August was, by far, the busiest month I’ve had in Japan. I was lucky enough to have the entire month off to “explore Japan” and I did my best to take advantage of that. Aside from the two one-day summer camps I participated in, and the random drop-ins at my school to fill out paper work, the rest of the time was mine to do with what I wished.
The best part about coming to Japan in August, aside from the fact that the students are on vacation so there’s plenty of time to assimilate before you have to start teaching, is that fact that August is FULL of festivals. During that month alone, I went to about seven or eight festivals. Even my small town held its own festival and it was fantastic.
When I wasn’t out enjoying festivals, I was spending my time buying things for my empty apartment. My most essential, and most expensive, purchases that month were: a mattress, a washer, a fridge, and a car.
Speaking of cars… Two days after I had purchased my car, I got into a car accident. It was completely my fault, but I totally blame my American brain for the accident. You probably shouldn’t only look your left when making a right hand turn, considering people drive on the left in Japan.
Luckily I was barely crawling out of my building’s parking lot so the accident only left a small scratch on my bumper (so unnoticeable I had a hard time finding it so show the cops) and a small dent on the other car. How our slow impact dented his car while only scratching mine, I’ll never know. Unfortunately, unlike that States where a fender bender like that would/could be handled without police involvement, ALL accidents in Japan require that you call the police. It’s the law. And if you’re a JET with no Japanese speaking ability, it also requires that you call your supervisor.
The worse part of the situation was that my school is only about a 10 minute walk for where I live and the small street in front of my apartment is frequented by students, meaning I had an audience for the accident. OTL I can’t blame them for stopping and staring, I did have the biggest entourage of people with me including, my vice principal, my supervising JTE, another JTE, my predecessor, and a friend of mine.
The sprinkles on top of my crap ice creaming was that one of my JTEs took this opportunity to introduce the passing by students to their new ALT. And the cherry on top of my crap ice creaming? The old man whose car I hit was the grandfather of one of my future students who also happened to be passing by.
But aside for the fact that August now contains the most embarrassing moment of my life, I would still consider it a good month. ^^