Jan 15 2009

I left the tunnel and entered snow country.

Tag: japan,personal,snow country — 10:00 pm

Just like the book! Except with fewer prostitutes. And I lost my train ticket. (“Act like you don’t speak Japanese,” advised Tanizaki-sensei*, escorting me to the school. “Nihongo wo tabemasen.” “Right, exactly.” They didn’t bother to stop me, though.)

(I wonder if Snow Country would exist in the form it does if the shinkansen had been around in Kawabata’s day. Probably the pace would be different.)

Until the present teacher moves out of the apartment on Sunday, they have me in a hotel room by the train station, a hotel room which I believe to be extremely inexpensive. The rooms have actual keys, not cards, and the stairwell is being used to store a lot of boxes of things. I hope the building doesn’t catch fire while I’m here. The lights in the room do not turn on unless you put a little red stick attached to the keys into a slot by the door, ensuring that the lights are not left on in an empty room. (This is actually a pretty good idea…) And you have to turn your keys in when you leave; you get them back when you come back. I know that they recognize me because I’m the white girl, but do they really get so few patrons that this works all the time?

But there is a restaurant attached that has inexpensive and basically acceptable kimchi ramen. And the internet works, which is a step up.

Training was very tiring and I will get all fretful if I talk about it. It’s technically not over yet, I still have to do two more days with the present teacher supervising me.

And I’m very sleepy now and need to go to bed.

* This is not his real name; I’m sticking to my policy of giving everyone made-up names. Tanizaki-sensei is named after Yukari-sensei from Azumanga Daioh, based on his habit of saying deeply inappropriate things, and on Junichiro Tanizaki, based on his being kinda weird.