celebrated here, but it's more about the party than it is the religion. It's kind of like valentine's day. People buy some gifts for each other, some put trees up, sing Christmas songs and eat Christmas cake. Christmas cake is a yellow cake with whip cream and strawberries - yummy.
Dressed Up for X-mas
A big, big, big Christmas song in Japan is "Last Christmas" by Wham (George Michael). For my last class, I played jeopardy with my Jr. High kids. One category was music. I would play a small snippet of "Last Christmas" and would stop the song even before any lyrics were sung and in every class (approximately 12 classes of 40 kids), almost all of the kids knew that song. Plus you hear it in every mall and store as you shop. I just think it's really funny that a song that old is still very popular and is now a standard Christmas song, plus it's Wham.
Christmas and New Year's are reversed from America. Christmas is the time to party and New Year's is the time to go to temple/shrine and pray. I think that's interesting and from my point of view, I felt really comfortable.